City Testing Different Parking Rules in Midtown Sacramento for Street Cleaning

SACRAMENTO -- Midtown resident Joley Halby has lived in the neighborhood for two months and she and and her boyfriend have four parking tickets costing around $200 to show for it.

It's the result of no parking rules that have been in place since the 1980s to allow street sweeping and refuse and recycle pickup. They usually entail a ban on parking from 8 a.m. to noon on days assigned to the street.

"One side of P Street is Monday, across the street is Tuesday, this side would be Thursday and then the other side would be Wednesday," said Halby, quoting parking restrictions that confuse even longtime residents and workers in the area.

Resident Larry Fox says signs are being changed in the neighborhood to accommodate the increased parking demand brought on by the Golden 1 Center and the growing number of businesses in the popular area.

Fox says parking enforcement is very strict.

"They're going to give you a ticket. They are very unrelenting," said Fox.

But a pilot project, that roughly includes a 12-block area, will begin next week that changes most one-day-a-week restrictions to one day a month. The area is bounded by 19th and 23rd streets and N and P streets.

"We're going to be returning 270 hours of parking," said Erin Tredwell with Sacramento's Public Works Department.

Because street sweeping actually happens just once every six weeks, and many businesses and apartments that line midtown streets put refuse in bins in the alley and not on the street, the no-parking rules don't make sense on some streets.

City workers canvased the pilot area to see which curbs don't need the one-day-a-week no-parking designation. The problem is that access by city crews can vary, sometimes every half a block.

New no-parking once-a-month signs are now being put up along with placards, reminding motorists to check the sign near where they are parking to ensure they don't get a ticket.

Some streets that currently have no restrictions will get signs, others will remain the same. The pilot area will be monitored closely "to see how confusing it is or if it is achieving more parking for the residents and businesses down here," said Tredwell.

City officials are hopeful that it will be a positive for most residents.

"That will make things a lot less stressful," said Fox.

The new parking rules in the test area will begin Oct. 24, although warnings will be issued instead of tickets for the first two months.