Faults with No Parking Signs Raise DOT Issues
No parking signs serve many important purposes beyond enforcing parking regulations. They are essential for alerting drivers to reserving parking, keeping fire zones clear, and much more. Recently, in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois, a crosswalk near the neighborhood’s zoo was relocated when the street was repaved. The crosswalk was installed to decrease the crossing distance for pedestrians, increasing safety, but the existing no parking signs where never moved along with the crosswalk.
By not relocating the no parking signs, the crosswalk was frequently blocked to pedestrians by cars parked in front of the curb ramp to the walkway. The purpose of the no parking signs was to keep this pathway clear and increase visibility for both pedestrians and drivers, but without them, both parties suffered decreased warning time while passing through the area.
After months of efforts from citizens and officials to have the no parking signs relocated to the new crosswalk, the signs were refitted to fix the error.
A similar problem of improperly placed no parking signs plagued drivers outside of the Toronto Police headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Just as Chicago’s no parking signs needed to be installed to increase visibility, so to do the signs themselves need to be plainly seen.
In this case, an unusual traffic safety sign was posted in front of a no parking sign meant for the curb below, but with the two signs sharing real estate, the parking restrictions seemed to be meant for the nearby alley. Unfortunately for many drivers, this was not the case, and many who parked in front of the traffic safety sign that blocked the no parking sign where issued tickets by the city.
After being notified of the limited visibility of the no parking sign, Toronto DOT officials are adjusting the position of the traffic sign and no parking sign to make both signs plainly seen by drivers in the area.
In both cases, the primary purpose of the no parking signs is not to restrict parking but to increase safety in the area, and without placing these signs in the correct areas, in plain-sight, public safety suffers. Thankfully, the DOTs of both cities were able to fix the issues before any significant problems occurred.