Increased police presence to target illegal parking on Green Street

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Increased police presence to target illegal parking on Green Street

Students walk past an illegally parked car on Green Street on Jan. 17.

Students walk past an illegally parked car on Green Street on Jan. 17.

Jeannette Yan

Students walk past an illegally parked car on Green Street on Jan. 17.

Jeannette Yan

Jeannette Yan

Students walk past an illegally parked car on Green Street on Jan. 17.

By Andrea Flores, Assistant Daytime News Editor

Champaign police and UIPD are teaming up and increasing additional enforcement of vehicles parking in the middle of a roadway, according to a news release sent out Friday morning.

This effort is a response to more vehicles using the center turn lanes or the middle of the roadway as a fast parking option. The increased frequency is seen on Green Street in the Campustown area, but officers will watch for violators throughout the city.

According to Illinois state law, it is illegal to stop a vehicle in a traffic lane for any reason other than an accident or emergency. Parked vehicles in the center lane can impede the flow of traffic, possibly increase the potential for motor vehicle accidents and slow emergency responders.

Violators may face a $120 ticket for parking in the center roadway, and any unattended vehicle may be towed at the owner’s expense.

“We’re not seeking to go out and write a number of tickets, but do intend to use this enforcement to educate and seek voluntary compliance from drivers,” Champaign Police Lieutenant Mark Vogelzang said. “Tickets, however, are an enforcement tool that we’ll use if we see the problem continuing.”

Both police departments seek to encourage more people to park in metered parking available across campus and not far from Green Street, including Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Wright streets. Delivery and car transportation drivers are also encouraged to find additional areas to park, like loading zones, alleys and side streets.

“We are trying to remind people who park in the roadway as a convenience that it was never legal in the first place, and it is a safety hazard for everyone involved,” UIPD police officer Tyrel Ledbetter. “That includes the drivers and people that call 911 and rely on emergency responders to be able to get to them quickly.”

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