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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

After a driver gets a ticket for being 40 inches from the curb, a reader wonders: What are the rules for parking? – Post Bulletin

By Vaseline May26,2024
After a driver gets a ticket for being 40 inches from the curb, a reader wonders: What are the rules for parking?  – Post Bulletin

Dear Answer Guy: My friend parked on the street downtown for an appointment at the Baldwin Building. We are talking about a van with disabled license plates. When she returned to her vehicle, the meter still had plenty of time, but there was a ticket on her windshield. She questioned the $35 ticket and visited City Hall to inquire about the ticket. The clerk pulled up the information on her computer and showed us a photo of a ruler measuring the distance from the edge of the curb to the tire. The distance was 14 inches. The clerk told me that the state of Minnesota requires motorists to park no further than a foot from the curb. Can you imagine parking enforcement measuring the distance to the curb? Have you ever heard of this rule? I didn’t do that, not even in my driver training, so many years ago. Is that really a rule? – Guilty by 5 centimeters.

Dear guilty person,

First, I hope you paid the $35 immediately. In his youth, Answer Man once failed to pay for a ticket, and the punishment later became much worse.

That said, if you missed this information during driver training, I’m assuming it was because you couldn’t find parking and were late that day.

Let’s start with Minnesota Statute 169.35, Subdivision 1, which states: “Except where angle parking is permitted by local ordinance, any vehicle located on a two-way street or parked where there is an adjacent curb shall be so stopped or parked with the right hand wheels of the vehicle parallel to and within 12 inches of the right curb, except that such exception shall apply to a state highway only upon approval by the commissioner.”

There are additional portions of 169.35 that are on non-curb roads and one-way streets (same 12 inches, but sometimes on the left), but since this is downtown Rochester, I’ll bypass those.

As they say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

In addition, if you were given a driver’s manual when you took driver training, the 12-inch rule will be in the manual. Page 43 of the 2023 version: “When a vehicle is properly parallel parked, the wheels at the curb shall be no more than 12 inches from the curb.”

There is more. Point the wheels toward the curb because the car is coming out of park or the parking brake has failed. The vehicle rolls towards the curb and not into traffic. Also, don’t park on crosswalks, within 10 feet of fire hydrants, 50 feet of railroad tracks, on a bridge, in front of a mailbox, and a dozen other things.

Finally, you wondered if RPD should measure tires and curbs. I would suggest that the RPD should enforce parking ordinances uniformly. Furthermore, you have to wonder why we use the 12-inch rule. If cars protrude too far into the roadway, this can pose a risk of accident.

I hope your friend doesn’t base her perception of our beautiful city on a justified ticket. That said, I hope she can park within the rules in the future.

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