I am the Safety Officer for a small suburban volunteer fire department. Our service area includes many subdivisions of newer homes on cul-de-sac type roadways.

We recently had a call for an unresponsive female to one of these areas and were not able to get any equipment to the scene because of cars parked on both sides of the street due to neighborhood parties that weekend. One of our county squads was able to make it there after creeping through the cars.

This incident caused quite an argument between the residents and our Chief this week at a township meeting. The chief wants no parking signs posted to ensure safety, the residents want curbside parking.

The streets are curbed and about 20’ wide. NFPA states roadways are to have 24’ of clearance. Our state law states 20’ clearance.

My question is this: Has anyone else had this type of problem, and if so what have you done to solve it?

Thanks for your help,

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Funny isn't it how the stink is because the residents want curbside parking, yet fail to see that it could be a hinderance for FF's to get to them if they are the ones calling.

Seems this should be something taken up by the governing body and there could be an avenue for compromise, like odd and even side parking. When I volunteered, the village had small streets as well, but to address the access issues residents, and visitors, had to park on the odd side of the street on odd number days and even side on even number days. This prevented the vehicle from staying in the same place days or weeks on end and also kept the street accessible.
Wow, that is what I call a fast response!

Thanks for the idea. I am going to take these ideas to the next township meeting.

Seems like it would be a good idea to pass a local ordinance requiring any new streets to be wider. Won't help you right now, but maybe in the future (assuming your town isn't already built out). Might want to work on getting that state minimum increased for new streets as well.
In my area, when older roads are not wide enough to park on both sides due to public safety access, the Police Chief can recommend to the city council to enforce a parking ban to one side only... seen it done before.
I think part of the problem is the Trustees don't want any "waves" made over this. They seem reluctant to do anything. The Chief is tring to push them to do something. This is not the first time he has had to do some pushing. I think by showing them the state law, they would have to do something to solve it.

Thanks for your help.
Our only law enforcement is the local Sheriff's department. Budget cuts have cut them down to 2 road officers for the whole county. They could patrol the area more, but I would not count on much enforcement over parking violations.

There has been talk in the past of the township starting a police department with one or two officers, but the issue always seems to die off without anthing being done.

Thanks for the comment
We have parking on one side of the street only.
Normally we would close the street for large calls, but on this call the cars were there before we got there. Some people saw us coming and tried to move thier cars only to cause more congestion.

I like the parking on one side idea, this would still give us room to get through. Getting the trustees to go with it will be the next challenge.

This poses another question. Can a township (in Ohio) enact traffic laws and make the Sheriff’s department enforce them, when the township has no local law enforcement?
Lay on the air horn and hope nobodys on the sidewalk...LOL Joking. We dont really have that problem where I live. Our area dosnt have curb side parkin. We are all rual 2 lane rds. Every body parks in there drive ways. If not and they do park on the rd side they must have there tires all the way off the rd or it will be towed.
It's probably going to take a county ordinance ,which takes an act of God sometimes!
Surely the local bodies have to abide by State law? Aren't your State laws higher than local?

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