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Freeing up restrictions for West Fargo graduation

The community is seeing an influx of extra visitors due to family Memorial Day observances last weekend and all the upcoming graduation celebrations that will be taking place all over town this weekend with graduation set for Sunday, June 5.

With some of the streets a little narrower in town prohibiting parking on both sides, the West Fargo Police Department is working to make attending these graduation and family get togethers a little more convenient by allowing parking on both sides of the streets the weekend of June 4 and 5.

There is no time restriction set on doing so these two days, the only criteria is that enough room is left for large emergency equipment, in particular, fire trucks, to be able to pass through the street, and also making sure that the fire hydrants are not blocked in the event they need to be quickly accessed.

On a related police note that will be occurring all summer long, officers will be spending additional time in residential neighborhoods enforcing parking violations. A frequently observed one in several neighborhoods is vehicles parked in driveways partially or totally blocking a sidewalk or crosswalk.

West Fargo ordinance 13-1603 prohibits parking a vehicle on a sidewalk or crosswalk which can result in a penalty of an eight dollar fine.

Obstructing the sidewalk creates an unsafe condition for a person wishing to use it as well as preventing neighborhood children from staying on a safe play course. When an obstacle is encountered the person or children playing are forced from their path and onto the street or an uneven area near the sidewalk. This could result in contact with an object if they are unable to recognize and react in time that could cause danger or harm.

Technically, a portion of each driveway is designated as a sidewalk area. Most often there are parallel lines visible in the driveway connecting to the adjoining sidewalk sections.

If no lines are visible, the area designated sidewalk would be the imaginary lines bisecting the driveway and connecting to the adjoining sidewalk sections. A vehicle or object extending into the designated area would be a violation.

Avoiding the need for extra scrutiny, everyone is encouraged to do their part in providing a safe place for kids to play and people to walk by keeping their sidewalks clear and free of vehicles or anything else that would stand in the way of proper access.