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Parents and coaches ticketed while at football practice

KDBC
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 12:29pm

Parents and coaches who spent the day at an East El Paso park watching their kids play football, said they were surprised to return to their cars to find parking tickets.

El Paso police officers issued 10 parking citations to cars parked along Sun Fire Blvd. and Cevallia Ave.

"When I asked him what the problem was, he said we were actually parked in a lane of traffic," said Luis Gonzalez, coach for the El Paso Stars football team.

He said parents and coaches have nowhere else to park because there is no parking lot near Burning Mesquite Park.

There are two lanes of traffic in each direction along Sun Fire Blvd., but when cars park along Sun Fire, they block off an entire lane in each direction.

Police Spokesperson Darrel Petry said the department received complaints from motorists in the area.

Altagracia Garcia said she received two parking citations last week.

"I was parked across the street when I moved they gave me another ticket," she said, and added, "I would've liked to have seen that possibly the officer would've approached the coaches and told them you can't park here."

Petry said an officer did speak with coaches the day before, and asked them to tell parents to park correctly.

Gonzalez said he is concerned that parents will stop bringing their kids to practice if the parking situation is not resolved.

"You're gonna build a park and then not provide any parking for it and then ticket visitors that come to the park, it's just a trap," said Gonzalez.

He said a possible solution is to reduce Sun Fire to one lane in each direction so that a lane on each side can be designated for parking.

"The end of Sun Fire is a dead end. There's no need for two lanes of traffic to travel north and south," said Gonzalez.

Police advised parents to instead park along neighborhood side streets.

Gonzalez said he contacted the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department, but they said there was nothing they could do. He also contacted his city representative, Eddie Holguin, who promised to look into it.

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