In an otherwise quiet Central El Paso neighborhood, traffic has become an increasing concern for residents. For Lyle Horiuchi, the issue has resulted in cars parked on the street being hit.
"My stepson's car got damaged quite a bit," Horiuchi said. "The left tail light got hit. Probably about - almost $5,000 worth of damage. And so now it's become not just a concern, but a major issue. Not only financially, but also for safety reasons."
Horiuchi and his family began parking just off the street, on a brick area in front of the house. But they've been getting fined for parking there - twice now, $55 each. Horiuchi said it's a confusing situation. He thought they were following the law.
"We thought that was the resolution or the solution for our problem, but apparently not," Horiuchi said.
According to the city, on neighborhood surface streets, you can park on any unmarked curb, as long as it's not near a crosswalk, fire hydrant or stop sign, or blocking a driveway. You can also park on your driveway and paved sections of your yard as long as you don't block the sidewalk. Where you cannot park is on the sidewalk or parkway - the area between the sidewalk and street.
"One of the reasons that it is illegal to park on the parkway is because of safety concerns," Code Compliance Manager Elda Hefner said. "Obviously, if you have a sidewalk, you're going to have pedestrians, maybe even cyclists. So the concern to run over someone is - the potential is there."
There is some confusion among residents about how the ordinances work. Horiuchi even took a picture of a few streets away of a sheriff's deputy vehicle parked on the parkway. The city stresses that the ordinance applies equally.
"There are no exceptions," Hefner said. "You cannot park on the parkway - period."
Horiuchi said he'd like to see a solution to the problem.
"Perhaps some speed limit signs to slower the traffic," Horiuchi said. "But slowing the speed still doesn't reduce any the accidents that may occur because the streets aren't wide enough, or there's too many cars parked on the street.
The city's transportation department says it's working with City Council Rep. Larry Romero to address issues in the neighborhood, and the sheriff's office says that all deputies are expected to follow all laws and ordinances, wherever they are.
The El Paso Municipal Code regulations about parking are available online on the city's website.