City of Santa Rosa > Departments > Parking > Motorcyle Parking

Motorcycle Parking

The City generally does not distinguish between passenger cars and motorcycles when it comes to parking regulations. As such, motorcycles are eligible to park in any parking space that a passenger car is allowed to park in. This includes paid parking spaces (meter or pay station), spaces with time-limit restrictions, and spaces that are unrestricted (but still subject to the citywide 72-hour on-street time limit).

More than one motorcycle may occupy a parking space as long as there is sufficient space and all parking regulations are observed. The City has designated areas in each of the City’s public lots and garages to provide free parking for the exclusive use of motorcycles.  Designated on-street paid parking for the exclusive use of motorcycles will be installed in areas of downtown as locations are identified that can safely accommodate these spaces without removing other parking.   

Some Places Motorcycles May Not Park

All regular parking regulations apply to motorcycles including not parking in front of fire hydrants, within 5 feet of a driveway, in Tow-Away Zones, in loading zones, etc. Additionally, motorcycles may not park:

  • in spaces in front of or behind striped parking spaces (as these spaces typically provide maneuvering room that passenger cars need to enter and exit an adjacent striped space),
  • along curb bulbs or indentions,
  • in alleys, or
  • on the sidewalk.

Motorcycles and Parking Meters

Motorcycles may park in any paid parking space, as can passenger cars. If a parking meter controls the space, the meter must be paid as long as there is a vehicle occupying the space. If more than one motorcycle occupies the space, it does not matter which motorcycle operator paid the meter as long as the meter is paid while any of the vehicles are in the space. When the time expires, all motorcycles in the space are subject to a citation.

Motorcycles and Pay Stations

If a parking space is controlled by a pay station, motorcyclists must purchase a receipt at a pay station and display it on the vehicle.  As with spaces controlled by parking meters, the space must be paid as long as there is a vehicle occupying the space.  While more than one motorcycle may park in the space, at least one of the vehicles must display a valid receipt to avoid a citation.  No citation will be issued as long as at least one motorcycle displays a valid receipt.  

Although it is possible for a person other than the driver of a motorcycle to remove a pay station receipt that is properly displayed on the motorcycle, it is an unlikely occurrence. Other cities using pay station kiosks have not experienced many incidents of this happening because the amount of time on the receipt may not be exactly what a potential "receipt thief" needs, or because the value of the maximum amount of a receipt is only $2.00 (which is a very small amount to risk arrest or public embarrassment for), or because there are usually other people in the area who may notice the theft and either say something or report it.  Some motorcyclists choose to write their license plate number on the receipt to prevent use of the receipt by others.

In the event a problem does occur and a citation is issued, the motorcycle operator may contest the citation by providing a copy of the receipt stub (perforated portion of the receipt dispensed by the pay station, to be separated and retained by the driver) or information as to the time and amount of money that was deposited in the pay station.