Parking Laws and Abandoned Vehicles
Recently there has been some questions brought up about the laws regarding parking in Columbia Borough. Below is information from the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code that deals with parking in specified places as well as abandoned vehicle. These laws can be enforced in any town in Pennsylvania. For more information you can visit the following website and learn more.
3353. Prohibitions in specified places.
(a) General rule.--Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or to protect the safety of any person or vehicle or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device, no person shall:
(1) Stop, stand or park a vehicle:
(i) On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street except that:
(A) A pedalcycle may be parked as provided in section 3509(b)(2) (relating to parking).
(B) Standing or parking for the purpose of loading or unloading persons or property may be authorized by local ordinance, but the ordinance shall not authorize standing or parking on State designated highways except during off-peak traffic-flow hours as determined by department regulations.
(ii) On a sidewalk except that a pedalcycle may be parked as provided in section 3509(b)(2).
(iii) Within an intersection.
(iv) On a crosswalk.
(v) Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless a different length is indicated by official traffic-control devices.
(vi) Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing or parking would obstruct traffic.
(vii) Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel.
(viii) On any railroad tracks.
(ix) In the area between roadways of a divided highway, including crossovers.
(x) At any place where official signs prohibit stopping.
(2) Stand or park a vehicle:
(i) In front of a public or private driveway.
(ii) Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
(iii) Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
(iv) Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign or traffic-control signal located at the site of a roadway.
(v) Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station or, when properly sign posted, on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of the entrance.
(vi) Where the vehicle would prevent the free movement of a streetcar.
(vii) On a limited access highway unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.
(viii) At any place where official signs prohibit standing.
(ix) Within 30 feet upon the approach to a sign warning of the possible presence of a person with a disability in the vicinity of a roadway adjacent to the person's residence or the possible presence of a person with a disability frequently traversing the roadway at that location. This subparagraph shall not apply unless an enabling local ordinance has been passed. The ordinance may apply generally throughout the municipality or be site specific. The ordinance may specify the height of vehicles prohibited from parking in these locations. The enforcement of this subparagraph requires that a sign indicating the violation and amount of fine be posted at each applicable location. For purposes of this section, the term "disability" shall mean a hearing impairment or total or partial blindness.
(3) Park a vehicle:
(i) Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing.
(ii) At any place where official signs prohibit parking.
(b) Unattended vehicle on private property.--
(1) No person shall park or leave unattended a vehicle on private property without the consent of the owner or other person in control or possession of the property except in the case of emergency or disablement of the vehicle, in which case the operator shall arrange for the removal of the vehicle as soon as possible.
(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to private parking lots unless such lots are posted to notify the public of any parking restrictions and the operator of the vehicle violates such posted restrictions. For the purposes of this section "private parking lot" means a parking lot open to the public or used for parking without charge; or a parking lot used for parking with charge. The department shall define by regulation what constitutes adequate posting for public notice.
(c) Property owner may remove vehicle.--The owner or other person in charge or possession of any property on which a vehicle is parked or left unattended in violation of the provisions of subsection (b) may remove or have removed the vehicle at the reasonable expense of the owner of the vehicle. Such person who removes or has removed a vehicle left parked or unattended in violation of the provisions of subsection (b) shall have a lien against the owner of the vehicle, in the amount of the reasonable value of the costs of removing the vehicle plus the costs of storage. Any city, borough, incorporated town or township may, by ordinance, provide for rates to be charged for removal of vehicles and for municipal regulation of authorized towing services. If storage charges are not set by the municipality, a maximum of $25 per day may be charged for storage.
(d) Restrictions by appropriate authorities.--The department on State-designated highways and local authorities on any highway within their boundaries may by erection of official traffic-control devices prohibit, limit or restrict stopping, standing or parking of vehicles on any highway where engineering and traffic studies indicate that stopping, standing or parking would constitute a safety hazard or where the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles would unduly interfere with the free movement of traffic.
(e) Penalty.--Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $50.
3712. Abandonment of vehicles.
(a) Abandonment on highway.--No person shall abandon a vehicle upon any highway.
(b) Abandonment on public or private property.--No person shall abandon a vehicle upon any public or private property without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful possession or control of the property.
(c) Stripping abandoned vehicle.--(Deleted by amendment).
(1) Any person violating subsection (a) or (b):
(i) For a first offense, commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $500 plus all costs of disposing of the vehicle under the provisions of Chapter 73 (relating to abandoned vehicles and cargos).
(ii) For a second offense, commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 plus all costs of disposing of the vehicle under the provisions of Chapter 73.
(iii) For a third or subsequent offense, commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay all costs of disposing of the vehicle under the provisions of Chapter 73.
(2) In a case involving a violation of this section, the municipality in which the vehicle is located may file the complaint with the appropriate issuing authority.
Some definitions from the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code that deal with the above laws are listed below.
(1) A vehicle (other than a pedalcycle) shall be presumed to be abandoned under any of the following circumstances, but the presumption is rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence:
(i) The vehicle is physically inoperable and is left unattended on a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours.
(ii) The vehicle has remained illegally on a highway or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours.
(iii) The vehicle is left unattended on or along a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours and does not bear all of the following:
(A) A valid registration plate.
(B) A current certificate of inspection.
(C) An ascertainable vehicle identification number.
(iv) The vehicle has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 24 hours.
(v) The vehicle has remained on the private property of a salvor for 20 days.
(2) Vehicles and equipment used or to be used in construction or in the operation or maintenance of highways or public utility facilities, which are left in a manner which does not interfere with the normal movement of traffic, shall not be considered to be abandoned.
(1) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; and, in the absence of a sidewalk on one side of the roadway, that part of a roadway included within the extension of the lateral lines of the existing sidewalk.
(2) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
"Highway." The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. The term includes a roadway open to the use of the public for vehicular travel on grounds of a college or university or public or private school or public or historical park.
(1) The area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles, or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict.
(2) Where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of each roadway of the divided highway by an intersecting highway shall be regarded as a separate intersection. In the event the intersecting highway also includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of two roadways of the highways shall be regarded as a separate intersection.
"Official traffic-control devices." Signs, signals, markings and devices not inconsistent with this title placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning or guiding traffic.
"Park" or "parking."
(1) When permitted, means the temporary storing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, off the roadway.
(2) When prohibited, means the halting of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers.
"Roadway." That portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk, berm or shoulder even though such sidewalk, berm or shoulder is used by pedalcycles. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term "roadway" refers to each roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.
"Stand" or "standing." When prohibited, means the halting of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers.
"Stop" or "stopping."
(1) When required, means complete cessation from movement.
(2) When prohibited, means any halting even momentarily of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control sign or signal.
"Traffic-control signal." A device, whether manually, electrically or mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed.
For information on Codes that the Borough has regarding traffic please see the following link.
Please note that the yellow lines and white triangles painted at some intersections are not 20’ or 30’ in length. Most of these were painted years ago.