SAN DIEGO — Parking meters and pay stations in the City of San Diego have been flashing an appreciated message for the past three months, “Free parking, no payment required.” But that’s about to change. Starting July 1, the city said it is going to restart parking enforcement.
The city suspended parking enforcement back in March following the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, but now, with businesses re-opening, parking tickets will return.
“With our retail, restaurants, and commercial businesses re-opening, parking availability is very important for those businesses,” said Alyssa Muto, the Deputy Director of the Planning Department.
Muto said business districts across the city overwhelmingly support the move to create parking space turnover for customers.
“As residents park in a parking space for one, two, three or more days, that can really impact our businesses," said Muto.
Violation enforcement that will restart includes street sweeping, parking meters, curb time limits and commercial zones. Muto said the city never stopped ticketing for illegally parking in red and blue zones.
“Red is usually with parking hydrants or to provide adequate visibility when you approach an intersection and the blue is for ADA accessibility,” said Muto.
The city admitted some parking enforcement officers didn't fully understand the temporary suspension and improperly issued citations. If you received one, city officials said go to their website, appeal your citation and it will be dismissed. As for the July 1 restarting of enforcement, the city is offering a 14-day grace period before tickets are written to make sure everyone is aware of the change.
“We will be placing flyers on cars that are located on our roadways during street sweeping as a notification just to remind people that this is coming up,” Muto said.
City leaders realized that many people are still working from home, so enforcing timed parking is sure to make things difficult for residents in some neighborhoods. However, they hope the two-week grace period before ticketing starts will give people a chance to come up with other parking options.