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No parking - where?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

No parking - where?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 17, 2013

No Parking Sign in Woodstock No Parking Sign in Woodstock
When you see a no-parking sign that reads, "No Parking This Side of Street", how do you know where the parking restriction begins?

Recently, my attention was drawn to this sign at the corner of Julie Street and Russel Court, just east of the McHenry County Government Center. The sign is located right at the corner, at the beginning on the turn from one street to the other. It faces drivers northbound on Julie Street.

My first thought was that it meant that parking was prohibited at the curve, which would make sense, although most drivers ought to know to avoid parking in the curve of a street or at an intersection. But then I got to wondering. Could it mean no parking farther back?

An inspection of the City Code (Section 5.3.7) for Woodstock reveals that the no-parking zone actually begins 30 feet south of the centerline of Russel Court and runs to a point that is 170 feet south of the beginning point, or 200 feet south of the centerline of Russel Court.

And, if you think this sign is hard to read, that's because, when it's wet, it's nearly impossible to read, even standing right in front of it. Imagine parking 150 feet south of it, in what you believe is a legal parking area at the curb!

The City Code contains this direction at Section 5.3.18: "SIGNS POSTED Appropriate signs shall be posted in all aeas where parking is limited or prohibited, indicating such limitations or prohibitions."

Wouldn't it make more sense to place a sign at the beginning of a no-parking zone that read "No Parking Here to Corner"?

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