Discover Downtown Westbrook's Design Committee is requesting that the
City of Westbrook modify its ordinance and design practice to prohibit
onstreet parking within 20 feet of any crosswalk. They have asked our
committee to provide a letter of support that they can include in their
request. Below is a proposed draft that I have written for this purpose.
Please respond with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.
The request needs to be submitted by Friday. (Note that "whether" is
unfortunately misspelled in the FHWA source document I found, so for
accuracy I kept the mispelling but notated it with the standard "[sic]"
notation, meaning the error is in the source document
To Whom It May Concern,
This letter from the Westbrook Safe Mobility and Access Committee (WSMAC)
is written in support of an initiative by the Design team of Discover
Downtown Westbrook to improve pedestrian safety in Westbrook by 1) changing
the Westbrook Code of Ordinance so that no parking is allowed within 20
feet of a crosswalk and 2) implementing that change in the downtown area.
These improvements are consistent with the MaineDOT Guidelines on Crosswalks
which also "highly recommends" that municipalities create an ordinance
consistent with this policy. That is exactly what this initiative seeks to
In additional, crosswalk setbacks have long been recommended by national
guidance organizations such as the Federal Highway Administration and the
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
(AASHTO). The FWHA includes the 20 foot crosswalk setback requirement in this
The primary documents for determining curb parking restrictions are the
Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) and Model Traffic Ordinance. The standard for
most local jurisdictions state the "No person shall:
- Stop, stand or park a vehicle:
- on a sidewalk;
- within an intersection:
- on a crosswalk
- Stand or park a vehicle, weather*[sic]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic>* occupied or not, except
momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passenger:
- within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;
- within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, Stop
sign, Yield sign or traffic-control signal located at the side of a
Many of us on this committee have experienced numerous close calls while
using crosswalks in Westbrook. Some of us have been hit in a crosswalk, or
know someone else who has. While of course actual crash causes can vary, we
understand the general importance of good sightlines as an important
prerequisite for safety in any street situation. Therefore we believe that
the proposed changes to ensure the consistent creation of good sightlines
will help to increase pedestrian safety in Westbrook.
In summary, WSMAC supports this proposal of the DDW Design Committee and
looks forward to seeing it implemented in a timely manner. Thank you for
your attention to this matter.
Westbrook Safe Mobility and Access Committee
John Brooking, LeeLee Prince, co-chairs