A much-discussed law that bans parking within 20 feet of an intersection passed unanimously Oct. 17 but cannot go into effect until other actions take place, officials say.
Aldermen gave unanimous approval to an ordinance, “clarifying no parking distances near intersections,” but where the law will be enforced is not clear.
Police won’t issue any parking violation tickets based on this law until aldermen approve a list of the intersections and the no parking areas have been marked, according to Police Chief Matt Mansell.
The ordinance was triggered by concerns about visibility for motorists crossing South First Street at Orleans Street when vehicles are parked too close to the corner on the north side of Orleans Street.
Proponents of the new law said a safety hazard exists because crossing motorists cannot see approaching traffic until they pull into the traffic lane past the parked vehicles.
It also was discussed that there are other intersections in the city where visibility is a concern and where the new no parking rule should be applied.
City Attorney Robert Jones, who crafted the ordinance, said he thought that the police department would be asked to do a study and identify the intersections. He said no enforcement could take place without further action.
Mansell said no one had yet asked his department to create the list of intersections.
“I’m not sure who is working on the list,” he said. “But no one has asked me to create a list and we won’t enforce anything until the no parking areas are marked.”
The new law says public health and safety require clarification of no-parking areas near intersections.
Under the new rules stopping, standing or parking are prohibited — except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic — within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection as those terms are defined in Section 300.020.
Jones said any intersections that have sidewalks that reach to the intersection across from each side of the street are assumed to have a crosswalk between the two sidewalks even if no crosswalk is marked.
As it applies now, parking is restricted at four intersections listed in Schedule IV and IV-A of the Traffic Code.
That section prescribes two-hour parking on First Street between St. Louis and Union and on Fourth Street between St. Louis and the railroad tracks, 15-minute parking on the first 50 feet of the northwest corner of South First at Orleans and no parking within 155 feet of the northwest corner of Union at North Second Street.
Those no-parking areas are clearly marked with signs.
The schedule does not include any intersections where the new 20-feet parking rules apply.
Jones said the city will have to develop the list of intersections where parking will be restricted and mark the no-parking areas before enforcement could begin.