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Street Parking in Woodstock

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Street Parking in Woodstock

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 3, 2007

In the Fall 2007 City Scene is a clearly written article about on-street parking in Woodstock. The rules outlined are those that can be enforced by the police department. Other rules regarding off-street parking are enforced by Woodstock’s Code Enforcement Officer, who is not a police officer.

Most residents know about the 2AM-6AM on-street parking ban. Many know a police dispatcher can grant permission for a car to be parked overnight on the street, but the circumstances are limited. There should be coordination between the dispatcher and the beat officer, so that on-street parking permission is not abused. When there is ample room in a driveway, vehicles should be there and not on the street.

It would be interesting to learn the statistics from the police department for the number of tickets issued for 1) 2AM-6AM parking in each of the City’s four beats (patrol districts or quadrants); 2) vehicles on the street with For Sale signs; 3) vehicles parked in the parkway (the right-of-way next to the street); and 4) vehicles parked over a sidewalk. And what percent of tickets for (2), (3) or (4) were initiated by the officer without a complaint from a citizen.

Another common parking violation in Woodstock, but not mentioned in the City Scene article, is parking on the wrong side of the street. You’ve seen the cars with the driver’s door next to the curb or parkway in front of a house on a two-way street. State law requires cars to be parked with the right side of the car next to the curb on a two-way street.

This violation has been ignored for so many years in Woodstock that a huge uproar can be expected, if enforcement ever begins on a regular basis. Would it be fair to give one warning per address? Should it be one warning per vehicle? Or announce enforcement to begin in 30 days and give warnings for the next 30 days? There is probably no “right” solution to a problem that never should have been allowed to grow over the years.

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