Seven Ways to Avoid a Parking Citation

The easiest way to deal with a parking citation is to avoid getting one in the first place. Know your parking options and park responsibly.

  1. If at all possible, use the parking garages. 72 hour time limits mean you won't have to hurry back to your vehicle. First hour free at Garages 1 and 12.

  2. Signs and curb colors indicate the amount of time allowed or the restrictions at the given location. A red curb means...
    Don't Even Think About Parking Here!

  3. Commercial loading zones (yellow curbs) are enforced Monday through Saturday. Use is restricted to vehicles with a commercial license plate, a valid commercial loading zone permit or the company name prominently displayed on the vehicle during posted hours.

  4. Passenger loading zones (white curbs) are enforced 24 hours and day, 7 days a week. Vehicle must be attended at all times.

  5. Disabled spaces (blue signs or markings) are strictly enforced and in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even with a placard, you are NOT allowed to park in the cross hatch area adjacent to a disabled parking space.

  6. Parking on the street or in a lot in excess of the posted time limit (or feeding the meter) is subject to an overtime parking citation. When the maximum allotted time has expired, you must move your vehicle from that block or lot for the rest of that day. Vehicles displaying a valid disabled placard are exempt from time limits.

  7. Licensed contractors may purchase meter bags to provide parking in front of a job site.

Avoid a citation - DO NOT PARK at red painted curbs, fire hydrants, in crosswalks, at curb ramps, facing on-coming traffic, or in any area where parking is prohibited by a sign or curb marking.

Parking Tips!

  • Pay the Meters
     This one is simple, just pay. Don't think you can flip on the flashers to avoid a citation because you are only going to be gone for one minute.

  • Stash Quarters
     Although the City of Santa Rosa adopted high-tech meters that accept credit cards and coin to make paying for parking easier, keeping a roll of quarters in your glove compartment is a good idea. Also, you can download the Passport Parking app and use your smartphone to pay for parking at any metered location in Santa Rosa! Look for it in the App Store or on Google Play.

  • Use Public Transportation
     Walking or taking the bus is an easy way to avoid citations. Using mass transit is good for the planet, too.

  • Look Around
     Before leaving your vehicle, check for "No Parking" signs. Also be sure you are not blocking a fire hydrant, illegally occupying a handicapped spot, or parked on a pedestrian crosswalk. Check that you're parked wholly within the one parking space, where lines are designated.

  • Set An Alarm
     If you plan to park in a metered spot, note the expiration time and plan to return a few minutes early, setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder. By using the Passport Parking App, you will receive reminder notifications before your time expires.


Heartbreaking Stories


Dozens of children and pets die each year because they are left unattended in parked vehicles. The temperature inside the vehicle can quickly soar above 110 degrees. Never leave a person or animal in a parked car.
Image of a small dog in a car