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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: Why did I get a parking ticket where there were no signs?

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

Q. I have not seen any signs about parking restrictions on 24th Street South, but my girlfriend still got a parking ticket there, near Seventh Avenue. I almost got a ticket, but she moved my car in time. How are people visiting or new residents supposed to know about the parking rules there?

A. You're right, there are no signs showing the city's street maintenance schedule there. John Bernstrom of the city's Public Information Office said he assumes your girlfriend's ticket was issued due to street maintenance.

"In Grand Forks, street maintenance (such as street cleaning or gutter maintenance) is done on every street in town," Bernstrom said. "Each street has a specific day of the week, and the ordinance is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find the schedule at grandforksgov.com/streetmaintenance.

"The city understands that it is next to impossible to have a sign up where everyone can see it at all times. That is why we put 'For questions, call 311' at the bottom of the ticket," Bernstrom said.

If you call 311, the city's Public Information Office staff will answer any questions and can help you handle the ticket, Bernstrom said.

Q. At the intersection of University Avenue and North Columbia Road, as you are traveling west on University, why is there no green turn arrow onto Columbia every morning around 7 a.m. but it works later on in the day?

A. "The city of Grand Forks runs several different signal coordination timing plans during the day. The plans are based on traffic volumes," said Jane Williams, a city traffic engineer.

"When traffic is light, we can eliminate the green arrows (protected left turn phase) and the time associated with the arrows, to make the intersection run more efficiently," Williams said.

"When the arrows are not running, there should still be enough time for the through- and left-turning traffic to get through the intersection with just a green (light, without an arrow)," she said.

Charly Haley

Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.

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