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Reader questions large vehicles parking along Hwy 9, blocking view from driveways and side streets
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Is it legal for vehicles including pickup trucks with boats and trailers to park overnight on Highway 9 south of Felton? We find this a visual impediment when trying to exit our road onto Highway 9, especially when they are parked close to the intersection and on our right. It is impossible to see oncoming traffic until you are into the roadway. Thanks! CJ Parke, Felton A: The CHP fields these types of calls a couple times a year, said Officer Jeff Hatcher, the Aptos office's parking and traffic complaint officer. Below is his response, uncut: "Unfortunately, the California Vehicle Code does not prohibit parking on the shoulder of a state highway. However, 22505(a) VC allows Caltrans to place signs or markings prohibiting or restricting vehicles from parking. This includes vehicles over six feet in height, as referenced by Miss Parke. The residents of River Lane may document their concerns and bring the issue up to the local Caltrans supervisor to determine if erecting 'No Parking' signs within a certain distance of the intersection of State Route 9 and River Lane is prudent. This may relieve the problem. "The county has an ordinance, 9.60.710(c) - No person shall park a vehicle within 100 feet of the intersection of any county-maintained road where the vehicle exceeds six feet in height, including any sideboards which are attached to the vehicle and including any items which are loaded or contained in the vehicle’s bed or trailer. This only applies to county-maintained roads and exempts SR-9 and other state routes. "Erecting 'No Parking' signs on their fences may deter people from parking; however, it is not enforceable due to the fact there is no prohibition of parking on the shoulder of a state highway and the signs are not an official traffic control device. "As for the visual obstruction, it is important to remember when entering a roadway you must yield the right of way to any vehicle already established on the roadway and continue to yield until you can proceed with reasonable safety. As discourteous as it may be for a motor home, boat, camper or large truck to park right next to the intersection of a private road and a state highway, it does not absolve the driver of responsibility to enter the roadway safely. "One of our motorcycle officers responded to the location, but did not observe any visual hazards. He did observe a truck and boat combo, but was able to safely enter SR-9 from the driveway next to it."