Vehicles and Parking

Out of State Plates?

Have you recently moved to Ridgefield from another state? You are required to obtain a Washington driver’s and vehicle licenses within 30 days to establishing residency on vehicles you own. If you bought a vehicle from out-of-state while living here, you must license it in Washington immediately.

The Ridgefield Police Department is doing their part to monitor out of state licensed vehicles in our city. Have you received a letter from the police department indicating it appears you may need to have a Washington vehicle license on a vehicle you own?

When there is a question involving a tax due on out-of-state licensed company cars used by a Washington Resident to commute to an out-of-state business, contact Marc Osborn  at the Washington Department of Revenue at marco@dor.wa.gov.

Department of Revenue Website

Why do I need to license in Washington if my vehicle is still valid in another state?

The services you are receiving right now maintaining the roads you drive on, the schools your kids attend, the law enforcement services you call upon are dependent on these fees and taxes.

The Ridgefield Police Department can answer questions during daytime business hours at (360) 887-3556.

What to do with that RV or Trailer

As Winter approaches, residents decrease their seasonal use of trailers, RV’s, campers and boats and prepare them for long-term storage. As a reminder, Ridgefield Municipal Code 10.12.033 allows these type vehicles to be parked on the road for up to two weeks in any given calendar year. The vehicles may not block or obstruct the flow of vehicular traffic. As an example, a resident could park a vehicle of this type at the curb where space allows for one week part of the year and another week later in the year in order to prepare the trailer for traveling, cleaning it out for storage, or to house temporary guests. The two-week restriction is intended to keep neighborhood streets from becoming storage areas for recreational vehicles and trailers. The police department will respond to complaints of trailers and recreational vehicles parked over the allotted time. When owners are not home for contact, a warning will be left on the vehicle. Your Police Department staff tries to take the lowest level of enforcement to gain compliance in these situations and appreciates your help in this effort.

File or request a copy of a vehicle collision report

Visit the¬†Washington State Patrol’s Collision Records Section¬†to file or request a copy of a collision report.


Parking

The regulations for parking are laid out in Chapter 10.12 of the Ridgefield Municipal Code. The code lays out the rules for parking, standing and stopping of vehicles on public City streets, and establishes residential parking zones and other restrictions. A summary is provided here. Additional parking regulations may be found in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 308-330) which is incorporated into the Ridgefield Municipal Code.

The City offers a variety of on-street parking options in neighborhoods and downtown Vancouver for visitors, customers, employees and residents. The City also maintains a park-and-ride lot at the Ridgefield Junction that has 90 parking spaces and is a regular bus stop that connects Ridgefield to the rest of Clark County as well as Vancouver.

General parking restrictions

Cars must be parked a certain distance away from driveways, intersections, fire hydrants, crosswalks, stop signs, yield signs, signals, and railroad crossings. Cars must also not park on a sidewalk, crosswalk, within an intersection, on a bridge, on railroad tracks, or in roadway medians. For more detail on these restrictions, look at the Washington Administrative Code (WAC Chapter 308-330).

Downtown Parking

The code has specific parking provisions for the downtown area to address diverse needs of the City

  • Downtown business and property owners have a strong interest in how parking is managed in the downtown area, but the general consensus is that there are few parking problems.
  • Several stores and businesses have a need for dependable access to short-term parking near the front door.
  • Some businesses have a need for long-term parking due to the nature of the business and customer needs, for employees, for residents, and/or to encourage a walking area among the businesses.
  • Derelict and abandoned vehicles and long-term parking can occasionally be a problem.
  • The City Manager has the authority to locate up to two 15 minute parking spaces/zones per block in the Pioneer Street and Main Avenue area.
  • There is a 24-hour parking limit along Pioneer St and Main Ave to address long-term parking.

Appropriate signs or markings must be made to identify the 15-minute spaces and other time-restricted parking using curb markings, pavement markings, or signs that go along with the design of the downtown area.

