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Letter to the editor: Watch out for driveways when parking

May 7th, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Posted by admin

To the BHB:

Recently I have heard about several people in the North Beacon Hill area getting parking tickets for parking where they normally park every day. Some people were complaining about not having permits in a permit area; others didn’t know what they were ticketed for.

The one I heard quite a bit about at the store was a guy who got a ticket for “…nothing. I was just parked there. Tight against the curb and everything.” He then added that he was between two driveways, but he insisted that he was clearly not in front of either one. When I asked him what they cited him for, he did not know. He claimed it was not “clearly stated on the ticket.”

Tickets are supposed to tell you the Seattle Municipal Code violation number. And since they are printed out on little computer slips, I am sure they do. He just didn’t know how to read the ticket, or it did not read “You were cited because of this reason…”

My guess: SMC 11.72.110 – Driveway or alley entrance. Which says it is illegal to park within five feet of a driveway. (It reads: “No person shall stand or park a vehicle in front of a public or private driveway within a street or alley or in front of or in an alley entrance or within five feet (5′) of the end of a constructed driveway return or alley entrance return, or if none, within five feet (5′) of the projection of the edge of the driveway or alley.” — Ed.) Which means if our guy had a car 15 feet long, the space between the two driveways would have had to have been 25 feet to leave room for his car, and he would have to be parked perfectly.

Here is the Seattle Department of Transportation blog post on the subject.

Parking too close to a driveway makes it so the resident can not turn into, or pull out of, their driveway — effectively blocking them in. It is not their responsibility to try and “squeeze” around someone else’s bad parking habits.

–Todd Simpson, North Beacon Hill

Don't do what this driver in Ravenna did. Photo by Josh Larios via Flickr/Creative Commons.

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