Question: Is there any way I get my neighbor to stop parking his vehicles in front of my house in Bellingham? I understand that the street is public property; his vehicles are more of a nuisance than anything. The vehicles are permanently parked on the side of the road and rarely move. The neighbors have plenty of parking available in front of their house but insist on taking the few spaces in front of mine. Not only can my visitors not park in front of my house, but the neighbor's vehicles present a safety hazard when I'm pulling out of my driveway. His vehicles are much larger than mine and block my view of oncoming traffic.
Answer: No, there is no way to make your neighbor stop parking in front of your house. As you point out, the city street is public property. If the vehicles are being parked and left for long periods of time without moving, then they are In violation of the 24-hour parking rule that requires vehicles parked on the city street to be moved every 24 hours and not re-parked in the same block.
That's covered under Bellingham Municipal Code 11.33.060 - Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specific places - reserving portion of highway prohibited. Here are the appropriate subsections of violations:
A. 11. In front of a public or private driveway or within five feet of the end of the curb leading thereto. A vehicle in violation of this provision may be impounded immediately in the manner provided by this title for unauthorized vehicles if such vehicle obstructs ingress or egress to or from the driveway.
18. By reparking the vehicle in the same block to avoid a time limit regulation specified in this title.
25. For a consecutive period of longer than 24 hours in one place upon the city street.
E. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or erase chalk marks placed on a vehicle's tire by a police officer or parking control official without first removing the vehicle beyond the block where the vehicle was located when the chalk marks were placed on the tire.
This is enforced by the Bellingham Police parking enforcement officers by complaint.
Q: Is a turn signal required when you are in a designated turn-only lane?
A: Yes. RCW 46.61.305 When signals required - Improper use prohibited. 1. No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.
Legally you must use the turn signal. It also lets the drivers around you know that you really are paying attention and will be making the turn that you are supposed to make.
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DAVID WRIGHT is a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force