SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego’s Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to amend its 72-hour parking violations. The changed code means cars and trucks will have to move a farther distance to avoid a ticket.  

Some of the main concerns the city expressed were safety and the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods, while some residents question if enforcement will be fair and not targeted to one group of people.  

Under the amended city code, cars and trucks are required to move at least half a mile every three days, as opposed to only a tenth of a mile. The code was first enacted in 1985. 

“People get a citation, then they move it like three feet and get away with it under the old law,” said Jennifer Campbell, San Diego City Councilmember, who sits on the public safety committee.

The city said cars parked for more than three days are neighbors’ number one complaint, with reports of the city’s “Get It Done” app receiving a daily average of 130 complaints.  

Staff from Mayor Todd Gloria’s office said these parked cars have blocked sidewalks and crosswalks, inconvenienced neighbors and further limited parking. 

“Promoting safer and more efficient traffic flow. We will see improved parking in our commercial corridors, encouraging a steady flow of customers and reducing the negative impacts of long-term parking on local business,” said Mayor Todd Gloria’s staff for community engagement. 

“I think if they are going to enforce that law to everybody and not just the vehicle dwellers, that’s fine,” said Dawn “Bear”, a San Diego native who lives in Ocean Beach. 

Dawn said people who are living in cars are often treated differently when they park, versus people who are living in houses and park their cars. 

“They’re not getting cited, they are not getting the warnings, it’s obviously people who are living in their cars, and most of us are peaceful dwellers. I clean this park every morning,” Dawn said.  

The new distance is a toss-up among San Diegans.  

“I would go as far as ¾ of a mile or one mile, get these cars off the street,” said one person during public comment of the public safety committee meeting.  

“Half a mile, I think it’s ridiculous. There’s been some days when I don’t have the gas to move my car. So if I have to move my car a half a mile and I break down because I’m out of gas ….how fair is that?” Dawn expressed.  

According to the city, after a car is parked for three days the police will issue a citation. Officers must wait three more days before issuing another ticket or towing the vehicle.