Redondo Union High graduates and their guests will have more parking options at the end of this academic year, but fall football fans are out of luck.
During last week’s meeting, Redondo Beach City Council voted to allow exemptions to permit parking on Redondo Union High School’s graduation day (June 18, 2015) for a street close to the school.
The compromise vote came last Tuesday following last month’s vote to restrict parking on the 200 block of North Juanita Avenue after years of residents pleading for permit-only parking for the neighborhood street which lies south of campus.
During the Sept. 17 meeting, residents in the 200 block of North Juanita Avenue pleaded with the council for hours for relief from problems caused by students and visitors attending campus events.
Under its adopted permit program, parking will be limited to residents from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, except holidays. Violators face a $45 ticket. The permit costs $15.
Council members approved permitted parking for other streets near the campus two years ago while the campus was under construction.
Resident James McLeod complained that his driveway was completely blocked one night by someone attending a school event at the stadium.
“I called the police, and they got a ticket, and I got my tires slashed,” he said.
Other residents were not happy about the council’s approval of restricted parking near the school in the first place. While parking on North Juanita Avenue will be permitted during commencement, some residents contend that parking restrictions will make an already difficult parking situation even worse.
“Council grants preferential treatment to residents privatizing public streets over serving the greater community,” said RUHS parent Lisa Rodriguez. “The policy is inherently flawed and I think it’s a great opportunity to share this story throughout the South Bay because the parking does not only affect Redondo but neighboring communities as well.”
Considering the growing student population at RUHS, the Redondo Beach Unified School District addressed parking woes with a $1.7 million bond two years ago. The funds were used to conduct parking and traffic studies, to relocate the student services building, increase signage, create new parking lots and negotiate parking provisions for RUHS event attendees at West High School in Torrance. There are now six parking lots both on and adjacent to the school providing a total of 510 parking spaces, 138 of which include spaces available at Parras Middle School, Redondo Shores and Beach Cities Health District. There is access to the home side of Sea Hawk Bowl in the parking lots on Diamond Street. People buying tickets can walk around the fence line of the track to access seats.
“Despite our efforts to educate and direct drivers, the quantity leads me to believe the restricted areas are not intuitive and that the signs in the neighborhoods, not so obvious,” Rodriguez said. “The policy is ineffective. All it does is issue more tickets. Even the mayor said he’s gotten a ticket there because he didn’t see the sign. When people get ticketed there it catches them off guard. We have visitors that come every week that don’t realize it’s a restricted area and then are surprised by the tickets.”
During the Sept. 5 home football game, 25 tickets were issued for parking violations on the streets surrounding the school. At the Sept. 19 home game, there were 34 tickets issued.
Fans attending the final two home games—Oct. 31 against Palos Verdes and the Nov. 7 game against Mira Costa—are encouraged to review a map posted at redondounion.org to ensure they are legally parking.
“I don’t disagree with having a restriction policy if it were fairer across the board and provided a win/win approach toward a long term solution. Cause this one is not working. The current one is divisive, riddled with flaws and requires a master plan, but that is not our immediate concern,” Rodriguez said.