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Law is clear on parking rules: Don't face against traffic

A friend got a citation for parking his car in my neighborhood facing against traffic. Lately I see passenger cars, trucks and construction vehicles doing the same, parking every which way with impunity. What gives? - Maxine S., Ashland

Well Maxine, I hope it's not with impunity, because there is a statute on the books that does define proper parking. At the same time, I must admit I've seen a couple cars in my neighborhood doing the same thing.

The law that covers proper parking is listed in ORS 811.570 and is called improperly positioning a parallel parked vehicle. By reading it, it's fairly apparent that your friend was in violation of the law. It says a driver improperly positions a parallel parked vehicle if he or she stops or parks a vehicle on a highway where parallel parking is permitted and the vehicle is not parked in accordance with the following:

(A) Upon a two-way highway, the vehicle shall be positioned so that the right-hand wheels are parallel to and within 12 inches of the right curb or, if none, as close as possible to the right edge of the right shoulder.

(B) On a one-way highway where parallel parking is permitted on either side, a vehicle parked or stopped on the right side shall be positioned in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and a vehicle parked or stopped on the left side shall be positioned so that the left- hand wheels are parallel to and within 12 inches of the left curb or, if none, as close as possible to the left edge of the left shoulder.

(C) Where marked parking spaces are provided, a vehicle shall be positioned so that it faces in the direction in which vehicles in the adjacent lane of the roadway are required to travel and so that the wheels are within the parking space markings which are parallel to the curb or, if there are none, to the edge of the shoulder.

In summary, on a two-way road, you must park with the right- hand wheels next to the right-side curb or edge and be within 12 inches from the curb or edge, which makes parking against the flow of traffic illegal. One-way streets are the same, only right-side of vehicle to right edge of road and left-side of vehicle to left side of road, again with 12 inches. The provisions listed in sections A-C above do not apply to the driver of a vehicle that is disabled in such manner and to such extent that the driver cannot avoid stopping or temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in a position prohibited by this section. The offense described in this section, improperly positioning a parallel parked vehicle, is a Class D traffic violation, with a bail of $97.