The no parking signs are clear and 20 parents received a reading lesson from an Omaha police officer.
Megan Hake is one of those parents that was handed a parking ticket while sitting in her car waiting for her daughter at school. Megan said police should understand parking problems around Ashland Park Robbins Elementary near 51st and Q in Omaha.
Megan said, “The officer should have just issued us a warning, a verbal warning or asked us to move. That’s what I would have appreciated.”
Years ago the city installed no parking signs on the east side of 51st street across from the school. Neighbors had complained of parents blocking drives while waiting to pickup students.
Ashland Park Robbins Principal Jan Martin said there was an unwritten agreement that police would not enforce the no parking signs as long as parents stayed in their cars and moved along during the 15 minute pick-up time. Martin said, “We don’t ticket parents because its a short lived waiting period and the safety of the kids is most important.”
There is no other convenient parking close to the large elementary. Buses take up most of the west side of the street.
Omaha Police spokesperson Lt. Darci Tierney told Six On Your Side, “It appears that we did have an agreement with the elementary school. Since then there have been administration changes on both sides so that’s the problem with verbal agreements. Those things don’t always get passed along.”
Tierney said Omaha police asked the city prosecutor to dismiss the 20 parking tickets. Police and school officials will work on parking solutions that don’t involve parking tickets.
However school neighbor Bob Friesz said that parents are sending the wrong message. Friesz said, “They’re teaching their kids there’s no respect for the law because they don’t observe it."