A truck parked on along 39th Avenue SE near Archbishop Murphy High School. Snohomish County prohibits parking along streets with double yellow lines if other vehicles have to cross over the center line too pass. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

A truck parked on along 39th Avenue SE near Archbishop Murphy High School. Snohomish County prohibits parking along streets with double yellow lines if other vehicles have to cross over the center line too pass. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

No parking here: but that isn’t obvious to all

One reader says signs near Archbishop Murphy HS are needed to remind drivers parking is prohibited.

Being squeezed by parked cars when she accessed her street prompted Connie Coleman to write to Street Smarts.

She asked if the Snohomish County Roads Division had thought about putting up signs to prevent parking on the east side of 39th Avenue SE. The north-south road leads to the entrance of Archbishop Murphy High School.

“The western lane is considerably wider than the eastern lane, and allows for a whole line of parked cars. The eastern lane is not as wide, and if autos are parked on it, it obstructs access on 39th,” Coleman said. “Is there any consideration to place ‘no parking this side’ signs on the east side of 39th there?”

With considerable traffic coming from Archbishop Murphy and houses in a subdivision south of the school, cars parked on the narrow side impede traffic flow along the road, she said.

“There are frequently vehicles parked on the east side of 39th Ave. SE, particularly from about 4 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., right when Archbishop Murphy lets out, and Thomas Place residents are coming in and out,” Coleman said.

This reader is in luck — parking is already prohibited on the east side, according to Dale Valliant, the county’s traffic operations supervisor.

“The east side of the street was not designed to accommodate parking as indicated by the location of the painted center line. The entire east side of the street is designated as just a travel way,” Valliant wrote in an email. “If a vehicle were to park on the east side of the street it would be illegally blocking the northbound lane which is prohibited by Washington State law, RCW 46. 61.560 (1). Parked vehicles on the east side of the street can be ticketed and possibly removed.”

The county has not received any complaints about parking in this area, Valliant added.

Without signs it wasn’t obvious to me that cars couldn’t park on one side of the road. The key is the double yellow lines and width of the lane.

“The east side of the street is clearly marked with a curb one side and a double yellow line on the other. If a car were to park on that side of the street it would take up the entire through lane, forcing vehicles traveling north to cross over the center double yellow line, which is illegal,” Valliant said. “A parked vehicle cannot force a through vehicle over double yellow lines into oncoming traffic. They are illegally parked if they do so.”

Coleman would like to see the county put up “no parking this side” signs to remind drivers. But at least for now, she’ll have to rely on drivers knowing state law, because the county has no plans to add signage.

Got a question? Email me at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com or call 425-374-4165. Please include your name and city of residence.

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