Ask the County Law Librarian – Bus Zone Parking
Q: I cannot find any specifics to the parking code CVC 22500(i), Sacramento City, Sacramento County. I was parked 24 feet and 31 inches away from a bus sign and received a $367.50 fine. I felt I was parked far enough away from the sign and behind another car parked closer to it. I’m looking for the law that states the exact footage from the sign that would be considered the "bus zone". So far I’ve found only a vague description that includes red paint on the curb. There was no paint of any kind on the curb or any other indicator that my vehicle was parked within the bus zone. I feel the ticket is unwarranted. I’ve also noticed, and photographed, cars parked in the exact same spot every day since I received my violation notice and not one other car has had a ticket placed on it, in 2months! Additionally, the car that was parked closer than me did not have a violation ticket. My car is red. Could that be the problem?
Thank you in advance for your reply.
A: California Vehicle Code 22500(i) prohibits parking at curbs designated by local authorities as bus zones. In the City of Sacramento, the City Traffic Engineer is charged with determining the location and size of bus zones (Sacramento City Code 10.36.150). Bus zones are generally labeled with a red curb, a posted sign, or both.
The size of each bus zone is determined by the traffic engineer’s evaluation of the location. Factors considered include the width of the street, speed limit, traffic flow, and other safety and traffic-impact issues. The Sacramento Municipal Services Agency’s Improvement Standards provide drawings of several common scenarios, all of which include a minimum 100-foot bus zone.
The Transit Cooperative Research Program (a program sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration) has published Guidelines for the Location and Design of Bus Stops. These guidelines recommend a minimum of 90 -100 feet for bus zones near intersections, and a minimum of 150 feet for midblock bus stops. Although 100-150 feet may seem very large, keep in mind that most buses are 45 feet long, and they need enough room to safely pull into and out of traffic.
If you believe you were ticketed in error, or that the bus zone was not properly marked, you may contest the citation online at: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/transportation/parking/onstreetcitation.html. You can also find information about paying your citation from that website.
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