Friday Feb 15 2008
Neighborhood near Folsom High School turns into parking lot
By: Tim Menicutch Telegraph Editor
Most teenagers, despite a bad rap, never really mean any harm. Often they are misunderstood, especially by adults. I know it's hard to believe, but I was once a teenager. Fortunately, I still have some recollection of what it was like. Now I live under the same roof with two teenage boys. I always try to keep an open mind not only with the two teenagers I help raise, but also with their friends and any others I encounter in my daily life. In my dealings with the teenage crowd, I have generally found they will listen to recommendations. But you kind of have to use kid gloves. They are at an age where rebellious tendencies surface almost through osmosis. So conversations with members of this age group are usually best served in non-confrontational terms. If teenagers encounter a problem “ and they will because they are no longer kids yet still not quite grownups “ I have found the best way to deal with it is to offer advice, but not too sternly. Let them think for themselves. They're pretty smart. So, that brings me to my next point. Juniors and seniors parking on public streets in a neighborhood adjacent to Folsom High School, use your brains. We get it that parking someplace besides the designated student lot at the school is easier and more convenient. It's closer to classrooms and it's certainly an easier exit than the mass exodus navigating the student lot after the final bell. We can't tell the students, ˜No, you can't park there,' said Paul Richards, principal at Folsom High. They are public streets. But we recommend they don't park there. But if you must park in front of someone's house, at least show some common courtesy. Turn down the bass-pounding stereo before parking and don't turn it on again until driving out of the neighborhood. That's not asking much. No skidding tires or revving engines, either. There might be kids asleep and even if there aren't, it's annoying to hear racing cars in front of your house. And please don't toss your empty Doritos bag on the street or loiter near your car before schools starts or after it ends. People live there. They deserve some privacy. Logic dictates all of these are sound ideas in relation to parking in a neighborhood. It's not complicated. Common courtesy carries a lot of weight. And if these don't sound like good ideas, then there will be consequences, namely the elimination of your cozy, convenient parking places when the people in the neighborhood have had enough and lobby city council to make the streets either time parking zones or no parking zones. I think if the kids were a little more respectful, there might not be an issue here, said Mark Rackovan, city engineer. The core of the problem is the nuisance factor in the neighborhood. Those people have a right to a certain quality of life. As Rackovan points out, there is no perfect solution to the problem. But there are solutions, however harsh they might seem. If it would help the neighborhood, I think some kind of parking restrictions are in order, Richards said. It's like fences. They make good neighbors. Visiting teenagers could make good neighbors, too, if they'd just stop and think about it a minute.