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Arielle wrote to ask about one of those little shortcuts many of us take when we’re running late but also trying to be responsible. Unfortunately, it won’t help us fend off parking tickets.

“I know it is illegal to feed other people’s meters, but is it legal in Santa Rosa to put more money in your own parking meter?” Arielle asked. “Is it legal to put more change into the meter when it is about to run out allowing you to park for more than 2 hours theoretically? By the same token, since with the parking kiosks you can only pay for a maximum of 2 hours, can you go buy another slip when the time expires, allowing you to park for more than 2 hours?”

Neither will help you because they circumvent the intent of the ordinance, says Kim Nadeau, Santa Rosa’s parking programs coordinator.

“The purpose of the time limit is to provide for turn-over of parking spaces and access to more parkers.  Long term parking is provided in the surface lots and parking garages,” she said.

“The posted time limit controls the length of time a parker is permitted to park in a space.  So, if a person puts additional time on a meter that causes them to exceed the posted time limit, they are in violation of the parking ordinance and can be cited for over-time parking.  The City ordinance is shown below.  The parking fine for this violation is $40.”

The only safe solution is moving the car, Arielle.

11-24.060 Overtime parking prohibited.

(A)       It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing any vehicle registered in his or her name or operated or controlled by him or her on a City block in excess of the posted time limit.

(B)       It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing any vehicle registered in his or her name or operated or controlled by him or her at a City-owned or operated off-street parking facility in excess of the posted time limit, or 72 hours if not posted, except by authorization from the Director of Transit and Parking or by a City lease agreement. (Ord. 3871 § 5, 2008; Ord. 3518 § 6, 2001: Ord. 2713 § 1 (part), 1988)

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