We've all been in one of these situations: we're in a new city and/or area and we're unsure if we can park in a specific spot. Or there's the case of being in a rush and mulling over the risk/reward of parking somewhere we maybe shouldn't.

After examining the speed limit laws and ramifications in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, I thought it'd be fun to examine something different: the legality of parking on a curb in all three states. I combed through legislature in all three states in order to figure out if parking alongside a curb is legal.

Can You Park on a Curb in Iowa?:

Photo Credit: a454, Getty Images
Photo Credit: a454, Getty Images

According to Iowa.gov, here is the cut and dry of parking on a curb in the Hawkeye State:

No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device, in any of the following places:


14. Upon any street within the corporate limits of a city when the same is prohibited by a general ordinance of uniform application relating to removal of snow or ice from the streets.


15. In front of a curb cut or ramp which is located on public or private property in a manner which blocks access to the curb cut or ramp.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski

Can You Park on a Curb in Wisconsin?:

According to the website Your Mechanic, Wisconsin is a little more lenient with curb-parking. Also keep in mind the fact this quote is lifted from a third party website; this isn't the exact letter of the law, but a distillation of it:

When you park alongside a curb, you need to make sure that your wheels are within 12 inches closest to the curb. You can’t park within 15 feet of a crosswalk or intersection, and you cannot park in a construction zone, as your vehicle might block traffic.

When it comes to parking in Wisconsin, it's also worth noting that there are restrictions regarding parking in school zones:

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It is also unlawful to park in front of a school, (K through eighth grade) between the hours of 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on school days. In addition, they may have other signage posted outside of the school that will let you know what the hours are for that particular location.

Photo Credit: olcayduzgun, Getty Images
Photo Credit: olcayduzgun, Getty Images

Can You Park on a Curb in Illinois?:

For a state that has a city as big as Chicago in it, it would be a little odd if the rules about parking on a curb weren't cut and dry. Horwitz & Associates Law Center makes things pretty easy to distill:

When parallel parked with two-way traffic, park so that the right-side wheels are parallel with and within 12 inches of the curb. If you are parallel parked on a one-way street, park within 12 inches of the right or left curb.

Click on the respective state for more parking laws in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

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Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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