This column has been updated.
After publishing this column on Saturday, the Road Warrior got several comments challenging the answer to this question from a reader:
My sister tells me it’s illegal to park on the street in front of (blocking) my own driveway. I don’t do it very often, but sometimes it’s the only place left to park near my home. My neighbors frequently park in front of their own driveway, and I’ve never heard that they’ve been ticketed by the police. Thanks. Sara
The answer comes from Sgt. Jason Krauss of the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety:
It is OK for a person to park in the street and block their own driveway as long as they park along the prolongation of the curbline and do not park over 18 inches away from that curbline. Perpendicular to the driveway would not be OK. You must be facing the correct direction, as if parking along the curb.
From the Road Warrior: After some of the comments below, we asked Krauss about them. This is his response:
The definitions of section 22500 of the California Vehicle Code as explained by Ken, Jonathan and Rose are accurate. If a person was to go by the “letter of law,” vs. the “spirit of the law,” parking in front of one’s own driveway would be considered a violation, unless otherwise permitted by local ordinance. In Rohnert Park, we apply the “spirit of the law” and what is best for our community when interpreting the applicability of this section. That being said, I think the intellectual acumen applied to Dave Stubblebine’s post will best help Sara with her question.
From the Road Warrior: We also received emails asking people who park in front of driveways to take into consideration anyone in wheelchairs or motorized scooters who may need to gain access to the sidewalk via the driveway.
Here’s another question from a reader:
In school zones, what does the “Speed Limit 25 When Children Present” mean? I have asked a CHP officer, a SRPD officer and the DMV. Some say “present” means when school is in session, others say when they are outside the classroom, another says when on the sidewalks outside school property. What is the LAW? Bill
The answer: I pulled out my hefty California Vehicle Code book and looked up Section 22358.4 that addresses the issue. It says if there’s such a sign posted, then you can’t go more than 25 mph whenever “children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period” and when the school grounds “are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children.”
So it seems that everyone you talked to is partially right. But if you’re unsure as you approach a school, it’ll be safer to slow down.
If you have a question for the Road Warrior, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org