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Eastwood high school construction causes parking woes for nearby neighborhood

People that live in the Eastridge neighborhood next to the high school say they’ve been having issues with students parking on the street.

Neighbors in the East Ridge neighborhood are fed up because they say Eastwood High School students are taking over their space.

Neighbors that live right next to Eastwood High School say the students are parking in front of their homes and blocking their driveways and becoming safety hazards.

After multiple complaints, city officials, police, and district officials held a community meeting on Monday to find a fix.

Neighbors say the students are blocking driveways, speeding, and littering, and they’ve had enough.

“Recently some kids had an accident and you know you can fix a wall that’s fine but we’re more concerned with their safety. We want them to be safe,” said homeowner Angie Martinez.

The renovations at Eastwood High School have aggravated the problem, but neighbors say it’s been going on for years.

Prior to construction, there were only 85 student parking spots on campus.

“One student, or a couple of students, profanely verbally attacked an elderly lady just for pointing out the fact that they were blocking her driveway. So we’re trying to work on a solution,” said city representative Henry Rivera, who organized the meeting after receiving numerous complaints from the community.

City and Ysleta ISD officials, along with El Paso police, met with the homeowners to find those answers.

Right now, the district is renting out two church parking lots nearby for students to use but they’re empty every day.

Instead, the students continue to park along Deby Lewis Drive and surrounding streets.

Neighbors and officials suspect it’s because the church parking lot is a bit farther than parking in the neighborhood.

“We’re developing a plan as we speak,” said Eastwood High School principal David Boatright. “We’ll meet tomorrow as an administrative team and we’ll work to impose a lot of new changes -- some new pathways for kids, incentivize then to park in the lot that we currently lease.”

Neighbors are also considering applying for a parking district to prohibit parking in the area during school hours.

The school district says students are currently required to have insurance and registration to use the church parking lots.

They might consider lifting those requirements in hopes of enticing more kids to park there.

Homeowners say they’ll continue to be vigilant while a more permanent solution is reached.

“Us coming together as a community as well and talking to these kids who are leaving behind trash, if we see something, talking to them ourselves,” said homeowner Liz De Leon.

El Paso police say they are trying to enforce as best they can but they’re often too short staffed to have someone patrolling the area every day.

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