Q&A - Entering Angled Parking

Q&A ImageIs it legal to pull into a head-in angled parking spot on the opposite side of the street (crossing a solid yellow line)?

Scenario: Heavy traffic both ways.  Lots of cars waiting for parking spots to open up on both sides of the street.  Solid yellow line/single lane traffic.

I pulled into an angled parking spot (on my side of the street).  A driver that was going in the opposite diretion wanted the same spot but was stuck behind a car so they couldn't get to it before me (even though they had their signal light on before me).

Does parking lot etiquette apply when you're on the street in a busy location (Edgemeont Village, specifically 3044 Highland Blvd).


It isn't specifically illegal, that's for sure.

It's a common misconception that one can't turn across a solid (or double solid) yellow line, or across a solid white line. But in fact, and in law, all of these lines are there only to control lane use, whether it's traffic moving in the same direction (who might want to change lanes) or traffic moving in opposite directions (who are required to stay on their own side of the road, generally speaking).

The suspension of Sections 151 & 155 is covered under Section 156.

156 If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.

So as long as a vehicle turning from, or into, a 90 degree angle parking space at the curb may be considered to be entering/leaving the highway then it's OK for them to cross that solid yellow centre line unless they unreasonably hold up traffic when doing so. The polite thing for you to have done would have been to concede the space whilst grinding your teeth in quiet frustration at the lack of parking facility in the village these days.

As it happens, I'm a Ridgewood Drive resident, so well familiar with the situation you're describing. The fools who drive me nuts are all the pedestrians who seem to think they're entitled to walk across the road in the middle of the block (Starbucks coffee cup in hand) instead of taking a few steps to the nearest crosswalk. Shame on the District of North Vancouver Bylaws officers who we pay our taxes to that they NEVER ticket for this.


Here's the spot referenced:

Here's the law:

Highway lines

155 (1) Despite anything in this Part, if a highway is marked with

(c) one single line, broken or solid, the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle to the right of the line, except only when passing an overtaken vehicle.

Suspension of sections 151 and 155

156 If the driver of a vehicle is causing the vehicle to enter or leave a highway and the driver has ascertained that he or she might do so with safety and does so without unreasonably affecting the travel of another vehicle, the provisions of sections 151 and 155 are suspended with respect to the driver while the vehicle is entering or leaving the highway.

What is critical to this answer is the part about entering or leaving the highway. Remember, we're dealing with the Motor Vehicle Act here, so the definition of highway is a very broad one in law and much different than most people would think.

"highway" includes

(a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,

(b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and

(c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited, but does not include an industrial road;

The definition in the Transportation Act is more broad:

"highway" means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following:

(a) deposit of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan in a land title office under section 107 of the Land Title Act;

(b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;

(c) a common law dedication made by the government or any other person;

(d) declaration, by notice in the Gazette, made before December 24, 1987;

(e) in the case of a road, colouring, outlining or designating the road on a record in such a way that section 13 or 57 of the Land Act applies to that road;

(f) an order under section 56 (2) of this Act;

(g) any other prescribed means;

"Any other public way" would include parking and even the sidewalk. It is not necessary that it is intended for a motor vehicle to drive on.

Strictly speaking, you have to turn to proceed in the other direction in order to enter angled parking. The turn is slight, but as soon as you have moved more than 90 degrees, you've turned in the other direction.

Reverse turn

168 Except as provided by the bylaws of a municipality or the laws of a treaty first nation, a driver must not turn a vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction

(b) when he or she is driving

(v) in a business district, except at an intersection where no traffic control signal has been erected.

The City of North Vancouver has chosen not to regulate reverse turns (U-turns) in the Street and Traffic Bylaw.

So, my short answer is, don't do it.

Here's some case law that is somewhat related.

Reverse Turn? I don't think that applies, here.

The MVA calls it a Reverse Turn, oftentimes referred to as a U Turn, but that's surely not what applies when turning into a 90 stall - that's a left turn, in this instance. After all, if the driver made the same maneuver a few metres ahead to enter the alleyway, that would be a left turn, right?

And unfortunately, your linked bylaw information doesn't necessarily apply as Edgemont Village is in the District, not the City. Heh heh ... 

Yes, but...

It may be titled Reverse Turn, but the text says to go in the opposite direction. Since these are angled parking spaces, there is a slight "opposite direction" involved when moving to the other side of the street.

Here's the link for the Street and Traffic Bylaw for the district of North Vancouver.

"Slight opposite direction" ?

Not so, I reckon. My Algebra skills may have been poor, but my Geometry was pretty good.

And the fact is, a 90 degree arc doesn't in any way result in heading in the opposite direction.

I'll Draw You a Picture

diagram of reverse turn into parking spot

Good picture!

It would be appropriate to the angle stalls on Edgemont Boulevard, nearby, which are more like a 45 degree angle.

But the parking stalls on Highland are 90 degrees, perpendicular to the curb. 


I answered based on the original post which asked about pulling into angled parking spots on the opposite side of the road. Maybe it's just the way the view was created, but the stalls in the street view look angled to me.

You may actually be right, then ...

It depends which side of Highland Boulevard one is aiming to park on. The Pet Hospital on the east side is 45 degree, but the Library on the west side is 90 degree parking.

Thinking about this further, then.

If a driver was in fact southbound on Highland Boulevard, between Edgemont and Newmarket, and wished to legally access one of those rare 45 degree stalls on the east side of the road, he would need to do this: continue to the Stop sign / stopline at Newmarket and, having stopped properly, then make a U-Turn in that intersection, and from his now northbound orientation, turn right into one of those stalls.

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