How Far Away do I Park?

Measuring TapeI received a request from a gentleman who wanted others to know how far away drivers have to park from roadside features. He has a problem with people parking across the end of his driveway rather than keeping their distance and is hoping that a reminder to other drivers might solve it. Is your measuring tape ready?

You cannot park in the following places: on a sidewalk or boulevard, in front of a driveway, in an intersection unless permitted by a sign, on a crosswalk, bridge, elevated roadway or in a tunnel, contrary to a sign, on the roadway side of a vehicle already parked, or on a highway for the purpose of advertising or selling.

You cannot park within 5 metres of a fire hydrant.

You must not park within 6 metres of: the approach side of a crosswalk, the approach to a flashing beacon, stop sign, or traffic control signal, the entrance or exit of a hotel, theatre, public meeting place, dance hall, fire hall, or playground in a rural area.

You cannot park within 15 metres of a railroad crossing.

Of course, if you must park somewhere forbidden due to a breakdown, a note on the car and a word to the property owner goes a long way to avoid misunderstandings.

Reference Links:


Submitted by E-mail

I'm glad you have addressed this issue.
There are several landscaping companies in Qualicum Beach that park their trucks on the roadway blocking the lane almost completely. One in particular does this just after (or before depending on travel) a sharp corner on Hoy Lake road. 
This morning i had to pull out into the left side of the road just before the corner to get by this truck and trailer. I'm thinking there must be a law against parking right on the roadway and in particular in such a dangerous location.
THe other issue that comes to mind is the sidewalk which in our area is a painted white line. Along the old highway by the beach in Qualicum, traffic will block this sidewalk completely forcing cyclists (like me) to be on the road between the parked vehicles and traffic and always very much on the lookout for someone opening their doors.
Last but not least, due to the neighbourhood and area we have an elderly population and for some it is difficult for them to walk to the mailbox. They park on the roadway in front of the mailbox, again blocking traffic and not putting on a signal or hazard light. I don't mind waiting for a few moments but that is not always the case and waiting on the roadway always leaves one open to someone not paying attention to run into the rear end.

A reminder..

When you quote the law on locations at which it is illegal to park, you referred to the Motor Vehicle Act.  Don't forget that many municipalities have further laws restricting parking.

If the violation results in your car being towed away, it's little comfort that it was towed under the authority of a city by-law verses the Motor Vehicle Act.

For example Vancouver has a by-law, making it illegal to park on a street in front of property used for residential or commercial purposes between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM for more than three hours, except for the resident or employee of the resident.  (by complaint only)

The Street and Traffic By-Law (By-Law 2849) is quite extensive and is the "tool" mostly used by authorities to enforce parking violations inside the city of Vancouver (the fines go straight to the city :) )

Contained in that legislation in addition to parking restrictions are many laws restricting vehicle movement in Vancouver.

U-Turns are restricted with additional prohibited maneuvers to those contained in the MVA.  Between the By-Law and the MVA, the only place you can execute a U-Turn in Vancouver is at a completely uncontrolled intersection not obstructed by a hill, in a residential area, without backing or affecting other traffic.

On the other side, "double parking", covered very nicely in the MVA, as you've outlined, "parked on the road side of a parked or stopped vehicle", is not covered in Vancouver's By-Law, the only offence being "parked more than 30 cm from the curb".

Some cities need work on their by-laws.  The City of Kelowna does not have a by-law prohibiting "Jay Walking".  (Jay walking is crossing the roadway, not at an intersection within one block of a traffic control device)  It removes the loop hole of, instead of waiting at the intersection for the red traffic light to walk 10 feet from the intersection and cross there.

You can in Kelowna !

Did you know...

- It's illegal to park a bus in a bus zone.

- It's obviously illegal for someone to park in front of your driveway.  It's also illegal for you to do so.

Motorcycle parking within 6 M of crosswalk

A few years ago, Minister Todd Stone added 189 (3) to the BC MVA. He then supposedly advised the various Municalities in BC that they might consider revisions to their bylaws. Few, if any, did.

