In the Clear Lake community of Houston, neighbors are complaining that local police are handing out tickets for the infraction of parking in their own driveways. Parking management of Houston says that the law forbids parking vehicles in such as way that they block the sidewalk. The law is there to ensure that pedestrians do not have to walk around vehicles or into the street while using the sidewalk right-of-way. 
 
Residents of Clear Lake believe that ParkHouston, the city’s parking management, is targetting their neighborhood. Since October, more than 1,800 tickets have been issued for “blocking or parked on sidewalk” infractions. The biggest problem with the practice is within the “Loop”: Interstate 610, which encircles the metropolis and divides inner Houston from outlying areas. Among the areas hardest hit are neighborhoods where NASA employees reside.
 
ParkHouston is assiduously issuing tickets for the infraction, even while admitting that many citizens do not know that there is a law they are violating. Parking officers issue tickets if any vehicle is parked so as to prevent a wheelchair from passing by on the sidewalk. Officials with ParkHouston contend that many residents have turned their garages into living areas where their vehicles should be kept.
 
Representatives of ParkHouston are available to talk to neighborhood groups about the law and how to avoid tickets.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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