Back-seat Driver: Sacramento parking law is murky
By Tony Bizak
Did you know that when your parking meter time is up, you’re not allowed in Sacramento to scoot to another meter on the same block?
Neither did midtown worker Karen Cicak. She got a ticket, but couldn’t find anything in writing at the city explaining why. (Actually, city officials dismissed her ticket when she complained and they determined she had reparked on a different block from her initial spot.)
Cicak asks: How are parkers supposed to know the “off the block” rule? It’s not on the signs.
The answer: Not unless someone explains it. The code section officials cited to us is fuzzy and doesn’t mention anything about moving your car a block.
In fact, it seems to say once your meter is up, you must leave downtown or whatever “business district” you’re in. Even city officials were scratching heads over that wording. “We’re not sure what the thinking was,” Linda Tucker said.
Tucker said parking officials interpret it simply as: Just go a block away. That way, workers are less likely to use up spots in front of stores and restaurants by running out every two hours to play musical cars. The city prefers that workers park in garages or lots.
The “off the block” rule applies at “pay and display” kiosks also.
They know if you’ve moved a block or not, thanks to license plate scanning cameras with global positioning technology.
Prompted by Cicak’s question, officials are now writing new explanations for confusing parking topics, to post at: cityofsacramento.org/ transportation/parking/ onstreetquestions.html
School bus redux
I got it wrong last week in explaining when to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing and stop-sign arm down. You stop if you are going in the same direction as the bus, no matter how many lanes there are. You also stop if you are going the other direction on, say, a street with one lane in each direction. But you do not stop if you are on the opposite side of a multi-lane street (two or more lanes in each direction) or a street with a median divider.
Credit reader Nick Ferrari for pointing out an important distinction.