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Work Trucks and Trailers on streets

Original post made by concerned resident, Evergreen Park, on Jan 8, 2007

Does anyone know if there is any ordinance that prohibits the parking of commercial work trucks, or trailers on public streets. Our neighbors own many trucks, and park all over the street--not leaving much parking for others. Not to mention what the neighborhood looks like, a truck lot.Other cities do prohibit this-- is there anything a neighborhood can do ?

Comments (19)

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Posted by A Guy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2007 at 6:56 pm

See the PA muni code. It has provisions that prevent vehicles from being parked on the street for more than 72 continuous hours without being driven at least .5 mile. If you neighbor is using the street for storage, getting the police to cooperate in enforcement would probably buy you a lot.

There is a also a provision in the PA muni code that allow the city manager to designate a street or neighborhood as a "no large vehicle" parking zone. The code only requires that the city find that large vehicles (as defined in the code) are a being a nuisance, so if you take some photos and lay it out the city, you might get some cooperation here, especially if you can get a most of the neighbors to sign a petition asking for it.

Just my 2 cents based on my reading of the code. Whether the city will actually help, I don't know. But as they say, squeaky wheels and all....

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Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Forget about it. Palo Alto does NOT enforce so-called nuisance laws.

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Posted by Elyse
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 7:58 pm

I live in Evergreen Park and just returned from work to see the street lined with trucks and trailers, no spots on Ash St. I know neighbors have called code enforcement for years, yet nothing is done. It is time for some rules--it really is a nice neighborhood, but too many trucks from companies being stored.As well as residents bringing trailers etc--why is this allowed, it is not in Menlo Park ?

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Posted by anonymous resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2007 at 8:13 pm

We have problems in our neighborhood with extra cars parked almost all the time on the street. It makes it difficult to get through here since our street is narrow. I support having the city enforce the rules.

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Posted by Jill
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 8:36 pm

I believe that after a few days, you can call the cops and they will put a tow sticker on the truck. Did that in my neighborhood....

Good luck. It really is a nuisance.... I guess if enough folks complain, they will pay attention!

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Posted by Lu
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 9:23 pm

I feel your pain. We have a similar problem in our neighborhood with employees of downtown offices/businesses parking on our streets and then walking to work. Although not as unsightly as construction vehicles, it is nearly impossible to find street parking on weekdays in front of our own house! In addition, visibility at corners and at end of driveways are obstructed and create a dangerous situation for pedestrians as well as other drivers. One would think that even if the city is not concerned about the "visual polluton", they would at least care about the safety of its citizens.

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Posted by Sue
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 9:05 am

I totally agree that all the construction trucks are a real nuisance in Evergreen Park -- both from a safety standpoint (kids can't see cars coming and cars can't see kids crossing streets), as well as from an ugliness standpoint (it looks like a commercial parking lot). This isn't a situation of a few trucks working on a particular construction site, but rather, general contractors who aren't willing to get storage facitlies for their vehicles -- which often include tractors, trailers and lots of trucks. I just don't understand how they can get away with it. It is such a flagrant misuse of residential parking. I'd sign a petition!!

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Posted by A Guy
a resident of another community
on Jan 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

Can't park trailers, etc, on residential streets overnight:
10.44.020Standing or parking, two a.m. to six a.m per PA muni code.
(Web Link)

(a)No person shall, between the hours of two a.m. and six a.m. of any day, unless authorized by a hardship permit issued pursuant to Section 10.44.021 or a construction or maintenance permit issued pursuant to Section 10.40.045, park upon streets or alleys located within a residential zone or public facility zone any of the following vehicles:
(1)Oversized vehicles;
(3)Camper shells;
(4)Tow trucks as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 615;
(5)Special construction equipment as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 565.
(b)Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no signs or markings are necessary to give effect to the restrictions and prohibitions contained in this section.
(Ord. 4558 § 5 (part), 1999)

