Streets and Roads


The ownership of a street determines who is responsible for the maintenance of the pavement, right-of-way, signs and pavement markings along that street.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has jurisdiction over the following streets:

  • All of Lincoln Avenue (Route 16)
  • All of 18th Street (Route 130)
  • Madison Street (Route 316) from 5th to 3rd Streets
  • All of State Street (Route 316)
  • Olive Street(Route 130) from 18th to 5th Streets
  • 5th Street (Route 130) from Olive Street North
The Eastern Illinois University owns and maintains sections of 7th Street from Lincoln Avenue south to Roosevelt Avenue.

Signs & Striping

Signs: The Street Department maintains the existing street signs in the City of Charleston.  Maintenance efforts include replacement of signs every 10 years, straightening bent post or damaged signs, and removal of graffiti.

Striping: The City of Charleston Street Department maintains the pavement markings.  Maintenance can range from centerlines, stop bars, crosswalks, or symbols such as arrows, railroad crossings, or only markings.


The Street Department of Public Works is responsible for the sweeping of all City streets that have curb and gutter lines.  This is done on a routine basis year-round, as weather permits.  The streets are swept by section and on an average of at least twice a month.  Areas of the City containing the older mature trees require, at times, a more concentrated sweeping effort.

The Square is swept every Wednesday morning to take advantage of the 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.  "No Parking" zone and the low volume of traffic. 

Cars Parked in the No Parking areas will be towed at the owner's expense so that the City can complete street sweeping.

Parking Restrictions

At any time it shall be unlawful to permit any vehicle to stand in any of the following places, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the direction of a police officer or traffic signal:

  • In any intersection;
  • In a crosswalk;
  • Upon any bridge or viaduct, or in any subway or the approach thereto;
  • Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within twenty feet (20') of a point on the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone;
  • Within thirty feet (30') of a traffic signal or a street sign on the approaching side; 
  • Within twenty feet (20') of the radius point at an intersection; 
  • At any place where the standing of a vehicle will reduce the usable width of the roadway for moving traffic to less than eighteen feet (18');
  • At any curb within fifteen feet (15') of a fire hydrant;
  • At any place where the vehicle would block the use of a driveway;
  • Within fifty feet (50') of the nearest road or a railroad crossing;
  • Within twenty feet (20') of the driveway entrance to any Fire Station and on the side of the street opposite the entrance to any such station within seventy-five feet (75') of such entrance;
  • On any sidewalk or parkway;
  • At any place where official signs prohibit parking;
  • On a two-way roadway in any manner other than with the right-hand wheels parallel to and within twelve inches (12") of the right-hand curb line, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the right-hand shoulder, and upon a one-way roadway, parallel to the curb or edge of the roadway, in the direction of authorized traffic movement, with its right-hand wheels within twelve inches (12") of the right-hand curb line or as close as practicable to the right edge of the right-hand shoulder, or with its left-hand wheels within twelve inches (12") of the left-hand curb line or as close as practicable to the left edge of the left-hand shoulder.

Potholes are generally caused by moisture, freeze-thaw action, traffic, poor base support, or some combination of these factors.  The City of Charleston makes every effort to patch potholes within two business days of a pothole repair request.  Timely pothole patching is influenced by many factors such as knowing it exists, the level of traffic, and the availability of personnel, equipment, and materials.  Snow and ice removal or other emergency situations would take precedence over pothole patching.

The City encourages citizens to report potholes to the Street Department at (217) 345-5811 or by email.  The Street Departments' work hours are between 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Please provide City staff with your name, address, telephone number, location of the pothole, and as much detailed information as possible.  This information is very helpful to the staff trying to respond to your request.  After business hours, on weekends, or holidays you will receive a pre-recorded message with general instructions and emergency information.  Please leave detailed information to ensure a prompt response.

Street Lights

Charleston Street Department has a crew that maintains the streetlights that are owned by the City. The crews are available for repairs from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Traffic and Lighting Section is familiar with most of the lighting on or near City streets. Most streetlights are owned by the City of Charleston or AmerenCips.  Private individuals own some lights, such as in parking lots or alley lights.  Any street light problem can be reported to the Public Works Department, Street Division.  If the light is not City-maintained, the City will forward the service request to the proper owner.

Most City of Charleston lights are high-pressure sodium lights that have a yellow-orange color. Lights that are leased from AmerenCips can be high-pressure sodium or bluish-colored mercury vapor.

Reporting Outages

If you have noticed a streetlight that is out, dim or blinking, then please report it to the Public Works Department, Street Division at (217) 345-5650.

The following information is useful to identify a specific light:

  • Address where the light is positioned over the road.
  • Side of the street the light is on.
  • Occasionally a pole number can be seen at eye level and usually start with the letters 'DQ'.
  • Please leave your name and a daytime phone number so we may call with questions if necessary.
Once a report has been made, the City will determine who owns the light.  If it is a City-owned light, efforts to repair the light within 48 hours are made.  If it is an AmerenCips light, the City will notify AmerenCips of a problem and they are responsible for getting the light repaired.

Traffic Signals

Charleston Street Department has a crew that maintains the traffic signals.  There are presently 10 traffic signals maintained by the City.  This responsibility is for operational problems such as signal lamps that are out, detection equipment that has failed, or problems that prevent the signal from operating efficiently or safely.
If you have any questions regarding a traffic signal that is already installed, contact the Charleston Street Department at (217) 345-5650.   If it is after hours, leave a message and your call will be returned during normal operating hours.

For emergency traffic signal problems, call (217) 345-2977.