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Posted on: September 17, 2019

Town Updates Traffic Ordinance, Note Changes to Parking and Codification of Official Traffic Map

Last month, Huntersville’s Board of Commissioners approved revisions to the town’s Traffic Ordinance that codifies various requirements related to parking, speed limits, etc. 

The town is sharing this information to remind residents and businesses that a traffic ordinance exists and to advise that various elements related to traffic have been added to the town’s code of ordinances.  The recently passed ORDINANCE TO AMEND TITLE VII, TRAFFIC CODE, OF THE HUNTERSVILLE CODE OF ORDINANCES AND RATIFY THE OFFICIAL TRAFFIC MAP FOR THE TOWN allows Town staff, in particular, the Town Manager or his designee, designate No Parking areas and determine the placement of traffic control devices within the Town on Town streets in response to requests by neighborhoods to designate certain areas on the Town streets within the neighborhood as No Parking areas.

A proposed policy to work with these neighborhoods on parking restrictions with a request form were also included in this agenda item. 

Upon viewing the ordinance, residents and businesses will notice a particular emphasis on not restricting vehicular travel through, be it through intersections or streets with side street parking. For instance, cars parking on the side of the curb or edge of the roadway must be within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the roadway and allow at least twelve feet of width of the roadway or marked travel lane.  

Another area of note in the amendments to the Traffic Code relate to the loading and unloading vehicles.  Under the new ordinance, 

  • It shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle in such manner as to prevent the use of any street, or portion thereof, for the purpose of travel for a period of time longer than five minutes. 
  • It shall be unlawful to stop a vehicle within an intersection or on a crosswalk for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers.
  • When parking for purposes of loading or unloading, no vehicle shall be allowed to extend past the curb or lateral edge of the roadway. Storage, loading and unloading shall be done with the vehicle parked parallel to the curb only, with the curbside wheels of the vehicle within 12 inches of the edge of the curb or edge of the roadway if there is no curb.
  • It shall be unlawful to load or unload a vehicle from any area designated as a No Parking area. For purposes of this paragraph, “No Parking area” shall include all areas where parking is prohibited by the terms of this ordinance or otherwise designated as No Parking, regardless of whether the designation is temporary, during restricted hours only, or without restrictions as to time or duration.
    • Per the amended Traffic Ordinance, no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic control device, in any of the following places:
      • On a sidewalk;
      • In front of a public or private driveway;
      • Within an intersection;
      • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;
      • On a crosswalk;
      • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk unless expressly marked or posted as a parking space;
      • Within 30 feet of a flashing beacon, stop sign or traffic control signal located at the side of the roadway unless expressly marked or posted as a parking space;
      • Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station;
      • Along or opposite any street excavation or construction when such stopping, standing or parking would obstruct traffic;
      • On any median, unless the vehicle is disabled or at the direction of a police officer, and then only temporarily for a period not to exceed 24 hours;
      • In violation of G.S. § 20-37.6, or otherwise in a space designated with a sign for handicapped persons, unless the vehicle displays the distinguishing license plates or placard specified in G.S. § 20-37.6;
      • In violation of G.S. § 20-37.6 or otherwise in such a location as to obstruct a curb ramp or curb cut for handicapped persons;
      • In any area designated as a fire lane, including those in a shopping center or mall parking lots and other public vehicular areas;
      • On the side of a street facing in other than the direction of travel;
      • On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street (double parking);
      • Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a street or within a street tunnel;
      • On a street or publically maintained alley so as to leave available less than twelve (12) feet of the width of the roadway or marked travel lane;
      • Within a designated bike lane unless expressly marked or posted as a parking space;
      • Within a turn lane, including but not limited to centerlane turn lanes.

Regarding the parking of oversized vehicles -- It shall be unlawful to park any motor vehicles in excess of 80 inches in width or in excess of 23 feet in length, or any trailer, on the streets within the corporate limits of the town at any time, except when engaged in loading and unloading, during the time when a licensed contractor is providing a professional service, for emergency services, or for temporary use at construction sites during the period of active construction.

Other minor clean up amendments to the Traffic Code were approved. As part of the adoption of these amendments to the Code, the Town staff is also requesting the Town Board to ratify the current Official Traffic Map for the Town. The Official Traffic Map is maintained by the Town Engineer as an electronic document. A paper copy is available for viewing at Town Hall.

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