Monday, January 7, 2013

Parking Enforcement in Residential Neighborhoods (1/7/12)

I received the information below from a neighborhood civic organization, University Place Association:

Please alert your civic clubs, residents, neighbors, etc., of the new, more stringent level of enforcement of parking regulations in our community.  We have been informed that the City of Houston Parking Management Division, which enforces Residential Permit parking and ALL OTHER City parking regulations, recently assigned a dedicated enforcement officer to the area bounded by US59, Kirby Drive, Fannin and Holcombe.   According to Parking Management, as of 5 or 6 months ago they began assigning/dedicating officers to areas/beats throughout the City, not just in our community.  Residents of Southampton, Boulevard Oaks and Southgate have reported receiving numerous tickets for a variety of parking infractions over the past few weeks.

Although there has always been some enforcement of parking regulations in our community, now that an officer has been dedicated to our area, parking regulations are being regularly/stringently enforced.   Residents have received tickets for parking a vehicle on the street and not moving it every 24 hours.  Under Houston’s Code of Ordinances, Sec. 26-93, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly leave parked or standing in any public street, alley or other public place any vehicle for a longer continuous period of time than 24 hours.  This means that any vehicle parked on the street for more than 24 hours without moving is in violation of the law and subject to ticketing, booting, and ultimately, towing.  Having a Residential Parking permit does not exempt from this law.

Residents are also receiving tickets for various other infractions, including for parking a vehicle in their driveway that extends partially or totally across the sidewalk.  This stringent enforcement of parking regulations, some of which make little or no sense in deed restricted residential neighborhoods, is a major problem for those residents whose garages are too small to house all of a family’s vehicles and those whose driveways were built many decades ago to accommodate smaller cars but not today’s longer vehicles that now stick out over the sidewalk even when pulled all the way up the driveway.

We have made Parking Management and Council Member Cohen aware of these issues and of our concerns in regard to what this level of enforcement means for UP’s neighborhoods.  We will keep you posted on the outcome of our discussions.

In the meantime, parking laws that are being actively enforced include:

parking facing the wrong direction
parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk- intersection
parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
blocking a private driveway
blocking or parking on sidewalk
parking in a tow-away zone
parking in a reserved zone
parking without a permit in a residential restricted permit zone
parking in a No-Parking zone
parking more than18” from right-hand curb
parking for longer than the allowed amount of time posted on signs

If you have received a citation:   According to Parking Management, residents have 30 days from the date the citation was issued to contest their citation.  They can contest it online at if it is within seven (7) days from the citation date.   If the citation prefix is P or V, residents have 7 days after the citation is entered in the system to contest online or 30 days total to contest in person.   Residents may contest in person at the Parking Adjudication Office, 1400 Lubbock , Mon. – Fri., between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturday, 8:00 am to 5 p.m.  Appointments aren't necessary, all hearings are held on a first-come, first-served basis and take about 25 minutes.

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