One of the problems that I’ve got in my California’s trip was: where I can park my car? Remembering my friend’s experience that he parked the car randomly… He had to pay to retake the car from the towing company. We’ve been really careful to understand how and where you could park your car without problems.
And so I’ve found these 3 simple rules that I strongly suggest you to follow if you want to avoid any trouble!
1. Watch the color of the sidewalk border to understand if you can park the car or not. It goes obvious that not all the sidewalk is colored but only the side on the roadside! :-). Now we’ll see together the meanings:
- Sidewalk with red paint: it’s always prohibited to park there.
- Sidewalk with yellow paint: area reserved for commercial vehicles, such as buses.
- Sidewalk with green paint: short-term parking, for 15 or 30 minutes. I recommend you to check the signs for the maximum transit time because it could change from area to area.
- Sidewalk with blue paint: park reserved to disabled people.
- Sidewalk with white paint color: transit and unloading passengers.
- Unpainted Sidewalk: Free parking is available if sidewalks’ side have gray edges unpainted, if NOT otherwise indicated. Always be careful about street signs and look close to see if there are time limits or other restrictions. If you find the ticket column means that you have to pay. Don’t you even think to be smart and leave your car longer than what you paid for. There is a patrol police that runs only to monitor the parking lots checking the columns… And when they see the light lit, automatically means that the time is over and they’ll fine you!
2. Street signs that you might find:
- “No parking” means the possibility of stopping (with the driver in the car) for loading or unloading passengers.
- “No stopping”: can’t stop in that area
- “No standing”: you can load and unload people for a short amount of time (see if t’s clear for how long)
3. Now we see other information about the parking rules that it could need you!
- It’s always forbidden to park less than 3 meters from a fire hydrant
- You must always park your car in the direction of traffic, even in the Malls.
- If you are uphill (as always in San Francisco) and you have the car’s snout downhill turn the wheels toward the curb and put on the handbrake.
Failing to comply this rule, you could be fined.
Never assume anything in US, remember that if you’ll be stopped by the police you have to stay in the car, roll down the window and keep your hands on the steering wheel! Stay in the car!!!
Enjoy your drive and stay safe!