Iraqi Consulate causes Southfield parking gridlock, neighbors say

- People in Southfield are fed up with parking in their neighborhood, claiming Iraqi Consulate visitors and officials are taking over their street and blocking driveways.

"We feel they need to relocate they are now taking over our subdivision," said a neighbor.

Frustrated and fed up, the Southfield resident who wants to remain anonymous, contacted FOX 2 after she says every year her subdivision becomes a parking lot from January to April.

"We can't go to our jobs, we can't function, without asking someone to move out of our driveway," the resident said.

She said the flow of traffic into her community is caused by people visiting the Iraqi Consulate located on 12 Mile 

"We're not sure what takes place but they come from all across the country," she said. "This particular building we found through research services 17 different states they park wherever they want."

She says residents have complained to city officials and last year these one sided parking signs were put up to help make Glasgow Street less congested

Neighbors in this subdivision say despite their complaints this parking issue continues to grow. On Pierce Street there are no one-sided parking signs. Instead, both sides are being used for parking making it difficult for vehicles to get by.

So Fox 2 contacted Mayor Kenson Siver for answers

"I have asked our parking enforcement people to be out there every day issuing tickets," Siver said.

Fox 2 also went to the Iraqi Consulate looking for answers.

Officials identifying themselves as diplomats would not go on camera but they said they are giving out life certificates for Iraqi citizens living in the U.S. so they can get retirement pensions and that is why it is so crowded

They go on to say that "We have been contacted by city officials and we urge our clients to park in the lot and not the street but we can't control the people."

Mayor Siver disagrees.

"The staff at the consulate needs to direct people they need to be part of the solution," he said. "And I've asked them to do that."

Mayor Siver says he is meeting with consulate officials later this month.

"Honestly I like having the Iraqi Consulate in Southfield," Siver said. "Its good business but that doesn't mean they make the neighborhoods impassable."

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