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Salomone v. City of Canton

JUNE 22, 1961.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Fulton County; the Hon. GALE A. MATHERS, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.


Plaintiffs, owners of business and residential properties bordering upon certain portions of a public highway in the City of Canton, filed suit against the City and its officials, asking judgment declaring a "no parking" ordinance invalid and an injunction against enforcement of said ordinance. The Court below found the ordinance to be unreasonable, declared it to be void and granted the relief prayed by plaintiffs. Defendants took an appeal to the Supreme Court, which ordered the cause transferred to this Court.

The subject highway is commonly known as Route 78 which is described as a 2 mile course along Main, Locust and Fifth Streets in Canton covering 24 blocks. The width of the street varies from 26 feet to 50 feet. Two blocks are 26 feet in width, 10 blocks are 30 feet in width, 11 blocks are 36 feet in width, and one block is 50 feet in width. Some years prior to the adoption of the ordinance in question, parking was eliminated on the two blocks which are 26 feet in width by the provision of an ordinance, the validity of which is not questioned. Likewise as to the ten blocks which are 30 feet in width, parking was eliminated on one side of the street under the provisions of an ordinance, the validity of which is not questioned. The character of the properties abutting the street is mixed. It apparently was at one time all residential, but with the growth of the community, 75 or 80 non-residential establishments are located thereon. Among the various types of establishments referred to are, professional offices, service stations, retail stores, churches, schools, as well as one large factory in the vicinity of the highway. The ordinance in question is known as Ordinance 387 and provides as follows:

Section 1. That, except for Sunday, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to park any vehicle on the following streets of Canton, Illinois:

(1) On Fifth Avenue From Linn Street to Locust Street in said City.

(2) On Locust Street from Fifth Avenue to Main Street in said City.

(3) On Main Street from Locust Street to Birch Street in said City.

Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Streets or the Police Department to erect appropriate signs as will apprise the operators of vehicles of the provisions of this ordinance.

Section 3. That any person, firm or corporation convicted for a violation of this Ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not less than three dollars ($3) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200).

Section 4. This Ordinance shall be in force and effect ten days after its passage by the City Council, approval by the Mayor and publication according to law.

This ordinance was passed and approved on December 3, 1958, after which this suit was commenced by the plaintiffs to have it declared invalid for various reasons including its alleged unconstitutionality. We are concerned only with the alleged ground of unreasonableness.

Numerous witnesses testified in behalf of the plaintiffs to the effect that parking facilities were inadequate to accommodate patrons of the business and professional establishments along certain portions of the highway. One witness, a doctor, testified that the parking prohibition would force his patients to walk at least 1 1/2 blocks to reach his office. The treasurer of one church testified that older members of the congregation would not be able to park near the church for the many weekday meetings and attendance would suffer. Some of the witnesses testified that they had moved to their present location to avoid parking problems that had existed in the central business area of the community. There was also testimony that substantial sums of money had been applied to the remodeling and renovation of the present properties to accommodate the business and professional offices located thereon. There was some testimony that the parking prohibition would result in a decrease in some of the businesses and professions. There was testimony that accident frequency along the road was minimal. There was testimony to the effect that the presence of parked vehicles along the road caused no undue delays in the flow of traffic. This testimony resulted from test drives by plaintiffs' witnesses after the commencement of the action.

It seems undisputed that traffic conditions are approximately the same from Monday through Friday and despite the fact that Sunday is excepted from the provisions of the ordinance there is evidence that there is no difference in the amount of traffic on the street in question on Saturday and Sunday from what it is from Monday through Friday.

A 1956 traffic survey by the Safety Department of the State of Illinois showed a maximum traffic count of 8871 vehicles for a 24 hour period and a minimum of 5192 for a like period over the road in question. This survey indicates an increase in traffic of from 20 per cent to 40 per cent over that indicated by a 1948 survey. Defendants' witness, a traffic engineer with the Department of Safety for the State of Illinois, testified that traffic counts exceeding 8000 indicate that four 12 foot lanes are desirable. There apparently was some question as to whether the City of Canton would take the necessary steps to effect widening of the entire road so as to accommodate such multiple-laned traffic as a condition to a federal aid program. ...

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