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Curb The Can
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


Photo Tony Corso.
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Have you seen any neighbors carrying a small can of red paint and proceeding to paint their curb red? Such activity is based upon a decision to prohibit the parking of automobiles in front of an individual’s home or business.

The painting of curbs by non-city employees is illegal! Based upon the number of complaints filtering into City Hall, illegal curb-painting is evidently on the increase. Given the relative scarcity of curb parking in many areas of the City and the reduction in curb parking spaces, it constitutes a critical issue.

The Public Works Department has the responsibility for maintaining streets, curbs and all manner of signage. According to a recent interview with Director Eric Minicelli Public Works receives numerous requests each year to paint curbs red, yellow, green, white or blue in front of residences or businesses. Each color serves a different purpose. “Red Zones mean “no stopping, standing, or parking at any time.”

Typically Red Zones are installed to eliminate parked cars at a curb where parked cars negatively affect normal vehicular traffic. Red Zones also serve to delineate an intersection corner allowing for safe vehicular maneuvers and to improve visibility from a driveway (driveway tipping), and to eliminate non-standard parking spaces (less than 18 feet) between driveways.

The City recently adopted an expanded policy that identifies the procedures and approval criteria controlling the installation of curb marking. The Public Works Department requires a completed curb marking application, which in turn is subject to a staff evaluation to determine whether the proposal is feasible and justified.
Evaluating a red curb marking request Public Works staff considers the following questions: Is the amount of parking removed by the red marking excessive? Are short portions of the curb left over unusable for parking (less than 18 feet)? What is the effect upon adjacent property owners who might be forced to park their cars closer to an adjacent driveway, thereby creating an additional parking problem? Is usable curb space needed for purposes such as loading materials or products or for short-term customer use?

As for the presence of red painted curbs, which remain in non-conformity, resources will need be allocated to eliminate such violations.



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