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Student parking draws ire, sympathy from residents

June 17, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Residents who contend with Waynesboro Area Senior High School student parking each day say the teenagers create safety and nuisance issues, but they have sympathy knowing the drivers have nowhere to park but on public streets right now.

Residents of roads including Myrtle Avenue and East Second Street were invited to share comments about student parking at Wednesday's Waynesboro Borough Council meeting. Several asked that parking be prohibited on their streets from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. without a permit.

Council members said they've "been playing phone tag" with the school district administration and did not have an opportunity to invite school officials to the meeting. The council also did not attend a school board meeting as previously discussed.

Comments from Wednesday will be relayed to the district, Councilman Ronnie Martin said.

"We need to help out these residents," Council President Craig Newcomer said.

Waynesboro Area Senior High School has been under construction for several years, restricting student parking and filling area streets with vehicles. The district promised better student parking when the construction project is complete this fall, but some councilmen said they don't fully believe that promise.

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Louis M. Barlup, a former principal who lives on Myrtle Avenue, said he and his wife have put notes on windshields asking students to not block their driveway.

The couple feels bad for the children.

"The school board has engaged in a massive project and didn't provide for the kids," Barlup said.

Bruce Greenshields of Clayton Avenue said the density of parking creates safety issues, especially at the intersection of Third Street and Myrtle Avenue.

"We cannot see to get out of our driveway or garage safely, and we need a spotter," he said.

Greenshields also said teenagers smoke, yell obscenities, litter, squeal tires and play music loudly before and after school.

Jill Mckenzie of Myrtle Avenue echoed Greenshields' complaints about trespassing, litter and driveways being blocked.

"I really feel bad for the kids," she said. "The school needs to do something about it."

Nancy Funk of Myrtle Avenue thanked the council for limiting parking on her side of the street last year, after she had an accident she says cost her $4,400.

"We seem to be the exception on that block. ... We don't have many complaints," said Ed Hykes of Myrtle Avenue.

Possible solutions that were suggested included an increased area for permit-only parking.

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