Section 1 – Guidelines

1-1 Curb Parking – Purpose and Typical Use: The principal function of the streets in the Town of Dumfries is for the efficient movement of vehicles.  Parking and loading are considered secondary uses.  There are areas within the Town of Dumfries that shoulder or curb parking must be restricted to allow for more efficient movement of traffic.


1-2 Disadvantages and problems: Curb parking often generates problems related to accidents and traffic interference. A single parked vehicle can cause delay or pose a danger to vehicles. Some curb parking is necessary, but it should be monitored closely to maintain the proper control of the location and type of parking allowed. The following are the most common causes of accidents due to curb parking.

  • Vehicle parked in roadway
  • Vehicle leaving parking space
  • Vehicle entering parking space
  • Passenger exiting parked vehicle
  • Reduced site distance for vehicles and pedestrians (especially near intersections)

The most common ways to lessen the adverse effects of parking on the capacity of the street is prohibition of parking, stopping, standing, and loading along major streets. In addition, where parking is permitted too close to intersections, the result is blocked site distance and poor visibility of vehicles and pedestrians.


Section 1.3-Warrants for parking prohibition: Parking prohibition can be warranted for three conditions; statutory, capacity, and hazard.

Table 1- Parking criteria for Local Streets


Street Width Requirements1
Type of Parking One way traffic Two way traffic
No Parking Less than 18 feet Less than 28 feet
Parking one side only Minimum 18 feet Minimum 28 feet
Parking both sides Minimum 26 feet Minimum 36 feet


Section 1.4- Types of Restriction: Control of curb parking is accomplished through the adoption of various parking regulations, implemented by signing and supported by enforcement. The following types of regulations are the most common:

  • No Parking – this regulation is used where occasional stopping will not impede the safe and efficient flow of vehicles. This regulation permits loading and unloading of goods. It may be used throughout the day on major roads or only during peak hours or special events
  • No Standing – This regulation allows for a driver to stop for passenger pickup, but does not allow unloading of merchandise from trucks. This restriction should be in effect all hours of the day.
  • No stopping or Standing – This regulation is used where the presence of stopped vehicles during any hours would constitute a critical impediment to the safe and expeditious flow of traffic. These might include areas near fire stations, or near signalized intersections. This restriction should be in effect all hours of the day.
  • No Parking (Loading) Zones – This regulation reserves space for truck loading, bus stops, and taxi zones. This regulation is typically posted with specific hours and days of operations.


Section 1.5 – Restrictions: In order to help protect the most important locations and reduce the most common accident location, the town reserves the right to enforce parking restrictions in the following locations.

  1. On a sidewalk.
  2. Adjacent to a school.
  3. In front of a public or private driveway.
  4. Within 15’ an intersection.
  5. Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.
  6. Within a minimum of 30 feet of any traffic control device such as a stop sign or traffic signal.
  7. On the roadside of any vehicle stopped or parked (double parking).
  8. Near any hazardous or congested place.
  9. Within 20 feet of a cross walk at an intersection 30 feet at signalized intersection.
  10. On or within 20 feet of a cross-walk.
  11. Within 20 feet of a fire station entrance.
  12. Within 75 feet of a fire station on the opposite side of the street.
  13. Within a minimum of 15 feet of driveway, 5 feet of radius or flare return.
  14. Any location without proper sight distance.


Section 1.6 – Special Purpose Zones: Parked vehicles may interfere with other important operations along the curbside area. Many businesses, schools, or Town services require the absence of parked cars during some or all hours of the day. The definition and application of several special zones have been described here below.

Loading zones are areas needed for the loading and unloading of goods. Typically parking is prohibited in these areas. Usual zone lengths of 30 to 60 feet are recommended. Extensions of existing no parking areas are encouraged. Proper enforcement is required to prevent violations. Loading zones should be signed during all active hours and days of loading operations.

Bus zones or bus stops are used to the expeditious loading and unloading or passengers. These stops may include bus stands. The typical parking prohibition in these zones is 50 to 145 feet depending on the bus size, location of stop and number of busses stopping at a time. Standing is not allowed for vehicles to load or unload in a bus zone. Passenger car pick-up and drop off is typically allowed in the bus zone. These zones may be restricted during operational hours of the transit system.

Passenger zones allow for the pick up and drop off of passengers by private vehicles at designated places.

Time limit restrictions are often used to encourage higher turn over such as 15- min. parking or one-hour parking. Signs are usually placed to convey the message. This can be effective at high turn over places such as banks, post offices, or loading areas. Part-time restrictions are often enforced for rush hour or critical times for improved traffic flow. When increased roadway capacity becomes more important than direct access part-time restrictions can be effectively used. Specific days or times of effectiveness may be placed on these restrictions. For example: ONE HOUR PARKING 7AM TO 6PM.

Signs should be installed identifying all parking restrictions and conditions. All sign color, size and location should follow to Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Signs should be placed on existing poles whenever possible. Signs should be well maintained from damage and wear. Signs should be placed from 7 to 10 feet above the curb and no closer than 2 feet from the edge of the curb. Typical MUTCD signs used for parking restrictions are attached.


Section 2-1 – INITIATION OF PARKING RESTRICTIONS: Parking restrictions on a block or street may be initiated upon the following:

1. Request of the Town Council.

2. Request of the residents of the street or block.

3. Identification by Public Works of a potential problem.

4. Staff verification of the request, directive, and / or need.

All requests for parking restrictions will be referred to the Public Works Department where such requests will be logged and evaluated.

Section 2-2 Department Requests and Town Council Directives: All requests by Town Council directives will be considered and evaluated.

Section 2-3 Requests from Residents: Parking restrictions will be considered and evaluated upon the submittal of a petition signed by 75% (percent) of the residents of the block(s) or street(s) where the restriction is requested.

The petition must state on which side of the street where the restriction is to apply. Residents on both sides of the street must sign the petition.  Prior to any parking control not based on safety or traffic flow considerations, staff must be assured of support by the residents and / or the property owners of record affected by the proposed controls. For the purpose of the determining the attainment of the 75% (percent) figure, businesses, churches, and vacant lots / houses are excluded from the number needed to initiate a staff evaluation of parking restrictions.

With regards to multi-family properties, the number of units directly adjacent to the street where the restrictions are to be installed are to be counted in the total needed. Either the owner of the units, the president or the chairperson of the board of an HOA or the residents of the units adjacent to the street may petition. A petition constitutes notification of a proposed change in parking.

Restrictions will be considered for a minimum of a full block to avoid confusing and separate property- by-property restrictions. Once the signed petition is returned to the Public Works Department, it will be validated as to the signatures and if all applicable criteria is satisfied, the parking change will be made, signed and notification made to law enforcement.

Section 2-4 Staff Initiated Restrictions: Parking restrictions may be implemented by the Public Works Department without a 75% (percent) petition based on the following criteria:


1.   Safety

2.   Emergency vehicle access

3.   Traffic operational needs

4.  Consideration of restrictions initiated by identifiable accident problems, volumes exceeding 2,500 vehicles per day, geometry, driveway access and service vehicle access space.

5.   Shoulder maintenance costs being excessive

Through the staff initiated process, parking may be restricted to one or both sides of the street. For streets less than 28-ft. wide (back of curb to back of curb), restrictions will typically be placed on both sides of the street unless unusual conditions warrant. Availability of off-street parking and access to residential driveways will be considered as part of the decision to restrict parking.

Residents along the area of a change in parking will be notified of restrictions prior to installation of control signs.


A resident, property owner, homeowner association, etc. not in favor of initiated restrictions may appeal the restriction(s) directly to the Town of Dumfries Town Council.