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Should Police Ticket?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Should Police Ticket?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 4, 2008

Truck Parked Across Sidewalk

There is a problem all over Woodstock that some feel needs attention. The problem? Drivers who park cars and trucks across sidewalks and leave them there.

This truck with an Illinois temporary license was blocking the sidewalk on Sunday morning on Tryon Street across from St. Mary's Catholic Church. Could it be that it was there just a few minutes - or maybe it was there all night?

Woodstock residents have gotten away for years with parking across sidewalks and not receiving tickets. This could be why the problem is so widespread.

My suggestion to the Police Department is a 30-day warming-up period with plenty of publicity and some one-page warning notices placed under windshield wipers of illegally parked vehicles blocking sidewalks. Not even a formal Warning - just a polite warning and information about Woodstock's prohibition of blocking sidewalks. Because of the lack of enforcement it's fair to provide some warning in town that the police will start enforcing the law. Pick a date. Any date. Say, July 1st.

Then enforce the law. All the officer has to do after the warming-up period is pause, write the ticket, hang in on the car and move on.

But adequate publicity is needed. Newspaper, radio, posters at the local markets and big box stores, plus warnings, will get the word out. After that? Neighbors will likely help out neighbors with information and reminders, and the problem will disappear.

Think there is any chance that this might happen?


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