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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: Homeowner says too many cars use driveway to turn around

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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: Homeowner says too many cars use driveway to turn around
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.

Q. We have the only driveway on our block and the whole world seems to think it's OK to use it as a place to turn around. We try watching TV at night and it's just headlights back and forth in our home. Is there anything we can do as homeowners to keep this from happening?


A. If your street is an unmarked dead end, there may be some hope for deterring the turnarounds. If not, you may have to tough it out.

According to John Bernstrom, a communication specialist for the city, the front part of a driveway is public right of way.

Generally this is the part of the driveway that is between the berm and the sidewalk.

This means a vehicle has the right to use that part of driveway to turn around. It's also the reason why a car parked in a driveway can receive a ticket if it is blocking a sidewalk, Bernstrom said.

So why do cars need to turn around in your driveway. Is it a road with a dead end? Is the dead end properly marked?

If the street is not marked as a dead end that is something the city can help with. Bernstrom says to call the Public Information Office at 311, and they will work to get that road properly marked.

Street sign colors

Q. Several years ago the city started changing its street signs from green to a more visible blue. At the time it was expected to take two summers to complete the changeover. It has now been more than two years, but there are still many green signs remaining. When will this project be completed? It kind of looks silly with different types of signs all over the city.

A. If you want all the street signs to match, it seems you'll be waiting a while.

When the city started replacing green street signs with blue street signs, the first phase of the project was to replace signs at intersections with traffic lights over the course of two years.

That phase has been completed, according to Bernstrom.

The rest of the green signs will be replaced on an as-needed basis. This means if a sign is damaged or gets knocked down it will be replaced with a blue sign.

This process could take five or six years before all signs are replaced with blue signs.

Have questions? Call Jewett at (701) 780-1108 or (800) 477-6572 extension 1108, email, follow her on Twitter at @GFCityBeat or see her blog at

Brandi Jewett
Brandi Jewett is an enterprise reporter for the Grand Forks Herald with beats focusing on northwest Minnesota, unmanned aircraft systems and East Grand Forks city government. Other positions she has held at the Herald include Grand Forks city government reporter, general assigment reporter and news intern. A native of Valley City, N.D., 24 years worth of winters haven't scared her out of the state yet. Follow her work at and on Twitter and Instagram: @brandijewett. Send tips and story ideas to 
(701) 780-1108