According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there are nearly 900,000 registered motorcycles in the state. That is more than any other state in the US. With so many motorcyclists, it is important that every rider know that laws that pertain to safe operation in and around the roadway. This includes not traffic laws, but also motorcycle parking laws in California.
Parking on the Street
Parallel parking on the street is governed by California Vehicle Code 22502. The specific portions of the law relating to motorcycles are quoted directly here:
CVC § 22502
(a) … a motorcycle shall be parked with at least one wheel or fender touching the right-hand curb…
(e) (1) … a motorcycle, if parked on the left-hand side, shall have either one wheel or one fender touching the curb…
(2) This subdivision does not apply upon a roadway of a divided highway.
Okay, now to put this into plain English – the law says that a motorcycle must have at least one wheel touching the right curb. If the motorcycle is parking on a one-way street, one wheel must be touching either curb.
Parking on the Sidewalk
This is almost always going to be prohibited. Barring any special event that posts exceptions, parking a motorcycle on the sidewalk is going to be off-limits. This is governed by California Vehicle Code 22500. There are some jurisdictions that are more relaxed concerning this rule, but it is really not worth the chance of getting a ticket from parking/law enforcement.
Not only does the law state that a person cannot park on a sidewalk, but it also says that no portion of a vehicle can extend over the sidewalk more than a distance of 10 inches. This includes items that are required to be on a vehicle, such as lights, mirrors, or other devices.
Sharing a Metered Parking Space
This differs depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, local municipalities are responsible for enforcing parking meters. Therefore, there is no single law in the state relating to sharing a parking meter. If you are not sure about how local parking enforcement or law enforcement handle this issue, it would be a good idea to ask someone who does know. Better yet, if you see someone enforcing parking meters, feel free to ask them. Never assume that it is okay to share a metered space with another car or motorcycle. While this may save you money in the short-term, getting a ticket is certainly going to cost more than what paying for a metered space would have cost.
Parking Between Cars
Parking between cars is another issue that will vary by jurisdiction. In general, you should only park in between other cars if both vehicles around you have plenty of room to get out. That way, you will not have to worry about someone backing into your motorcycle or pulling in tight in front of them.
While it seems like common sense that parking garages would allow motorcycles, that is not always the case. This is particularly true for private parking garages. While we realize that there may not be many other motorcycle parking options outside of a parking garage, you should avoid parking in a private garage that prohibits motorcycles. You run the risk of having your motorcycle towed.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle crash, speak with a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney to seek compensation.