Also see:
10.36.030Use of streets or public parking facilities for storage of vehicles.
(a)No person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle shall park or leave such vehicle standing upon any street or alley or public parking facility for a period of seventy-two consecutive hours or more. For the purposes of this section, a vehicle shall be considered to have been parked or left standing for seventy-two or more consecutive hours if it has remained inoperable or has not been moved at least five tenths of a mile or more during said seventy two hour period.
(b)In the event a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a street or alley or public parking facility in excess of a consecutive period of seventy-two hours, any member of the police department authorized by the chief of police may remove such vehicle from the street as authorized by the California Vehicle Code and subject to the provisions of this section.
(c)Prior to removing any vehicle, notice shall be affixed to the vehicle advising that the vehicle will be removed for violation of this section after seventy-two hours unless it is moved at least five tenths of a mile.
(d)Whenever a member of the police department removes a vehicle pursuant to this section and causes it to be stored as permitted by the California Vehicle Code, the chief of police or his designee shall comply with the requirements of Section 22852 of the California Vehicle Code relating to post-storage notice and hearing for registered owners and legal owners of record.
(Ord. 4558 § 3 (part), 1999)

Also see Ch 10.47 Large Vehicle Parking

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Posted by Mom In E.P.
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 11:05 am

Thanks Guy. The police told my neighbor that his trailer could be there as long as he moved it every 72 hours. If trailers can not be on the street, they are in clear violation. I have called the city, they have not responded. It is hard to enforce codes that the city and police do not enforce. These codes do exist, I hope to make this a better place to live-- and should be enforced.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 9, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Does oversized vehicles also include RV's? I have a construction company near by house that always has a couple of RV's with employees sleeping in them on my residential street. Not, only do they have the RV's, but also a personal car, and a company work truck. A total of 6 vehicles for 2 people. It is out of control...

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Posted by A Guy
a resident of another community
on Jan 9, 2007 at 2:30 pm

time to break out your tape measure:

PA Muni Code 10.44.015

(1)"Oversized vehicle" means any vehicle exceeding seven feet in height or exceeding twenty feet in overall length or exceeding seven feet in width (including any load or accessory thereon other than antennas), provided that this definition shall not apply to vehicles which exceed these dimensions solely because of modifications required to accomodate a disability and the vehicle is lawfully displaying a disabled placard or license;
(2)"Camper shell" means a structure designed to cover and/or protect the bed area of a pickup truck but removed therefrom;
(3)"Trailer" means a vehicle designed or utilized for being drawn by a motor vehicle.

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Posted by Mom in EP
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 3:17 pm

There are clearly trailers-- but they park after 4pm. I think the PA Code officers must not work after 4-- or maybe do not care. I wonder if the police will ticket or at least advise people.

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Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 3:33 pm

You all are wasting your breath!

The laws of Palo Alto will only be enforced when candidates for Council are supported by people who want them enforced. It will have to get a lot worse, before it gets better.

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Posted by A Guy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2007 at 3:59 pm

I don't really agree with that. If you just give a phone call, then yeah, probably not much is going to happen. But if you write letters, get other people to write letters and call, organize, and continue to hound folks, eventually this system will reach a new equilibrium in response. They do care when they believe that an entire neighborhood perceives a problem if for no other reason than that means votes and willingness to fund city employees. Yes, I've seen it done and it is possible to get results but generally not without some persistence.

The other thing that you can do if you don't mind directly taking things into your own hands is that you can sue for nuisance value in small claims court. If they are breaking the law in an ongoing fashion creating a chronic problem I would be amazed if you do not prevail in a well documented, organized case.

Yes, if you are apathetic about it or silently assent with a single phone call left as a message, then well, it must not really bother you is the message that will be sent.

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Posted by DS
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2007 at 5:00 pm

We had similar problems in our neighborhood. Lots of RVs parked with people sleeping in them. Several neighbors called the Police Dept. It is illegal. Unfortunately you do need to be persistent, but the police will come out to ticket if you provide them with the information they need. I found it was a lot easier to have them police the 72 hr. limit than the size limit.

I also printed the section from the municipal code and put it under the windshield wiper of the parked vehicles. Sometimes people weren't aware of Palo Alto code and that was enough to get them to move.

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 7:52 pm

While we are on the subject of roads and parking- how are those "circles" working out in the college terrace area?

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2007 at 8:45 am

Here's a useful web page for filing traffic complaints: Web Link

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Posted by Elyse
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

Thanks for the link Larry. There is alot of confusion over what is allowed and what is not. It is hard to ask neighbors to move their cars unless it is a clear violation, and a nuisance.

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Posted by john brown
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 11, 2008 at 12:30 am

wow im employed by local enforcement and matters never resolved or become a problem situation awareness within my crew unless u the The people make that call and whenever u do get the time and record number and badge information and if this information is asked it will be done maybe after time but be persistant and if possible give ur neighbor a chance and tell them how u feel. Give us a break we are working keeping the streets safe not what inplace and whats not.

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