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No Parking: Frequently Asked Questions and Signage Guidelines

Q. Are there any laws or regulations for putting up No Parking Signs outside the store?


Before deciding if you can put up a No Parking Sign outside your store, you must determine, who owns that property - a private entity (person or company), or the public. You can put any kind of signage at your discretion if the area outside your store is a private property. If the parking space on property is owned or even leased by the store owner, it is legal to put a no parking sign by the owner or tenant.

If the parking space is on a public road, the local government is authorized to set any restrictions and post signs. You may however study your local laws, ordinances, easements or right-of-ways before taking any decision.

Q. What are the rules on reflectivity for no parking signs?


The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) revised the minimum standards for retroreflectivity in 2012. The new minimum retroreflectivity standards are applicable for traffic signs but parking signs are excluded from them [Section 2A.08]. No Parking Signs must still meet other requirements in MUTCD (inspections, retroreflective, etc.). Engineer grade signs are likely to be acceptable for no parking signs. However, if your parking lot and roads are open to public travel, your signs must meet the same levels of retroreflectivity that are required for traffic signs on public highways and roads.

Also, it is always a good idea to go for higher reflectivity even though the basic one might initially help you meet the minimum retroreflectivity levels. This is because the sheeting might quickly degrade to lower retroreflectivity level, thus losing its effectiveness at night and requiring replacement sooner.

Q. What is the official size for a No Parking sign?


Most No Parking signs must at least be 12 inch in width and 18 inch in height and they are mounted at a height of 6 feet. This is the minimum size requirement as per MUTCD Section 2B.03. In practice, we suggest you use bigger 18” x 24” parking signs because a bigger sign can be seen from a greater distance and over large trucks and SUVs. Every state can have their own requirement on sign size and sign mounting height.

Q. What is the difference between a No Parking Zone and a Loading Zone?


A No Parking Zone is simply an area where parking is not allowed. In most cities, no parking zone means you can stop the car, load or unload people and merchandize in the designated area, but you can't leave the car unattended. 

Loading Zone is a restricted stopping or parking area where vehicles can load or unload goods temporarily.

Q. Many drivers temporarily park their vehicles to load and unload merchandise at the curb outside my property? Should I use a No Parking sign to discourage them?


If you don’t want drivers to load or unload even merchandise on your property, use a No Stopping Sign. No Stopping signs imply that you cannot stop for any reason – not to drop off or pick up passengers, not to wait inside the vehicle for someone, and not even to load or unload merchandise.

Q. What does a No Parking sign without arrows mean?

A No Parking Sign without an arrow simply marks the area where drivers may not park. In most cases, such signs are accompanied with a stretch of red or yellow painted curb. Where no painted curb markings are present, it is safe to assume that the no parking zone extends as far as the curb remains unbroken, in either direction of the sign.

Q. I have painted my curb red to prohibit parking. Do I still need a sign?


Red painted curbs generally mean parking is totally prohibited. However, not all drivers would understand the colors on curbs because of the absence of any uniform pattern across the country. Hence, red painted curb can be accompanied with “NO PARKING” sign to help drivers understand their meaning.

That said, every state can have different requirements for curb painting and we’d suggest you consult with your state’s DMV to know the exact requirements.

Q. What is the difference between no parking, no standing and no stopping?


No Parking : Vehicle can’t be left unattended 

No Standing: It means occupying a space while loading or unloading people 

No Stopping: No loading or unloading of passengers or merchandize, and no waiting for passengers

Click here to know more about the distinction.

As a rule, law enforcement can overrule signs. If police tell a vehicle to move along the driver has to abide, no matter what signs tell you to do.

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