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Should Police Just Ticket?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Should Police Just Ticket?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 26, 2008

Car Parked Across Sidewalk Car Parked Across Sidewalk

I believe it was in the summer of 2007 that Woodstock officers were quite aggressive, appropriately, about ticketing drivers who parked across sidewalks in the new housing development off Hercules Road east of Dean Street.

Almost every day throughout Woodstock one can see vehicles that are parked across sidewalks, blocking them for pedestrians and children on bicycles.

The vehicle at the upper right, parked at 358 Lake Avenue, just three blocks from the Woodstock Police Department, is the last vehicle in the driveway. If the other vehicles had pulled farther in, the driver would not have had to park across the sidewalk. Pedestrians were forced to walk into Lake Avenue, a busy thoroughfare, to pass this vehicle.

Drivers know not to block sidewalks, yet they do it, anyway. When there is no enforcement, drivers learn that they can park in this manner.

Another example is this vehicle, parked on Fremont St., one house east of 437. Every week vehicles park across this sidewalk, because the first drivers don't feel any need to pull forward in the driveway. This neighborhood is home to many small children who would otherwise use the sidewalk, except for the way in which this vehicle is parked.

Because of the general lack of enforcement in Woodstock for many years, I would favor a "gentle" campaign to alert drivers to the legal parking of their vehicles. One (only one) friendly warning notice from a police officer, without any direct contact, would take about 30 seconds. Place the warning under the windshield wiper, record its placement in the daily log, and move on. If the problem persists, issue tickets.

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