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Borough police cracking down on potentially dangerous parking

May 20, 2012

Punxsutawney Borough Police officers Ryan Miller (left) and Kirk Brudnok demonstrate how a vehicle should not be cross parked, or parked facing oncoming traffic. Brudnok said officers are handing out warnings, but will begin to write citations if motorists continue to ignore the law. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Police officers are hoping to stop cross parking in the borough.

Police have received numerous complaints as of late throughout the borough regarding cross parking, or parking facing oncoming traffic, with the driver's side of a vehicle facing the curb, Punxsutawney Borough Police Chief Tom Fedigan said.

"There's a specific section in the Pa. Vehicle Code regarding cross parking," he said. "It requires (that) your right side wheels must be 12 inches from the curb, which means your vehicle must be parked facing in the direction that traffic flows on a street.

"Because of the amount of complaints, instead of addressing these individually, we're beginning to give warnings to motorists who cross park."

There's not a street in town that doesn't have someone who is cross parked, the chief said.

"We're going to give everyone a fair shake on this by issuing warnings," he said. "Anyone who has been warned two times to not cross park will be ticketed."

Fedigan hopes the warning system will educate the public, in addition to keeping both drivers and pedestrians safe.

"A lot of people just aren't aware that parking facing traffic is illegal," he said. "Your right wheels must be no further than 12 inches from the curb."

Kirk Brudnok, Borough Police officer, said there are other violations of the vehicle code that officers look for when on patrol.

"Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection is illegal," Brudnok said, adding that even if there isn't a crosswalk, drivers can't be parked within 20 feet of an intersection.

"If there's a stop sign there, by parking too close, you can cut down on the visibility," he said.

Brudnok said motorists are not permitted to park within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.

"Anywhere an official sign is posted that prohibits parking, people are not permitted to park there and will receive a citation," he said.

Ryan Miller, borough police officer, said another violation is parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

"Any time a motorist parks within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, (he or she) will be cited," Miller said.

Motorists are also prohibited from parking their vehicles along the street for longer than 48 hours.

"Parking is something we've been lenient with over the years, unless we receive complaints about it," Brudnok said. "Now that we're receiving more complaints about cross parking, there's going to be more enforcement."

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