The reluctance by such communities as White Rock, I could understand because "Soak the parker" is their major source of income.  I'm surprised that they don't charge for stopping more than a few seconds at a traffic signal! A reason, incidentally, why I rarely patronise White Rock businesses.

But to my knowledge, even Delta which has steadfastly refused to permit "Pay Parking", have not enacted a conforming bylaw.

I discussed this with a prominent "motorcycle" Lawyer and asked his opinion about fighting a parking citation on the basis of it being "legal" by the BC MVA.  His response was that it may be an interesting case but the legal fees would far outweigh the fine amount.

Relevant comment, I think?

A few years back, I did a project for the City of Richmond, conducting driver evaluations on their various employees operating their municipal vehicles. Works truck drivers, bylaw officers, like that.

Being as I have been based in North Vancouver for some many years, I found it interesting that one of their (Richmond) newer bylaw guys (who was actually a Surrey resident) told me that he had worked for a short time in the same role for the City of North Vancouver - and that all of their concern seemed to be about generating dollars from parking offences (over the 1 or 2 hour limit, parking 'backwards' in an angle parking spot, that kind of stuff) but not about safety issues (pedestrian/vehicle crosswalk offences, parking too close to an alley way, etc). Essentially, the low-confrontation, high dollar fine type offences.

Whereas, his new employers (Richmond, I forget if its a municipality or district) were far more concerned with balanced enforcement that helped their traffic areas function more effectively.

As with all policing, there is discretion to be used on the part of the people who run these things, and how they apportion their resources. 

How far from where ?

Perhaps a point of clarification please..

The question pertains to a number of the MVA subsections :

189      (1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with traffic or to comply with the law or the directions of a peace officer or traffic control device, a person must not stop, stand or park a vehicle as follows:
(b) in front of a public or private driveway;
(h) within 6 m either side of the entrance to or exit from a hotel, theatre, public meeting place, dance hall, fire hall or playground in rural area;

And also the Vancouver Street and Traffic By-Law (By-Law 2849):

17.2 An owner, registered owner, lessee or operator of a vehicle must not cause, allow or permit that vehicle to stop:
d) in front of or within 1.5 metres of the nearest side of a private road, boulevard crossing or sidewalk crossing;

Many driveway sidewalk crossings, but interestingly, not lanes, have flared or  trapezoidal sections where they cross the sidewalk. There seems to be no absolute rule on the angle or width of flare. The configuration may vary based on terrain or width. Some may also extend into rounded curbs. Lane intersections may have varying configurations, from a straight cut to trapezoids, to rounded curbs of varying radii. Even on a "straight cut" crossing, sidewalks will taper to the intersection point. It seems most of these variations or architectural or aesthetic in configuration, not by regulation.

It gets even more convoluted where there are bump-outs at intersections and other points, for example with bike path crossings.

Q: From what point is the measurement considered to be taken to " the nearest side "? I know the pragmatic person will say, take the most generous (widest) consideration, but is that the law? Is it OK to park immediately behind where the flare intersects the road or must you be behind the imaginary line that extends to the travel lane? If the trapezoid were there for line of sight, then that would be the case, but that is not written in the laws.

I recall a similar "where can I stop" dispute where the STOP sign was not placed consistent with the STOP line, but can't find it in the search results.

Personally, I believe there needs to be better communication between those who formalize the laws and by-laws and those who formalize the engineerings design standards to eliminate the ambiguities, but the legacy infrastructure remains as-is and we must deal with it.

I totally understand all of

I totally understand all of these comments. I have the same problem where I live, with so many Suites in homes these days more and more cars end up on the road. So much so that the road I live on, where it T's into the main junction it is very hard to see oncoming cars as vehicles are parked on the main road way boulevard. It's very hard to look both directions and see if it's safe to pull out. 

I will reach out to the local Municipality and see if there is anything that can be done about such things!!!


Just trying to get everybody Safely to their destinations!!

Google Ads