Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Clayton Parking Enforcement to Begin January 1

Beginning January 1, the Town of Clayton will begin to enforce parking regulations, and issuing fines, especially in the downtown area and in the vicinity of Clayton High School and The Clayton Center. According to Mayor Jody McLeod, “Because of the amount of growth in downtown there needs to be control over the parking to ensure safety.”

Violations include parking:
• Further than 18 inches from the curb
• With left side of the vehicle to the curb, except on one-way streets headed in the direction of traffic
• In a municipal parking lot between 11 pm Sunday – Thursday and midnight – 5:30 am on Friday & Saturday
• On the sidewalk
• In front of a public or private driveway
• Within an intersection
• Within 20 feet of an intersection (Council amended the distance from 30-feet to 20-feet in October, 2010)
• On a crosswalk
• Within 30 feet of a stop sign, traffic signal or flashing light located at the side of a road
• Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station
• On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street (“double-parking”)
• On any bridge or other elevated structure or within any underpass structure
• Within an officially designated fire lane
• Within five (5) feet of a private road or driveway
• At any place where official signs or markings prohibit stopping or parking
• Parking in “no parking” areas

The most common violations are parking on the sidewalk and within 20 feet of an intersection.

Violators will be assessed a civil penalty rather than a fine, which enables the Town to retain all funds collected from parking tickets and seek civil judgment in court against offenders who do not pay the fine. The amendment to the Town Ordinances was adopted by the Town Council at the beginning of October.

A first notice of violation will be subject to a $25.00 penalty and second and subsequent notices of violations will be $75.00. Additional penalties will apply if the fines are not paid on time.

Although enforcement will be stepped up, there has been no change to the parking ordinances which were adopted by the Town Council in 1987, other than the penalty sections. There are some existing visual aids, such as signs, to help drivers comply with the law. For example, “Wherever you see a yellow curb, you shouldn’t park there,” said Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator. “The yellow curb indicates a no parking zone. You may not legally park your car adjacent to a yellow curb. Another point to understand is that a “No Parking” sign generally means parking is prohibited on the whole block – not just the space in front of the sign,” he added.

As part of the public awareness process, police officers will issue a warning to most first time offenders, unless it is a flagrant violation that compromises public safety, but after that, offenders will receive the penalty.

The Town of Clayton Parking Ordinance is available online by visiting the Town of Clayton website, http://www.townofclaytonnc.org/ and clicking on “Government” then “Code of Ordinances.” In the Quick Search box, type “Chapter 73” then on the list click “Chapter 73: Parking.”

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