Officers explain parking violations in the Fan

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VCU students return from spring break this week, bringing with them increased parking issues in the Fan.

Now through the end of the Semester, Richmond police officers are ramping up their parking enforcement.

Cars line the street, parked bumper to bumper.

"People will find any little space they can find even if it's not really a parking space, on corners or next to alley ways or like halfway in the street," said Fan resident Colleen Miehm.

Each one of those categories is in violation of the city code. Sector Lieutenant Edward Capriglione says officers can ticket cars blocking fire hydrants and bus stops, and vehicles parking too close to road and alley intersections.

The limit, a 20 foot cushion.

"It gives people that are driving cars the opportunity to clearly see when they pull out, if they are to cross or make a turn at a stop sign, " said Lt. Capriglione. "If vehicles are parked so close to an intersection it just reduces the visibility to almost zero and it just increases the likelihood that there will be a crash at that intersection."

We showed Lieutenant Capriglione a number of confusing scenarios.

Take this one, where the parking permit sign is right up against an alleyway.

"There is a misperception that you can park up to this sign but technically the ordinance is 20 foot back from this intersection," he said. "So where the alley comes out, technically 20 feet back is where the parking zone would start and it's not here at the sign."

Or this one where a car is parked within 20 feet of an alley but is obeying a no parking sign.

"Technically this car is in violation of the city's ordinance of being within 20 feet of an alleyway intersection so technically this vehicle could be cited, although the sign is confusing," he said.

Regardless of what justification you can come up with here's the moral of the story.

"I would always keep in mind when you're parking in the fan to stay 20 ft. or more away from any intersection, whether it be an alleyway intersection or the intersection to a roadway," said Lt. Capriglione.

The fine for parking within twenty feet of a crosswalk, intersection or alley is 40 bucks.

Police say they'll continue the ramped up enforcement through the end of the semester.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.