Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell title=
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell
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Source: City of Goleta

This month, Sergeant John Maxwell, head of the City of Goleta’s Motor Traffic Unit, is sharing parking tips. Even though we may see a space large enough to fit a car or truck, it does not mean it is a legal parking space. California law puts restrictions on certain locations to enhance public safety and to provide easier access for emergency services.

The following is a brief list of parking violations commonly encountered by City of Goleta Parking Enforcement:

  • Parking within 15 feet of a Fire Hydrant:
    The California Vehicle Code prohibits parking a vehicle within fifteen (15) feet of a fire hydrant, whether or not the curb is painted red. The purpose of this law is to allow the Fire Department access to the hydrant in the event of an emergency. The only exception to this law is if a licensed driver is sitting in the front seat and is able to immediately move the vehicle if needed.
  • Blocking Wheelchair Access:
    The California Vehicle Code also prohibits parking a vehicle blocking any portion of a curb that has been cut down, lowered, or built to provide wheelchair accessibility to the sidewalk. These areas are typically located on corners, but be watchful as they can also be present wherever the need to provide wheelchair accessibility has been established. Also note that, unlike fire hydrants, there is no exception to this law, even if a driver is in the vehicle.
  • Red Curbs:
    We all know that it is unlawful to park along a red curb. The Goleta Police Department’s Traffic Unit would like to remind all motorists that this includes any portion of your vehicle that may extend into the red curb. When parking, be sure to take an extra moment to ensure your vehicle is not in a red zone in any way to avoid the cost and inconvenience of a parking citation.

The Goleta Police Department is committed to working with our community to keep our roads safe for everyone. If you observe a parking violation that you believe needs to be addressed quickly, please call (805) 683-2724 to notify a Deputy or Parking Enforcement Officer. To report an ongoing parking issue that concerns you, please click here to complete a Citizen Service Request.

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a-1563633898 May 08, 2019 03:40 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

9:35 a.m. You are correct. Mea culpa. Parking in bike lanes is not prohibited unless posted. So what I gather from this is that there is a lot of information out there that our resident "expert" does not deal with. Gawd knows how many bad citations are issued because the cop doesn't know the law?

PitMix May 08, 2019 03:27 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

Based on these comments, does Sgt Maxwell have any info on whether police officers are expected to obey all laws unless they are responding to a call with lights and sirens flashing? And how do any rules get enforced?

a-1563633898 May 08, 2019 08:51 AM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

Silly. Also not allowed to park in bike lanes or when signs are posted or to double park or to block a driveway or to leave the car with the motor running. Calling on people to report parking violations is a bit scary but really pretty small potatoes...maybe we should have a call for less parking regulation?

a-1563633898 May 08, 2019 09:35 AM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

I believe that you are incorrect about parking in a bike lane. The law generally states that you can park in a bike lane unless it is prohibited. I ran into that issue on Los Carneros by Stow House. People used to park in the bike lane for events and then the city posted the no parking signs. I called the city and asked why they had posted the signs when it was already illegal and they told me that it is legal to park in the lane unless it is posted. That is why the did what they did.

a-1563633898 May 07, 2019 03:35 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

Many years ago I found a red zone parking citation on the windshield of my car. My car was parked less than the length of my hand within the painted curb. I consider myself as law abiding. And wrong is wrong, but for that particular incident, it was total BS then - and total BS now as I think about it. Thank you for letting me vent.

a-1563633898 May 07, 2019 02:19 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

One of those parking enforcement electric vehicle thingies was parked in the red in front of the Santa Barbara Police Station the other day. Why are they (parking enforcement) and other police vehicles exempt from parking in the red when it's not an emergency or otherwise connected to enforcing law?

a-1563633898 May 08, 2019 01:06 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

It makes TOTAL sense for police to park in the red, even if they are taking their lunch break - it allows them to park closer and be able to respond quicker to emergencies. But parking attendants?? Heeeeeellllllll no, that should never happen. You should complain to SBPD if this becomes common. Red zones are not only red for emergencies, but also to prevent parked vehicles from causing visibility issues. I think the city could lose bigtime if those parking attendants in the red contributed to an accident and the city was sued. They're asking for it.

biguglystick May 08, 2019 09:17 AM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

This really boils my blood! They are NOT above the law, and I'm sick of seeing cops run red lights, etc, and then just slow down to regular traffic flow (because they can). Just yesterday I was behind a cop who pulled a U-turn abruptly in the middle of the street (a moving violation with a hefty fine)! This cop then proceeded to just keep going as if nothing had happened. Cops are public servants, nothing more, here to "keep the peace" but it has become a giant militarized mess... a club and a culture for the "men in blue". They are NOT ABOVE THE LAW, and they should act accordingly and follow the rules of traffic at ALL times unless pursuit of an emergency calls for them to rush. So sick of this. Be an example, cops, don't just flaunt your power.

a-1563633898 May 07, 2019 12:41 PM
Parking Tips from the Goleta's Sergeant Maxwell

Not only is it unlawful to park at a red curb, it is unlawful to stop there too (even to drop someone off). That's a very interesting tidbit about legally blocking a fire hydrant without red curb, I had no idea that was the case. Thanks for all of these reminders!!

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