I'm gonna travel to the USA in 2017, and drive around in Idaho State and maybe Oregon State. I heard a rumor that it is illegal to park a car along the roads, even if drivers are staying close to the car. I think this is false information.
What is the truth ?
This depends entirely on the situation.
It is true that in most cases along major highways such as freeways the shoulder is for emergency use only.
Thanks a lot, Mr. glabah.
I understand major highways are primarily or the use of emergency vehicles.
Then, what about road shoulders along minor roads or low speed-limit roads ?
It depends on the situation.
In a number of places the road shoulder is too small to park there without partially obstructing the lane. In some places in Oregon (I don't know about Idaho) the road shoulder may be a dedicated bike lane and parking is not allowed there. In some places the road shoulder is wide in order to allow a dedicated place for slow vehicles to pull over and allow everyone else to pass.
There are a number of places where it isn't a problem because you are able to do this because the space is large enough to get off the road without causing a problem.
I'll try to find some Google Street View illustrations of the various situations. It will have to be sometime tomorrow.
Thanks again, Mr. glabah. Your advice is very helpful.
My objective of driving a rent-a-car is to see the totel solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. We need to escapse from clouds that will hide the sun. So, I'm gonna drive myself.
The majority of people - those from outside the USA - who are crazy for the totality will join some package tour. But package tours usually don't try to escape from the shadow of clouds. I think Americans will mostly drive on their own.
The borderline area between Oregon and Idaho is the bast place in terms of the fine weather prognosis. So, I will have to drive north of Biose.
North of Boise on the Oregon-Idaho border gets you somewhere along Highway 95, such as this:
This is an area where the road is too narrow in most places to park on the shoulder.
However, you will be able to find places like this:
where the shoulder has a wide spot that is wide enough to pull all the way over and outside traffic.
Following glabah's instructions will serve you well. One guideline you can follow is, if you can pull your car fully off the pavement, you should be okay.
There are often turnouts where you can safely pull over along the highways.
In general, you're only supposed to use the shoulders in emergencies. It's just not safe to leave your car there. Pulling off of the pavement as much as possible is the best way, but you need to be careful not to block driveways, and not to block mailboxes (it's common in rural areas to have a pull-out for the mailbox). And, of course, you have to make sure there's not a steep ditch/embankment on the side of the road, as there often is.
There are often gravel areas at rural intersections where you can pull off. Or you could find a parking lot. I don't think it will be a problem as long as you're willing to drive a few miles.
I agree with your self-drive option. It's easy to drive in the US, and it's often cheaper than taking a tour, and will offer you more freedom. Just make sure you have all of your insurance squared away.
Great thanks. Now, I can feel assured to drive a rent-a-car around in the total solar eclipse zone, and safely park in the road shoulders.
I think having a mobility will increase the chance of seeing the totality from 80% to 90%.