Parking near ODU: Between a rock and a hard place

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Residents of 43rd Street, just off of ODU’s campus, say they’re being ticketed for parking in their own driveways.

To the passerby, it looks like there are a lot of cars and not a lot of space. But a Norfolk city spokeswoman says they received 27 separate complaints from one person, so they had to investigate.

Residents are paying a premium to live on 43rd Street and now they feel like they are paying to park in their own driveways.

“Parking here, it sucks,” said Christopher Scott, a student at ODU. “Somebody came through and just ticketed everybody straight down 43rd Street.”

Photos: Parking problems near ODU

An orange envelope on their windshield is what many residents on 43rd Street woke up to on Monday.

“I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen every car on 43rd Street with a ticket on it before,” said Culver Lamb, another ODU student.

Residents say they first parked their cars two-deep on their driveways. That blocked the sidewalk and they were ticketed.

Kirsten Davis, a homeowner on the street, said, “When you have more than one vehicle in your residence, it’s really hard to park. The parking is not good.”

Their solution was parking sideways at the edge of their driveways.

“I feel like there’s nowhere to park. We have tiny driveways,” said Lamb. “Five guys live in a house with five cars so two of us have to park on the street.”

They say they’ve been doing that since September and most of the time, don’t get ticketed.

“It’s just random,” said Lamb.

Their options are limited: Pay for an on-campus parking spot in a garage or park around the corner, but that comes with risks.

“Sometimes walking through neighborhoods back there in the middle of the night, it’s just unsafe,” said Lamb.

People say their cars have been broken into and stray bullets have left their marks.

Scott said, “I’m not feeling safe walking back, especially at nighttime.”

Students aren’t the only ones feeling unsafe and frustrated. Homeowners experience it, too.

“Visitors come over, where can they park? You don’t want to have your visitors park around the corner and then something happens to them,” said Davis.

Davis said her family has racked up 12 tickets in the last year, leaving them nearly $500 out. They’re looking to move, but for now, will take their chances.

The City of Norfolk spokeswoman says the edges of the driveways are part of the city’s right of way, and so it is illegal to park there. She also said residents have been contacted multiple times about proper parking.