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Downtown San Diego Parking 101

By Mike in Downtown San Diego Real Estate with 0 Comments


Alright.here is some very useful information. If you live in Downtown San Diego or are planning to relocate.READ THIS!!! Parking in downtown can be a giant pain and costly! Meters, street sweeping, holiday and special event parking, tons of different colored curbs, inch regulations from car to curb.and with all this, the city of San Diego is not shy about distributing parking citations. Lets get educated!

Parking Zones
Parking zones throughout the city of San Diego are all color coordinated identifying parking regulations. Do you know them?

RED = NO Parking/ NO Stopping
• If ANY part of your vehicle protrudes into the red zone, you may be ticketed

WHITE = Passenger Loading Zones
• Vehicles are allowed to STOP for the purpose of loading and unloading passengers.you know, like at the airport. The time limit is 3 minutes or 10 minutes in front of a hotel. White zones are in effect 24/7, unless posted otherwise.

YELLOW = Commercial Loading Zones
• Commercial Vehicles and trucks are allowed to stop for 20 minutes to load or unload goods
• Passenger vehicles may also stop to load or unload passengers, but for 3 minutes.
• These commercial loading zones are in effect between 6am and 6pm with Sundays and City Holidays (listed below!) as an exception, unless otherwise posted

BLUE = Disabled Persons Parking Zones
• Vehicles displaying a California Department of Motor Vehicles issued placard or license plate may park in this zone
• Out of state and out of country placards are also honored
• With a disabled placard or license plate, you can also park at Green Curbs or in time-limit zones with no time restriction!
• Meter parking spaces are also free with no time limit
• Note: parking in blue crosshatch area designated for wheelchair lifts is prohibited and subject to a fine

GREEN = Short-Term Time Limit Parking
• Parking is limited to the time-period stenciled on the curb or posted on a sign (usually about 15-30 minutes)
• Green Zones are in effect 8am-6pm with the exceptions of Sundays and City Holidays.unless otherwise posted

Alright…colored curbs covered…next PARKING METERS Downtown San Diego meters accept quarters, dimes, nickels and Pre-Paid Parking cards (see below!) Time limits, hourly rates and times of enforcement are posted directly on the meter. If it is posted that it is 2 hour meter parking…you are prohibited to keep feeding the meter to remain there longer…you will be ticketed, trust me :(…Parking meters with yellow poles are under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Diego and may have different enforcement regulations…follow this link to read more about that. The One-Hour and Two-Hour Time Limit Parking Zones are only in effect 8am to 6pm with the exceptions of Sundays and holidays…unless otherwise posted.

Parking meters aren’t cheap…but it’s good to know that a portion of the revenue collected by parking meters is reinvested to address parking shortages, street and sidewalk improvements and so on….

Highly recommended…Purchase Pre-Paid Parking!
Pre-Paid Parking Meter Cards are available in $10 and $45 increments and can be replenished with amounts up to $49…and best of all, unused time at a meter can be credited back to the cards. To find out where you can purchase these cards click here

Do Not Park…..
1. in intersections and crosswalks, or on sidewalks and parkways
2. in a center median strip, unless signs are posted permitting parking
3. within 15 feet of a fire station driveway or fire hydrant
4. Blocking any driveway
5. on the roadway side of a parked vehicle (double parking)
6. in a bus stop, in a tunnel, upon a bridge (unless otherwise posted)
7. for more than 72 hours in any one spot without moving your vehicle
8. in an alley, except for the purpose of unloading goods or passengers, unless the alley is specifically designated as an “alley parking zone”
9. a heavy duty commercial vehicle in a residential area, unless the vehicle is loading or unloading goods, or has a service call in the immediate vicinity
10. an unattached semi-trailer on any street, except for trailers used for carrying personal property or for recreational purposes
11. in any other such manner that obstructs the free use of the street

You’ll Want to Read This….
Your Vehicle will be impounded if…

1. parked on a city street and found to have five or more outstanding citations
2. the vehicle registration is expired over 6months
3. parked in a carpool lane
4. parked during a “No Stopping/Tow Away” time
5. in violation of any parking regulations listed above

City of San Diego Parking Enforcement Holidays

January New Year’s Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday of January)

February Presidents Day (Third Monday of February)

March/April Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st or the neares Mon/Fri)

May Memorial Day (Last Monday of May)

July Independance Day (July 4)

September Labor Day (First Monday of September)

November Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday of November)

December Christmas Day (December 25)

Feel free to add on anything I may have forgot.

*All information provided by the City of San Diego parking brochure*