SAN DIEGO — San Diego residents who violated parking rules during the coronavirus pandemic may have caught a break as the city stepped back enforcement, but it will be business as usual again soon.
Aside from certain major violations — such as parking in spaces marked with red or blue curbs — the City of San Diego hasn’t been issuing tickets since mid-March due to COVID-19.
But officials warned on Twitter Wednesday that starting July 1, all parking regulations are back on the table. Residents can still catch a break — officers will only issue written warnings until July 15, at which point citations will be issued and cars will be towed when necessary.
As more city services and facilities reopen to the public, many city employees, including parking enforcement staff who had been deployed to assist with closures at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are now being called back to resume their normal shifts.
“We know many residents are looking forward to visiting their favorite restaurants, breweries, cafes, shops and stores, and restarting our local economy,” said Deputy Chief Operating Officer Erik Caldwell. “As the city begins to take careful and measured steps to reopen, we need to make sure parking enforcement, especially in our business districts, allows for a healthy flow of customers, ensures accessibility and reinvests back into our communities.”
In developing a plan to restart parking enforcement, city staff consulted with several business groups representing communities across San Diego. According to a city statement, business owners are in support of resuming enforcement, specifically meter time limits, as restaurants, salons and retail shops are being reopened to walk-in customers under new public health guidelines related to COVID-19.
“Like all San Diegans, local business owners have shouldered the burden of our unprecedented situation the past few months,” said Chris Clark, spokesperson for San Diego’s Small Business Alliance.
“Now, we are finally starting to sense a return to business and life as usual. While free parking is convenient, parking meters help incentivize turnover at prime parking spaces in business districts. This keeps commerce flowing efficiently and supports local restaurants, shops and services.”