Parking at a ‘T’ – or 3-way – intersection

Question : On a three way intersection where on the side of the through road has a lane available next to the curb for parking, would it be legal for me to park my car on that lane inside the intersection?

According to the BC Motor Vehicle Act, an “intersection” means: “the area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines, or if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of the 2 highways that join one another at or approximately at right angles, or the area within which vehicles travelling on different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict.” What the heck does that mean in English?

Of course, use common sense and check for all the usual things that would make it illegal to park there.


Thanks ‘B’ for this question.

By Carmen

Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada.


  1. Didn’t really answer the question.
    Can you park at a t or 3 way intersection?
    Yes or no please.

  2. Didn’t really answer the question.
    Can you park at a t or 3 way intersection?
    Yes or no please.

  3. It’s actually a bit tricky to find the chapter and verse of the mighty Motor Vehicle Act that covers this, in part because there’s a whole section (186) that tells you all the places you can’t even stop a vehicle; obviously (you would think) if you can’t stop there then you sure as hell can’t park there.

    In general, provincial law (that’s the MVA stuff) defers to municipalities to establish parking rules under their by-laws. That’s why it’s rare to see a police officer bothering with parking tickets (unless you’re dumb enough to park too close to a fire hydrant or railroad tracks, because these are under provincial jurisdiction) but common to see by-laws officers ticketing for these infractions. [A quick aside, personal comment here – you will often see both City of North Van and District of West Van by-laws officers stopping in, and jamming, a busy traffic lane in order to issue someone a parking ticket; even when it would be easy to find a less disruptive location to leave their own vehicle whilst doing it. This may provide a lot of insight into the mentality and discretion of many by-laws officers.]

    Meanwhile, Section 187 is specific: “Where parking prohibited
    187 (1) Subject to subsection (3), if outside of a business or residence district it is practicable to stop, park or leave a vehicle off the roadway, a person must not stop, park or leave the vehicle either unattended or attended on the roadway.
    (2) Subject to subsection (3), a person must not park a vehicle so as to obstruct the free passage of traffic on the highway.
    (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply when a vehicle is so disabled that it is not practicable to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving it on a highway.”

    And certain parts of Section 189 are germane as anything:
    “When vehicle stopping prohibited 189 (1) (c) in an intersection, except as permitted by a sign;
    (3) Despite subsection (1) (f), a municipality may provide by bylaw that if authorized by a sign posted by the municipality a person may park a cycle or motorcycle within 6 m of the approach side of a crosswalk if the cycle or motorcycle is
    (a) of a size that, and
    (b) parked so that
    it does not obstruct a motorist’s view of the crosswalk or an intersection.”

    So there you go, eh?

  4. I know what you mean. I had to read that definition over several times and It still leaves me wondering a bit! But I just thought of something after reading your other post about parking: it’s illegal to park within 6m from a crosswalk. Does that mean just marked or both marked and unmarked? If the second is the case then I should just forget about parking in the residential intersections since residential Intersections aren’t usually wider than 12m from the two crosswalks anyway.

  5. Yeah, I can’t really see anything wrong with it so long as it’s legal otherwise and there’s enough room, but honestly that definition of intersection has me scratching my head a bit. Perhaps my expert guest commenter will have something to say. My argument sounds a bit silly though, I’m basically saying that 1/2 the road is an intersection and the other 1/2 is not! Sounds like I’ve been smoking something when I say stuff like that.

  6. Hi, thank you for answering my question! :) I was wondering about the residential intersections like the first picture you posted.

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