You asked: No car washing on Franklin streets, sidewalks

Published 11:41 am Saturday, April 27, 2013

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You asked: Can a Franklin resident wash his car or change the oil or anti-freeze with their vehicle parked on the street?


FRANKLIN—Spring is traditionally a time for more than cleaning your home. Whenever the weather’s sunny, Franklin people will often be out washing or tuning up their vehicles. But Donald Goodwin, director of Community Development, pointed out that some city codes have something to say about how and where those activities can be done.

For starters, residents cannot wash or polish their vehicles on a street or sidewalk. If any automobile is washed on private premises, the water cannot run into the streets or city gutters.

Furthermore, residents cannot “grease, dismantle, change the oil of, work on or repair a vehicle upon a street or sidewalk.”

Two exceptions are made, the first being where emergency repairs have to be done, particularly if the disabled vehicle is a traffic hazard. Second, minor maintenance repairs can be done on a public street “within a reasonable time, provided that such vehicle is not blocking or interfering with the normal flow of traffic.”

Violations of the aforementioned codes can be enforced by Franklin police, said Goodwin, and are considered a traffic infraction. The misdemeanor can cost up to $200.

Riverkeeper Jeff Turner for the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers said there’s a more serious side effect to pouring oil or anti-freeze into city streets or gutters.

“Most people do not understand that if they do that, it goes to the river causing a lot of harm. Antifreeze, oils and even Round-Up are deadly to river life. Several years ago we implemented a storm water campaign to help remind people of this.”

Two hundred markers were placed on manhole covers along the streets at gutters at that time, he added.

“For some reason, most of them are gone now,” he said.

To learn more about keeping rivers clean, contact Turner at 562-5173 or