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Another new ordinance on parking

The third ordinance on parking – the one that Council passed on first reading last Monday – is an amendment to the city ordinances related to on-street parking. It will clarify some of the existing requirements to make it easier for police to enforce them and it will add some new provisions to discourage on-street parking of “oversized” vehicles.

Possibly one of the most important changes is one that seems like it should be unnecessary. The current ordinance states that when a vehicle is parked on the street, the edge of the vehicle must be within 12 inches from the curb (or edge of pavement. The new ordinance will specify that this means the street side of the curb. Council members learned that the police have not been ticketing vehicles parked one foot over the curb because the ordinance wasn’t clear as to which side of the curb it referred to. Most people understood the ordinance to mean that the vehicle should be parked on the street side, but the literal words of the ordinance are what counts when a ticket gets challenged in court.

The ordinance also states that, where parking spaces are marked on the street, parked vehicles must fit inside the lines painted on the pavement. Because most street spaces are 7 feet wide (by my measurements), this will prevent many “oversized” trucks, vans, and trailers from parking on most city streets. It’s expected to be easier for police to enforce rules about parking inside the lines than the previous proposal, which listed vehicle dimensions. Also, because those lines painted on the streets are intended to ensure that traffic can pass safely, a requirement that vehicles must fit inside the lines is pretty clearly related to maintaining public safety.

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One Comment

  1. Jim McDaniels says:

    Good ordinance. Agree with the other two about street parking, also.

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