Town Restricts Street Parking During SMU Football Games

Kenneth Acker (21) and the Mustangs get fired up to face Stephen F. Austin. (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)
The Mustangs get fired up to face Stephen F. Austin at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in 2012. (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

Any fan of SMU Mustangs football knows that parking can get a little hairy on game day. But for residents who live near Ford Stadium, football traffic is not exactly a walk in the park, either.

For the upcoming season, the Highland Park Town Council has authorized the development of temporary, “resident-only” parking zones, much like those created during the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

“We had good feedback from that,” director of town services Ronnie Brown said of the policy instituted in April. “We felt like it was a successful program.”

The affected area is bounded by Mockingbird Lane, Hillcrest Avenue, Beverly Drive, and Airline Road.

To institute the zones, the town would first notify residents of the upcoming usage arrangements by mail.

Then, officials would put up the signs on Friday afternoon. Obviously, the zones would be enforced on Saturday during game traffic, and then the signs would come down “early Sunday morning.”

Frank Wood, whose home sits within the affected area, said he hopes the regulation will alleviate some of the trouble.

“I can hardly get in and out of the alleyway to go to my garage,” Wood said of game-day traffic. “I’m glad they’re not parking there anymore.”

There’s one little catch during this test drive: The town must be able to get parking signs down in time for services at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

“This is a trial,” Councilman Will Beecherl said. “We’ve got to make sure we get these signs [collected] on Sunday morning before church starts.”

Brown has been in contact with the assistant athletic director for SMU’s facilities to create the best game plan.

“Let’s see how it works,” Brown told the council.

But council members had a few questions, first, in addition to the church concern. For example, Councilman Larry Nixon contemplated how low attendance would affect the policy.

“This is all speculative,” Nixon said. “I have no idea what may happen in the future.”

Public Safety director Chris Vinson mentioned that if the program works well, it might also be used for SMU’s basketball season, as well as for high school playoff games.

“SMU does have the capacity for parking, technically, for any game,” Vinson said. “But it’s not always convenient.”

With so many options explored, there was just one last thing Mayor Joel Williams wanted to get straight.

“The town officially anticipates a successful season,” Williams added.

Bobby Karalla contributed to this report.

13 thoughts on “Town Restricts Street Parking During SMU Football Games

  • August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm
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    What does this mean for the 5 pm Cornerstone Worship Service on Saturday evenings? I’m glad those guys at Town Hall are thinking about this. Parking every where in HP is a nightmare – especially there!

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  • August 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm
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    Get ready for UP to follow suit. UP streets are already clogged up with visitors during home games. Now that HP is off limits they’ll all just head up to UP and make the situation on residential streets there even worse.

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  • August 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm
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    Why do the signs need to be down by Sunday morning? The church parking on Mockingbird is a far bigger nuisance than the football parking.

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  • August 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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    While they’re at it, they need to end street parking on Mockingbird on Sundays. The cars parallel parked along Mockingbird well into Sunday afternoon make an already grim situation completely intolerable. This is on top of the everyday nuisance of the idiots who pull up to the eastbound intersection at Abbott and don’t turn on their left turn signals until they’re stopped and the morons who don’t see the multiple signs warning westbound drivers that the right lane is a right turn only at Hillcrest, and then stop in the middle of the road to try to move over a lane. And sometimes we have the added thrill of keystone cops firing their weapons at everyone and everything while trying to capture an incompetently handcuffed suspect, but fortunately that only happened once.

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  • August 6, 2013 at 8:31 am
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    Gee Neal…so I guess those officers should have let an armed repeat felon wander the streets of HP with a firearm that he used to shoot out the window of the patrol vehicle to make his escape…and let’s not forget that the suspect turned that same firearm on those officers. I’m sure the first person he approached at that intersection would have been happy to have been carjacked by this stand-up citizen.

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  • August 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm
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    @AC – I would have preferred that the officers properly searched the suspect for weapons, removed those weapons from his person, and handcuffed him in such a way that he couldn’t shoot his way out of a police car.

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  • August 9, 2013 at 7:10 am
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    Thanks HP, making it even more inconvenient to park during gamedays. Why don’t you stop bitching and just come to the games?

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  • August 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm
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    Brad- We’re gonna bitch all we want and we are justified in doing so. SMU has more than enough parking on campus to accommodate every person who goes to the football games. The problem is the school is lead by greedy jerks and they charge 20-35 bucks to use it. Some people use it, but a lot more find easy free parking on the residential streets. SMU doesn’t give one lick about the inconvenience this causes the residents. And as for going to the games, who in the world wants to see some bunch of third string panty waists fall all over themselves like a bunch of idiots? The team sucks.

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  • August 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm
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    One more reason to prove HP residents think they are elitist. Just wondering, am I still allowed to drive through HP, or are they going to restrict that as well?

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  • August 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm
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    If people don’t like the parking situation near a football stadium, they shouldn’t live near a football stadium.

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  • September 5, 2013 at 10:39 am
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    In reply to VoiceofReason….did you put any thought at all into the statement you made? What about the people who have lived in that HP neighborhood for years or decades before the new stadium was built? Are they supposed to move now that there is a parking problem with the new stadium? It sounds like SMU and/or the city council didn’t plan the parking situation out very well or get the residents input. I know one senior livng on Drexel and twice in the past, some idiot parked his car actually blocking her driveway so she couldn’t get out in a medical emergency and the cars had to be towed away.

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  • September 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm
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    VoiceofReason, yeah more like Voiceof4thGrader. Thanks for your nonsensical, ham handed solution to this problem. Sure, we’ll all just move away so that SMU can play their pathetic football games. Thanks a lot.

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  • September 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm
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    Yes, Kat…you can drive thru if you want but you won’t be able to park anywhere on game day (such as trying to visit a friend) because the fans take up all the parking spots along the street. I went to visit someone on a game day and had to park on the next street over because four cars were already parked in front of the friend’s house!

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