How to park in America: lifehacks and useful tips - ForumDaily
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How to park in America: life hacking and useful tips

Parking for a beginner in America so as not to spend the entire budget is difficult without experience, especially in the most attractive tourist areas. But with a small educational program, you can use the existing parking infrastructure and quite successfully and budget to park almost everywhere.

Photo: Shutterstock

В Los Angelesthe example of which conducts educational campaign portal californiatripas in almost all of America, there are 2 types of parking - street along the sidewalk or on a dedicated parking lot.

Street parking

Parking on the street can be depending on the color of the curb. The official rules for the color differentiation of states in Los Angeles can be viewed here.

You can park on the street just near the curbnot painted in any color.

  • Red border means that stopping and parking are prohibited.
  • Blue - Parking is allowed only for persons with disabilities with the appropriate sign on the car.
  • White - allowed a short stop for loading / unloading passengers.
  • Yellow - loading / unloading for commercial vehicles is allowed.
  • Green - parking is permitted, but for a very short time, indicated on the adjacent sign, usually 15-30 minutes.

Parking is also prohibited in 5 meters on either side of fire hydrants, even if the curb is not painted.

You can park next to the unpainted curb. But when and for what time, tell the signs set next to.

Parking signs

If the signs are not visible in both directions on your side of the road to the nearest intersection, you can safely leave the car for 72 hours. In fact, you can and for longer, no one checks these streets. Is it possible that some vigilant old woman will tell you that she’s been in front of the windows for two weeks now is some nasty dirty car of an unpleasant color and spoils her feng shui.

If the signs are visible, then everything is written on them - when you can park, how much, when you can't. They should be read carefully, as they are quite confusing, even for locals. It seems that this was done on purpose - in order to replenish the city treasury at the expense of fines.

Deciphering and understanding these signs is like a test of logic, so people who understand programming are more likely to avoid the penalty.

How to read parking signs? It is necessary to read the sign from top to bottom. Here are some parking signs:


10AM - 6PM

Except Sat & Sun

  • This sign permits 2 hours parking (2 HOUR PARKING) between 10:00 AM and 18:00 PM (10AM - 6PM). At other times there are no restrictions, that is, from 18:00 to 10:00 you can park without time limits. The sign is not valid on Saturday and Sunday (Except Sat & Sun), so you can park without restrictions on weekends.


10AM - 6PM

Except Sat & Sun


8 - 10AM Mon

Street cleaning

  • This sign permits 2-hour parking (2 HOUR PARKING) from 10:00 to 18:00 (10AM - 6PM) on weekdays and anytime on weekends (Except Sat & Sun). No parking (NO PARKING) from 8:00 to 10:00 (8 - 10AM) on Mondays (Mon) - street cleaning.

Often there are arrows on signs - they mean that the sign acts from its place of installation in the direction of the arrow. In the opposite does not work. If there is no shooter, the sign acts in both directions to the nearest intersection. Signs are valid only on the side of the street on which they are installed.

In addition to permanent signs, there are also temporary (TEMPORARY), which prohibit parking or stopping on certain days of the week and intervals. They are often set for various events - for example, filming the next blockbuster. AT Los Angeles it happens quite often.

Temporary signs often hung under permanent. If there is a conflict between the permanent and temporary signs, then the temporary signs are valid.

If the sign says TOW-AWAY, then you will not only be charged a fine for violation (at least $ 63), but you can also evacuate the car (at least $ 300, most often $ 500-600).

In most cases, parking on the street is allowed parallel to the street, but in some places parking spaces on the street are marked perpendicularly or at an angle to the curb. HEAD IN ONLY can be written on the signs in these places - in this case, it is necessary to park so that in front of the car it is directed towards the sidewalk. If you park backwards, get a fine.

If NO PARKING is written on the sign, then the stop for loading / unloading is allowed, and you can stop for 5-10 minutes, as long as someone is in the car. If it says NO STOPPING, then it is better not to risk it.

PERMIT ONLY means that parking is allowed only for locals who have a special sticker or sign.

If you still have problems with understanding the signs, then you should focus on the Aborigines - if cars are parked on the street, then you can, and if one side of the street is suspiciously empty, and the opposite is crammed with cars, then you should not tempt fate.

Official information on parking signs in Los Angeles can be read by link.

How to pay for street parking

Now, when you figured out where and how much you can park your car, you need to find out whether you need to pay for it, and how much.

If there are no parking machines near the parking space, you are lucky and don’t have to pay. But such places in Los Angeles every year there is less and less.

If there is a machine in front of the parking spacebut at the same time no parking time limit, it is not necessary to pay. For example, if you parked at 21 HOUR PARKING 00AM - 2PM in 10: 6, you don’t have to pay, because after 18: 00 there are no parking restrictions. If you come to 14: 00, then you can pay up to 2 hours through the machine.

All machines accept payment in coins. Payment is not accepted by banknotes. Different machines accept different coins - almost all take 25 cents and 1 dollars, take 5 and 10 cents much less, and none accept coins in 1 cents. Each slot machine says which coins it accepts.