Neighborhood Parking

Parking in residential neighborhoods is limited to one side of the street where street widths are less than 32-feet wide. Where streets are less than 26-feet wide parking on the street is prohibited. In some neighborhoods no parking signs have not yet been posted. City staff will be posting no parking signs in these neighborhoods, and will notify residents via a door hanger prior to posting the signs. A map showing the areas planned to have signs posted can be found here:

No Parking Bus Zone 

Simon Street, south side; from the immediate west side of the alley adjacent the skate-park, to a point 50 feet west thereof.

Time Restricted Parking Areas

  • 15 Minute Only Parking, Monday through Friday: Pioneer Street (SR 501), north side in front of City Hall
  • No Parking between Hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Pioneer Street (SR 501), north side, 5th Avenue to S. 7 th Avenue
  • Loading Zone, 15 Minute Parking, Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    S. Main Avenue, east side, from Pioneer Street (SR 501) to a point 115 feet south. (Commercial vehicles actively loading/unloading permitted unrestricted time to complete loading/unloading, other vehicles 15-minute parking limit).

Limitations on Prolonged Parking
No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle upon any street in the following area for more than twenty-four hours:

  • Pioneer Street (SR 501), 4th Avenue to Main Avenue
  • N. Main Avenue, Pioneer Street (SR 501) to Mill Street
  • S. Main Avenue, west side, designated diagonal spots

Enforcement

When parking is restricted/limited, there will be an appropriate sign, curb painting, or other markings to let the citizens know. No regulations shall be enforceable unless a sign or marker is present at the time of the offense. When checking for overtime parking, law enforcement are allowed to use chalk or other harmless tool to mark vehicles. Do not erase this mark or interfere with checking for overtime parking.

The City of Ridgefield is the only entity that has the authority to remove a car from a public street, and would only do so for a violation of a City ordinance. However, Homeowners Association (HOA) has the authority to enforce its own rules, which may include rules about parking.  HOA enforcement is typically through monetary fines; an HOA does not have the authority to tow or remove a vehicle from a public street.

Violation

Any violation of the parking prohibitions laid out in the Ridgefield Municipal Code will be designated as a traffic infraction. Offenders will be punished under state law and/or local ordinance. The monetary amount is $95.00.

For more information on the subject, please take a look at the Ridgefield Municipal Code online, or call City Hall at (360) 887-3557.


Safe Driving

Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is a movement to discourage speeding in residential neighborhoods therefore improving overall traffic safety.

What can you do?

  • Express your concern to your neighbor and make a friendly request that the speeder be more careful
  • If the problem progresses, call the Ridgefield Police Department and make a complaint
  • Work with Homeowners Association (HOA). If they have rules, you can contact them for assistance
  • Trim vegetation around your house to increase visibility

What can the City of Ridgefield do?

  • Assist in identifying the issue. We ask that you define the problem clearly and with as much detail as possible
  • Verify road conditions, traffic speeds and traffic volumes on a specific street
  • Install signs warning motorists of approaching crosswalks, parks, or schools
  • Install crosswalks and bike lanes to enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Create speed bumps to encourage vehicles to slow down

Roundabouts

In the recent years, there has been several roundabouts created in Ridgefield. Roundabouts are actually found to be much safer than signalized intersections; there are fewer accidents and the accidents that do occur are much less severe. It is important however, that you follow these steps to ensure your safety:

Slow down when approaching a roundabout.
Choose your lane depending on your destination (the road signs will be there to guide you). Watch for pedestrians and cyclists at the crosswalks and be prepared to let them pass. Look to the left and yield to the traffic already in the roundabout.Enter the roundabout with caution being aware of other cars that are around you. Exit the roundabout in the direction of your destination being sure that you are in the correct lane. Again, watch for pedestrians and cyclists. For more detail, including visuals, visit the Washington State Department of Transportation.

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