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Driving through North Park near the intersection of 32nd Street and Redwood, a neighborhood resident slows his sedan down. "This is where the parking problems start. This is all parking for St. Augustine High School," he says while pointing at full-size pickups and newer model sedans along the right side of the road. "It's like this for blocks."

The resident, who prefers to stay anonymous for fear of retribution, creeps down 32nd and slows at the entrance to the underground parking garage situated underneath a three-story classroom building. "This was built a few years back but it's not enough. There are over 700 students and there are maybe 75 spaces down there. It's just not enough."

Several neighbors of the private Catholic high school say parking problems have compounded in recent months. They say that by 7 a.m. cars are lined up bumper to bumper throughout the neighborhood. By 3 p.m. the students speed down residential side streets, leaving behind fast-food wrappers and Starbucks coffee cups where their vehicles were once parked.

Continuing down the street, my escort stops to talk to two neighbors who live a few blocks south of the school gates. He mentions the word parking and one of the neighbors launches into a tirade. "I can't even park in front of my own house," says the scruffy man whose shirt had stains from drywall mud. "I'm retired and I work on my house. Most days I have to carry heavy materials a few blocks because they are blocking my driveway or parking in front of my house."

The men say they have called councilmember Todd Gloria's office and complained to school administrators, but nothing has been done to rectify the parking overload in the neighborhood. "They just keep blowing smoke," said the man inside his car. "The school is dumping their parking problem in our neighborhood. Kids are paying more than $11,000 in tuition, you'd think that would include a parking space on campus."

While St. Augustine’s principal James Horne acknowledges that parking impacts exist, he says the school has worked to resolve the neighborhood's concerns. Horne says the school is only three spaces shy of meeting the 143-space parking requirement outlined in the Conditional Use Permit, which goes into effect after St. Augustine's expansion is complete. And more will come if a proposal to build an additional parking structure goes through.

"Parking is always going to be an issue in a neighborhood that has a school," says Horne during a March 15 phone interview.

"Prior to our construction of the underground parking facility three years ago, we had less than 50 spaces. So, the number has nearly tripled. We used to have monthly complaints, this year we've had one. I don't want to say there aren't parking issues, but the complaints don't indicate huge issues."

On March 25, St. Augustine High School will host a neighborhood meeting to discuss parking and the next phase of Saint Augustine expansion project.

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Comments

Founder March 17, 2010 @ 6:56 p.m.

Just another sad example of why NP Knows Parking Problems!

It is not enough that the BID's are guilty of using the neighborhood as their own parking lot, (that area of NP surrounding the BID's which is now known in NP as the Residential Improvement District or RID), the BIG Religious businesses have also gotten "On Board" the Blight train...

When St. A's asked the NP Planning Comm. to approve their expansion, they promised "US" that they would be better neighbors and limit their students (and Staff) impact on their neighbors if we allowed them to expand. I was there, and I asked them specifically, if they would be start being great neighbors and they said yes, they would! Now, how do we get their administrators to keep their promise to US, ask them to go to their own Confessional, NOT?

Sad to say, they have a short memory! Now, years later, what are we the Residents that live near these Big Religious Businesses supposed to do beside Pray or beg?

With St. A's in the South, St. Patrick's in the Middle and Our Lady Of Peace in the North; North Park Residents are having another Parking "squeeze" put on them by the well to do parents, students and Staff of these schools that drop off, pick up, attend or work at these schools. Oh, and don't forget all the Special Events that generate money for them and lots more Parking Blight for US.

They like most of the other Businesses in North Park don't believe in the Golden Rule and are not treating US like they want us to treat them...

Again, what are we supposed to do:

Pray or just say,

NO Way (to more Religious "Business" expansion in North Park)...

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