The vast majority of vending machines accept credit and debit cards. Entering a pin-code when paying is not needed - just insert and quickly remove the card from the machine. The reading is from a magnetic tape, not from a chip, so you do not have to wait for the pin request card when the card is inserted.

There are very few machines that accept only coins - mainly in industrial zones and in the back streets. In all popular tourist places, you can pay by card, but for complete peace of mind, you should keep 1-2 dollars in coins per 25 cents in the car.

When paying by coin machine shows paid time. Want to extend it - add coins. When paying by card, you must first select the parking time with the + / - buttons and then pay.

In most cases, each parking space has its own automatic. After payment it lights up a green light, it can be seen from the street. When the time paid expires, the light starts blinking red. This attracts the attention of inspectors writing out fines - they don’t have to stop at each machine gun; you can immediately see machine guns with elapsed time.

Sometimes there is no automatic machine at each parking place, but there is one central automatic device. If a parking space It has its own number, written on the sidewalk in front of it or on the curb, it will have to be selected on the machine before payment begins. The procedure for payment on the same as in conventional machines. If the machine has requested a seat number, then after the payment, he will remember it and then nothing needs to be done. If the number is not requested, then the machine is likely to print a paper receipt. It should be placed under the windshield inside the car so that the paid time can be seen from the outside.

The cost of parking on the street depends on the place - from 50 cents per hour in residential areas to 6 dollars per hour in popular places.

Penalties for improper parking in Los Angeles

  • Elapsed time on the parking machine - $ 63
  • Parking on the street during cleaning - $ 73
  • Parking for the night in an area reserved only for residents with a parking permit - $ 68
  • Parking in the restricted area, where there are traffic jams - $ 163
  • Parking on the bridge or in the tunnel - $ 68
  • Parking in a dedicated lane for buses - $ 293
  • Parking in a designated area for disabled people - $ 363

If your car was evacuated, then you will have to pay a fine plus a minimum of $ 300 for evacuation. If you do not pick up the car on the same day, then every day at the headquarters site will cost about $ 100.

Size parking fines changes from year to year, mainly upwards. These figures are relevant for December 2016 of the year - and only within the administrative boundaries of the city Los Angeles. Parking fines in selected municipalities such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadenamay vary.

Parking in a dedicated parking lot

In addition to parking on the street, there are many dedicated parking lots and garages where you can leave the car.

They can be both paid and free. These parking lots are either private or belong to the city.

Some city parking is free at certain times. For example, in Beverly Hills there are several underground garages in the very center, where you can park 2 hours for free at certain times. Information about these places can be viewed. here.

In many shopping and entertainment complexes, the first hour or two parking spaces in the garage are free of charge or cost 1-2 dollars. Often, in order to get these free hours, you need to get VALIDATION. To do this, go to the shops in the complex and ask to do this same validation. You will either be asked for a parking receipt, or they will indicate on the machine where to insert it.

Pay for parking in urban garages and parking at shopping malls is necessary at the exit. When leaving the garage from the mall, there are usually automatic machines. It is better to pay through them, so they give 15 extra free minutes to walk to the car and drive out of the garage. These machines accept both cards and cash. You can pay directly from the car at the exit barrier, but the machine only accepts cards there.

Parking at supermarkets

Parking at supermarkets free and full of them everywhere. But almost everywhere signs hang PARKING FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY (parking only for customers). Many have cameras installed, and if you leave the car and go sightseeing, there may be a surprise upon your return - an evacuated car and a bill from $ 300 and higher. They do not always evacuate, rather it is an exception, but it is not worth the risk.

Parking in the basement garages of office buildings

There are parking spaces in the basement garages of office buildings, mainly in downtown and business districts. They are the most expensive - maybe up to 15-20 dollars per hour. Upon entry, rates are always quoted, but often deliberately confused. For example, in half-meter letters $ 5 will be written, and at the bottom in small “for 15 minutes”. If you accidentally drove into such a garage, immediately turn around on the way out - say that you were mistaken, and you will most likely be released for free.

Parking near clubs and restaurants

And finally, there is a VALET parking - usually in restaurants and clubs. You drive up value opens the door to you and passengers, helps get out and gives a receipt. You leave the keys in the car and they take it away. When you return, give a receipt I swearand they bring you a car. There is such parking from 5 to 40 dollars, depending on the location, plus 1-5 dollars tip “Valeyu”who brings the car. Payment, most often, in cash.

The cost of parking in different areas and at different times you can see here и there.

Interesting statistics - in Los Angeles County, which includes the city itself and numerous suburbs, in 2010 there were more 18 million parking spaces in the year: 5.5 on streets in residential areas, 3.6 on streets in business areas, and 9.6 in private and urban parking lots .

Private parking on the street

Private parking in open areas that do not belong to outlets, most often located in places of high interest. In front of them you can see the touts, especially before some kind of events - concerts, sports matches, etc.

In these parking lots, as a rule, there are one or more employees. Sometimes you can even bargain with them. You must pay most often in cash.

Do not be surprised if you are asked to leave the keys to the car - it can be rearranged to score a parking lot to the eyeballs.

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