Cambridge Police explain new parking ordinance

CAMBRIDGE — On July 11, 2016, section 11-11 of the Code of Ordinances entitled “Prohibited Parking” was amended to prohibit parking in the following manner: On the left side of a two-way street, resulting in the tires on the left side (i.e. driver’s side) of the vehicle being immediately adjacent to the curb. Parking may occur on the left side of one-way streets, provided the left side of the street is not designated or posted as “No Parking.”

While it is new to Cambridge this ordinance exists in many cities and towns. There are a number of safety reasons for creating this ordinance:

• Parking with your left wheels to curb required you to cross a lane with oncoming traffic.

• If you are parked with your left wheels to the curb and put your vehicle in motion, oncoming traffic will not expect a car coming at them from the right side of the road.

• Placing your vehicle in gear requires you to step on the brake. If you are parked left wheels to curb bicyclists, pedestrians and other motorists won’t see your brake lights and thus won’t be alerted the vehicle is in motion.

• Our vehicles are outfitted with reflective material in the rear which make it more visible to oncoming traffic when it is parked properly.

• When parked left wheels to curb, you are seated in a position which makes it difficult to see oncoming traffic when a vehicle is parked in front of you and you don’t have the benefit of our driver’s side view mirror to see vehicles approaching.

• Vehicles parked on the proper side of the street makes it easier for drivers to identify streets that are one way.

As with any new law, there must be an education component prior to enforcement. The police plan to educate the public through press releases, radio shows, its website, and social media. They are also going to issue warnings to vehicles observed parked left wheels to curb. These warnings will be printed on yellow paper and will describe the violation. The police intend to issue warnings until Oct. 31. Any vehicles parked left wheels to curb after Nov. 1 will be subject to a $25 parking ticket.

A second new ordinance is more straightforward. The police are hoping to curb the urination and defecation that has been occurring in public places. The state law does not specifically cover this activity, but it is necessary to have the ability to restrict this activity in order to keep our public places clean.

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