At the emergency meeting on Monday March 16th city council agreed that certain parking regulations should be suspended during the local coronavirus state of emergency. The concern is that few people are working or traveling and family members may come home and all of it adds to demand for a limited supply of street parking. Yet the urgency ordinance which closes businesses and prohibits evictions for non-payment includes no specifics about new parking arrangements. We did some digging. Here’s what you need to know.
The city has posted to the coronavirus information webpage this blurb about parking:
On March 16, 2020, City Council approved for residents to request a 30-day temporary permit for residential zones with time limits and preferential parking zones. Street sweeping regulations will be relaxed, but we kindly request you still follow posted signs to help keep our streets clean. Contact us at 310–285–2196 for temporary residential permits and be prepared to demonstrate proof of residency. In the commercial district, the City will accommodate parking in front of restaurants to allow for easier access for ‘to-go’ dining. If you have citation questions related to an exemption you should have received, contact us at 310–285–2196 Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
But there’s not much certainty in that description. Will the police ticket on street-cleaning day? Will there be sufficient overnight parking capacity on blocks “at or near where we live” (which is what the parking regulations require)? Will the city allow parking overnight streets near multifamily which don’t normally permit such parking?
The parking blurb isn’t as detailed as we expected. We did some digging to learn more and came up with this preliminary advice:
- Obtain a one-month temporary permit when somebody in your household needs daytime, evening or overnight street parking. It’s free, quick and easy.
- Park during street-cleaning hours at your own risk. What the police call “relaxed enforcement” is not iron-clad as an actual suspension of the restriction.
- Residents who need overnight parking will continue to hunt for a spot on the limited number of multifamily blocks that allow it. No additional street is permitted for overnight parking.
- Four city garages offer free overnight parking to holders of overnight parking permits when parking after 6 p.m. and exiting before 9 a.m. (scroll down for details).
Parking Changes Due to Covid-19 but ten days after the the emergency order took effect there is still no real clarification to residents about where we can park. We did some digging to learn that only four of the eleven garages listed on that page as open can even accommodate parking overnight. Incredibly that bit of information is not even noted on the dedicated parking page.The city has posted a webpage titled
Temporary 1-Month Temporary Parking Permit
The challenge for multifamily residents who need a permit for daytime, evening or overnight parking is that those permits are sold on an annual basis in the fall. A household can spend $150 for both daytime and overnight permits. Now the city has up-and-running a “temporary permit” that is available by phone at 310-285–2196.
It took only 5 minutes to see our temporary permit in the email inbox. We already had established a parking exemption account so it required simply verifying the current information. (Establishing an account may require sending in proof-of-address.) The printable permit is shown below. It is good until April 18th and may be renewable.
Street-Cleaning Restrictions: Park at Your Own Risk
What does “relaxed enforcement” mean in the context of a parking restriction? We contacted the department looking for more clarity. Mark Miner, Captain of the Special Operations Division wrote:
We used the term relaxed enforcement because counsel still wants the streets cleaned but we are not going to issue sweeper tickets. We would just like residents to still be cognizant so the streets can be cleaned and if it gets bad we may have to start strict enforcement again but we will message the community.
The better idea is not to ticket for street-cleaning in the first place by suspending the street-cleaning restriction rather than relax enforcement. We’ll keep pressing for it. In the meantime, any multifamily resident who gets ticketed for that violation should get in touch with Renters Alliance.
Overnight Parking: Same Limited Capacity, Greater Demand Now
It is well and good to offer a free monthly overnight parking permit but it is something else to provide sufficient overnight parking capacity. Where will residents and visitors park given that curb parking adjacent to multifamily is already near 100% capacity overnight?
However the police department advised that no overnight parking restriction has changed. We have proposed to the city that additional overnight parking capacity — as much as 20% more — could be provided if the overnight restriction on side streets adjacent to single-family areas was suspended.
Today for example, the policy creates an odd circumstance where overnight parking is allowed on one side of the street but directly across the street (or even on the other side of the alley) overnight parking is not allowed. It would make sense to make overnight parking allowed with a permit on all side streets next to multifamily. (We mapped the additional capacity a change in restriction could add.
City Garages: An Overnight Parking Alternative
City parking garages have long provided much-needed overnight parking capacity when no space is available on the street. Residents with overnight parking permits can use a garage in a pinch and do so without cost. (Guests or non-residents can park overnight by paying the flat fee even without an overnight exemption.)
But we won’t find this information on the city’s parking webpage or even the coronavirus information webpage. We found it in a ten-year-old map that shows overnight parking districts. It also helpfully describes the overnight garage parking availability.
City parking services has confirmed that the information is still accurate. We even verified it a second time. So in a pinch we can park overnight in those four garages for free, with a permit, if curb space is not available.
Parking Changes Due to Covid-19 but ten days after the the local emergency took effect there is still not sufficient information posted there. The webpage doesn’t even note that only four of those garages are open for overnight parking!The city has since posted a webpage titled
Have you had difficult locating overnight parking or been ticketed when parked during a street-cleaning period? Please get in touch with Renters Alliance with your experience.