April Fools’ Day Report: “Parking On The Streets of Petaluma”

April Fools’ Day!

An appropriate day indeed to discuss the ongoing foolish parking situation in our neighborhoods!


Granted, the increasing density of the vehicle population in our neighborhoods is inevitable.

The City has an ordinance prohibiting parking (storing) of vehicles on the streets for more than 72 hours.  But enforcement is ineffective as admitted by the Police Department.  (See details in the Notes Section at the end of the post).

So what to do about the situation?

Perhaps we should examine what we are doing…

  • Why does the Police Department continue their efforts as by their own admission they do not work? Is it because they do not issue tickets with fines and/or actually tow the vehicles?
  • If a vehicle is given warning tickets repeatedly, why not just tow it after a second warning ticket? Is there some legal reason why it can’t be done?
  • In several cases I have watched boats and vehicles move back and forth less than eighty yards because of the warning tickets—not even close to the one half mile required by the ordinance! This is silly to the extreme.
  • Why continue to waste time and resources under the current practices? Why continue to ask people to report these parking violations?
  • Do we need new ordinances specifically restricting the parking of boats, trailers, and RVs on the street at any time?
  • If the current laws are adequate, why not concentrate fine and towing enforcement on the boats, RV’s and trailers stored on the streets that deny parking spaces to legitimate vehicles that come and go on a daily basis in compliance with the law?

What does the City have to say about all this?

  1. The People of Petaluma are awaiting a constructive response!
  2. If the City has no constructive response, I propose two new ordinances for immediate consideration by the City Council…



(Such an ordinance will help reduce the amount of disposable plastics in our environment)

Metal Cups Made From Recycled Vehicles

CONCLUSION:  On this April Fools’ Day the joke is on us 😦


“Notwithstanding § 11.40.060, no recreational vehicle or trailer, including but not limited to camping trailers and boat trailers, laden and unladen, shall be parked or left standing upon any street or alley for more than 48 hours in any two week period, regardless of whether it has been moved from one parking spot on any street or alley to another such parking spot.  Any recreational vehicle or trailer parked or left standing in violation of this section may be removed in the manner and subject to the requirements of the California Vehicle Code.”

Alternative Proposal…

“Notwithstanding § 11.40.060, no recreational vehicle or trailer, including but not limited to camping trailers and boat trailers, laden and unladen, shall be parked or left standing upon any street or alley. A free (in the alternative charge a fee of $10) parking permit from the City of Petaluma can be obtained online for loading or unloading such vehicles. This permit will be valid for 24 (36?) hours.  Any recreational vehicle or trailer parked or left standing in violation of this section may be removed in the manner and subject to the requirements of the California Vehicle Code.”



Related Parking Article

Petaluma Residential Parking—Deja vu…once again

Petaluma Municipal Code11.40.060

Parking on street or alley in excess of seventy-two hours.

No person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle shall park or leave standing such vehicle upon any street or alley for more than seventy-two consecutive hours. For purposes of this section, a vehicle shall be considered to have been parked or left standing for more than seventy-two consecutive hours if it has not been moved at least one-half mile during such period. Any vehicle parked or left standing in violation of this section may be removed in the manner and subject to the requirements of the California Vehicle Code. (Ord. 2159 NCS § 1, 2003: Ord. 997 NCS §l: Ord. 858 NCS §1: prior code § 15.10.4.)

Petaluma Police Statement

The Petaluma Police Department has received an increase in complaints from residents over the last month regarding abandoned vehicles, boats, and recreational vehicles (RVs) on streets throughout the city of Petaluma.

Many of these vehicles are illegally parked, inoperative, and unregistered. Some of the vehicles we have located are missing engines, have flat tires, are covered with debris, or are leaking hazardous fluids. We have also received numerous reports of individuals living in recreational vehicles, who are dumping their waste water onto city streets and into storm drains. This practice is not only illegal, but it is harmful to public health and the environment.

These vehicles cause blight and create a nuisance to the surrounding areas.

We respond to each of these reports in hopes of improving the quality of life for the registered owners, the occupants of these recreational vehicles, and the community members living in the surrounding areas. While being sensitive to the housing situation impacted by local disasters, the goal has been to increase voluntary compliance with the current city regulations and vehicle code.

Our abandoned vehicle abatement (AVA) officer and patrol officers have been making contact with the subjects occupying each of these recreational vehicles. Upon contact officers are advising the registered owners or occupants of any observed violations, providing them with directions on how to be in compliance with the law, and offering information regarding shelter and other available resources offered in our community.

The Petaluma Municipal Code prohibits a vehicle from being parked or left standing for longer than 72 consecutive hours. Vehicles have to be moved at least one-half mile to be considered in compliance with the ordinance during such period. If the vehicle has not moved, it may be issued a parking citation and/or towed.

Despite our numerous attempts, many of these occupants have refused to comply with Municipal and Vehicle codes. We have discovered that many of these subjects just simply move their vehicles to different locations elsewhere in the city to avoid detection, rather than correcting the issues with the vehicles.

The Petaluma Police Department will continue to actively respond to and investigate reports of abandoned vehicles on public roadways. We encourage registered owners and occupants of these vehicles to proactively work to ensure their vehicle is legally parked, operable, properly registered, and in compliance with all Municipal and Vehicle codes.

To report an abandoned vehicle, call our non-emergency line at 778-4373. For additional information go to our website at http://cityofpetaluma.net/police/traffic.html





Photos You May Find Hard To View…

I have reserved this site for Weekly Photo Challenge posts but will make an exception to present a link to a recent post on my main site. The post in question illustrates a long standing social problem in our country…not just Petaluma.

I have added related links since its original publication a few days ago.

To view, go to Street Life…Life On Our Streets



WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Reward

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Reward

 As one who dabbles in street photography, my “reward” comes from spotting fast moving scenes in the corner of my eye and capturing them by literally shooting from the hip…

Railroad Square, Santa Rosa CA

Railroad Square, Santa Rosa CA

Weekly Photo Challenge–Symmetry

Weekly Photo Challenge–Symmetry

This is a bit tricky and I suppose the response is governed by which definition of  symmetry one elects to apply.

For example…

  • Symmetry is the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.
  • Symmetry in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance.
  • Symmetry is the  proper or due proportion of the parts of a body or whole to one another with regard to size and form; excellence of proportion.
  • Symmetry, balance, proportion, harmony are terms used, particularly in the arts, to denote qualities. based upon a correspondence or agreement, usually pleasing, among the parts of a whole.

For what it is worth…be I right or wrong… this is my offering for symmetry…

St Helena CA

St Helena CA

Scene(s) On The Street…Petaluma

This post is a bit of an experiment…an eclectic collection of Petaluma street photos. There is no particular theme or mission…just photographic observations…


On The Phone...

On The Phone…





Another Photog

Another Photog


Still Another Photog

Still Another Photog


Quick Change

Quick Change








Petaluma Blvd

Petaluma Blvd


Water Street...Permission to Pass

Water Street…Permission to Pass


Chalk Drawing

Chalk Drawing


Chalk Drawing

Chalk Drawing


Bird Bath?

Bird Bath?


An Absorbing Book...

An Absorbing Book…


Mission Bell

Mission Bell