From the Forum – 25 feet from stop sign tickets. Is it legal?

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25 feet from stop sign tickets. Is it legal?

“DC legal gurus, is it legally permissible for the city to place parking signs which indicate it is OK to park less than 25 feet from a stop sign despite such signs being in direct contradiction of the law?

In DC, it’s a violation ($50) if you park within 25 ft of stop sign, [18 DCMR § 2405.2(d)]… and the city has been cleaning up for years with inconsistent signage.”

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18 Comment

  • I thought you are allowed to park within a certain feet of a stop sign unless it said no parking. Read something about this sometime ago- in regards to logan/dupont neighborhood.

  • If the sign overrides the normal 25′ rule, then I’d go with the sign and not spend any time or energy worrying about it. Without digging into the traffic code, it just makes sense that you could successfully contest a ticket when the sign is inconsistent with a general rule. Also, it’s only 1 data point, but the residential parking sign right in front of my house is way closer than 25′ to the stop sign — more like 8 or 9. In 10 years I’ve never seen anyone ticketed, as long as they’re behind the sign.

    • I’m pretty sure this is how it works. Don’t park closer than 25′ to a stop sign unless there are signs explicitly permitting it. I’m no lawyer but the code cited by OP (18 DCMR § 2405.2) seems to say as much.

      • ah

        I agree . . . the 25 foot rule applies only if there’s no sign.

        18 DCMR 2405.2
        No person shall stand or park a motor vehicle or trailer, whether occupied or not, in any of the following places (including for the purpose of loading or unloading materials), except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or at the direction of a police officer, traffic control sign, or signal; provided, that a vehicle may stop momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers:
        . . .
        (d) Within twenty-five feet (25 ft.) of the approach side of any “STOP” or “YIELD” sign located at the side of the roadway;

        • This is NOT true, the no parking law within 25 ft of a stop sign somehow overrides the parking availability signage, I have been ticketed for it before, despite there being contradictory signs. I even contested the ticket, with no luck.

          • Then you were unlucky to get both a ticket writer and hearing officer that are both incompetent. Signs overrule pretty much everything. And even if that’s not a technical rule, inconsistent rules/signage are well established grounds for an appeal.

  • At some intersections, a car parked close to a stop sign blocks visibilty, e.g., 17th St NW and Iriving Street in Mount Pleasant.

  • They ticket as they see fit. I used to get ticketed in one spot for parking within 12 feet of this one particular stop sign. I started parking next to a tree that is 16 feet and was fine for years. Last week, got a ticket for parking in the same spot within 25 feet.
    This is a stupid law. 25 feet means you can’t park on your block.

  • This exact issue is a problem at the corner of New Hampshire and V streets NW. There is a sign permitting such parking at the NW corner of the intersection (New Hampshire ave Southbound) despite the fact that the stop sign is WAY closer than 25 feet. At the NE corner of this same intersection (V street eastbound) there is no sign but clearly space for a car to park. People who park there get tickets all the time (including me once). The problem is that the stop sign is planted in a dirt tree bed but it is not actually lined up with the stop line at the actual intersection. The city has placed the stop sign in a location that is easy to install but not proper. They also dont have clear signs stating NO parking here to corner, and they should.

  • I used to get ticketed for this (@ SW corner of Irving & Sherman, the parking sign is literally adjacent to a bus stop sign (which also falls within the 25′ feet rule). I lost every online adjudication, despite photos.

  • A few months ago, I got ticketed on the 1100 block of 7th NE. The ticketing officer approximated my distance from the stop sign to be 14 feet. I’ve recently seen others ticketed as well. I’m sure there is a safety argument to be made, but 25 feet on most residential streets seems excessive and takes away much needed street parking.

    This kind of tickets seems like just another way for the city to generate revenue.

  • If you dont want to get a ticket and have to go through the appeal process, I would always play it safe and go with the 25 ft rule.

  • gotryit

    I wish DC would enforce that on Sundays when church people park up to (or sometimes past) the stop signs.

    • That’s against the first amendment, plus church people are better people than us common folk.

      • Here’s a controversial topic. Do the police ticket some denominations while they are at service but not others? I kind of suspect so… might be worth a non-scientific Prince of Petworth study or at least a post.

  • I’m pretty sure the signs trump the otherwise default rule. If you are losing ticket adjudications on this, I would complain to Kevin Twine at DPW or your councilperson. Won’t take care of the ticket, but might get some action to correct the ticketing problem.

  • The signs aren’t in direct contradiction of the law. If you read the whole law, you would see that traffic signs provide exceptions to the introductory clause.

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