Parking meters in the city of San Diego. Courtesy of the city

The city of San Diego will begin enforcing parking regulations again starting July 1, taking another step toward pre-COVID-19 “normalcy,” it was announced Wednesday.

The enforcement will begin with a two-week grace period, during which violators will receive written warnings. Citations with corresponding fines will be issued beginning July 15.

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.”

The city suspended citations for vehicles violating street sweeping, metered parking, time limits and yellow commercial zones on March 16, after the state and county stay-at-home order went into effect. Parking enforcement has been limited to holiday or Sunday regulations only. Citations have been, and will continue to be, issued for vehicles parked illegally at red and blue painted curbs.

While street sweeping has continued during the public health emergency, the service was operating at a reduced capacity. Courtesy notices will be distributed to inform residents of the enforcement restart and return to regular service.

View an interactive map and street sweeping schedules by visiting sandiego.gov/stormwater/services/streetsweeping.

Drivers are encouraged to follow posted signage when looking for a parking space. To learn more about parking rules in the City of San Diego or to pay a citation online, visit sandiego.gov/parking.

–City News Service

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