J-turns could be costly for Hillsboro drivers

Jturn

Jturn

The city of Hillsboro is about to add some bite to its bark when it comes to J-turns on designated streets, particularly in the downtown business district.

The Hillsboro City Council unanimously approved an ordinance at its Oct. 4 meeting making it illegal to execute a J-turn on a city street marked with a centerline.

Violators can expect to be ticketed and liable for a $50 fine plus $60 court costs.

Last week?s action is not the first time J-turns have been addressed. Responding to citizen complaints, the Hillsboro Police Department announced in June 2008 that it would be ?cracking down? on the illegal turns.

But Police Chief Dan Kinning said at the Oct. 4 meeting that violators only received warnings, no tickets.

After a brief discussion, the council unanimously approved Ordinance 1213.

 

?We see this happening all the time,? said Mayor Delores Dalke, a business owner along Main Street, about J-turns.

Kinning agreed, citing a recent example where a driver made a J-turn to park close to a downtown restaurant, then did a J turn in reverse to head back home after he picked up his order.

Kinning said a common response from violators is that they feel they have a right to make a J turn, and that doing so to park on the other side of the street is no different than crossing a double line to turn into a parking lot.

Neither assertion is true, Kinning said. He agreed that assessing fines is an appropriate way to get the message across.

?We may have to change their minds,? he said.

The new ordinance (No. 1213) becomes effective upon publication.

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