SAN DIEGO — For the better part of nine months, San Diegans have been able to park where they want, red zones not included. That all came to an end on Friday.
Following the California Department of Public Health lifting the regional stay-at-home order on Monday, San Diego began enforcing parking regulations again starting Friday.
From Jan. 29 through Feb. 7, the city will issue warning notices. Starting Feb. 8, citations with corresponding fines will be issued to vehicles violating street sweeping parking restrictions, metered parking, time limits and yellow commercial zones.
“It’s always been tough to find spots here in Little Italy,” said Robert Cardenas, who was working in the area. “With the restaurants taking over the streets, it’s even harder.”
Cardenas has built almost every outdoor seating area for restaurants in the area. He said construction is booming in many areas of the city.
He said parking hasn’t been an issue for him before this week. Now with the stay-at-home order lifted and restaurants occupying street space, he doesn’t expect to have the same luck.
“It’s kind of hard, because you have to park two blocks away to unload materials to bring to the job site,” Cardenas said.
The city suspended its parking enforcement to coincide with the regional stay-at-home order and curfew initiated by California in December.
“In accordance with the state’s decision this week, it’s necessary to resume enforcement of parking regulations,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “I continue to strongly urge San Diegans to stay vigilant — wear a mask when you leave your home, avoid gathering with those outside your home and practice physical distancing. Doing so will help us stop the spread of COVID-19.”
During the stay-at-home order, citations continued to be issued for vehicles parked illegally at red, white and blue painted curbs.
Although street sweeping has continued on all routes during the public health emergency, the resumption of enforcement is intended to allow city sweepers to sweep debris and dust pollution along the curb line to maintain water quality and reduce the potential for flooding during the current rainy season.
On Feb. 8, posted street sweeping restrictions will also be enforced in areas with parking spaces designated for restaurant pick-up orders. Drivers are encouraged to follow posted city signage when looking for a parking space.