Is It Legal To Block A Sidewalk With Your Car In Iowa?
I feel like I've learned so much about Iowa since moving here 13 months ago. It's pretty fascinating how different laws can be from state to state. Whether it be various laws on certain pet ownership, driving with headphones, or using this Fast-and-Furious car accessory, I've learned a lot about just how different some of the laws in Iowa are compared to my home state. What about this one?
Can Your Car Legally Block A Sidewalk In Iowa?
It's common knowledge to motorists that there are plenty of locations you're prohibited from parking your car, with the most obvious being in a location that says "no parking." Other locations you're not allowed to park your car would be on a yellow line, within 5 feet of a fire hydrant, at intersections, in front of someone's driveway, and/or in the middle of a crosswalk. All of these scenarios could either get you some kind of parking ticket or have your car towed and both will cost you money. Is there ever a time you can legally block a sidewalk with your car in Iowa?
According to Legis Iowa, Code 321.358,
No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device.
When it comes to a sidewalk location, the code says you can not park on a sidewalk, except a bicycle may stop, stand, or park on a sidewalk if not prohibited by a local jurisdiction. So technically...yes, you can legally block a sidewalk in Iowa, as long as you've been instructed by a local jurisdiction to do so.
It should be noted that in the rare occurrence, you are instructed to block a sidewalk, you should never do this. Even if you're planning on running a 15-second errand and you think you'll be in and out quickly, it is illegal to block a sidewalk unless you've been instructed to park there.
It can be a pain in the butt to try and find a parking space, especially if you're attending a big event but it's always better to be safe than sorry. If you think you might be in spot you're not allowed to park, chances are you're probably correct. You should try and find a different location, even if that means you'll have to walk a bit further. I guess if you don't care about parking tickets or your car being towed...you could park just about anywhere.