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4 Things to Know Before Parking in San Francisco

  • City Parking Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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4 Things to Know Before Parking in San Francisco  

There are very few cities in the United States that are as culturally vibrant as San Francisco is. From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to Lombard Street, Union Square, and Alcatraz Island, there are plenty of exciting places to check out across San Francisco. The Golden Gate city is also a fun place to drive around. However, unless you are familiar with the rules and regulations of street parking in San Francisco, you could end up with lots of parking tickets that can put a severe dent in your wallet. San Francisco is not one of these that have complex rules and regulations for parking. You must be aware of the fundamentals of street parking in San Francisco to ensure that you don’t end up with a ticket. If you are unsure about what those fundamental things to know before parking in San Francisco are, continue reading! If it’s easy parking in San Francisco that you seek, you can always pre-book a spot online through Way.com and park at some of the best garages for the lowest rates possible.   

Breaking down the basics of parking in San Francisco  

Before we move into the complex terms that could land you in trouble, why not cover some of the fundamentals required for parking to be legal in San Francisco. As a general rule of thumb, you are only allowed to park your car in the direction of traffic flow. If you are parking on a street that has a slope, you are supposed to go for angled parking so that your vehicle will not veer onto the street or downhill and cause a collision. For those going for parallel parking in San Francisco, remember to make sure your car is parked 18 inches away from the edge of a curb. Only go for street parking at designated parking zones, and stay clear of no stopping and no parking zones.   

Be patient while searching for parking in San Francisco.  

Parking San Francisco

If you are impatient and short-tempered, it is best to swap the driver’s seat with that of a passenger seat during your time behind the wheel in San Francisco. The city is notorious for having one of the worst traffic in the country, and there is no such thing as easy parking in SF. However, there are plenty of street parking spaces and even more parking garages spread out across the city, that you will eventually always be able to find SF parking. Either be patient and drive around to hunt down that street parking spot, or go to Way.com and pre-book a guaranteed parking spot at a garage next to your destination.   

Colored curbs signify different parking restrictions.  

Like many of its neighboring cities with long-running issues for street parking, the city of San Francisco also follows a colored curb parking system. Different colored curbs have different parking restrictions, and if you park at any colored curb without knowing what each color signifies, you can be ticketed. Here is a minor breakdown of what each colored curb means.  

Grey or Unpainted Curbs: These are your best friends when it comes to San Francisco parking. You are allowed to park here for long hours without any restrictions.   

Blue Curbs: Blue curbs are disabled parking zones, and only vehicles with a valid disabled parking permit are allowed to park here. These parking zones have no time restrictions, but if you don’t place the disabled parking permit properly on your car, you can be booked.   

Yellow Curbs: Yellow curbs are commercial parking zones, and unless your car has a commercial registration plate, you will be booked for parking here. Yellow curbs zones are mainly for loading and unloading cargo from commercial vehicles.  

Green Curbs: Green curbs are parking zones that come with a maximum time restriction of 10 minutes. Just make sure you move your car out of a green zone before the 10-minute limit expires. Green curbs are mostly found next to ATMs.  

White Curbs: White curbs are similar to green curbs but offer a shorter duration of five minutes for parking. They are primarily considered passenger loading and unloading zones, where you can pick up and drop passengers. You can find white curbs next to hospitals, restaurants, and schools.   

Red Curbs: Red curbs are no parking zones, and you are not allowed to park here at any given instance of time. Parking in red curbs can result in expensive parking citations, and you may even get towed without warning for SF parking in red curbs. These are usually marked next to bus stops, fire stations, and next to fire hydrants.   

Keep an Eye Out for Street Cleaning and Time Limits

San Francisco to Los Angeles Road Trip

San Francisco has restricted parking during street parking hours. Before you leave parking in San Francisco, it’s essential to make sure that you check nearby traffic signage for street cleaning schedules and time limits. If you are parking in a residential area, parking might be restricted to two hours in most scenarios. For parking zones without any time restrictions, you are allowed to park without restrictions for a maximum of 72 hours.   

Making sure you follow these fundamental rules for parking in San Francisco ensures that you stay safe from parking tickets to a great extent. However, when it comes to finding street parking spaces, it could still be pretty challenging. If you are okay with spending a dollar or two more than street parking meters, there are plenty of alternative parking garages with premium facilities listed on Way.com. 

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Looking for more¬†parking options¬†in the city?¬†Way.com has you covered ‚Äď get¬†online¬†or¬†book your parking space¬†through¬†our¬†iOS¬†or¬†Android¬†apps now!

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