In Spain, more precisely in the Basque Country, I have seen letters "R" and "E" before parking slots.

What do they mean / stand for?

R E R E R This one is in the town of Zumaia. Picture is taken on Google Street View.

  • 1
    Perhaps the exact location might give a clue?
    – Berwyn
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 15:16
  • 3
    My guess is Estacionamiento Residentes, but it's purely a guess
    – Berwyn
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 15:31
  • 5
    my guess is the direction that the car should park...
    – Marcel P.
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 15:57
  • 3
    @MarcelP. this was my first guess, but the same letters show up in places where there's parking spaces on both sides of the road, as well as where parking spaces are perpendicular to the road, so that doesn't quite fit.
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 16:50
  • 1
    @jcaron I can only assume that Marcel was joking, based on the fact that the first three cars alternate in direction in the photograph. It would be ludicrous for the city council to require cars parked at the kerb to be parked in alternating directions: the only sane options are "park whichever way you want" and "park facing the same way as the traffic." Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


According to the Zumaia website:

There will be 3 parking areas:

  • Resident area (painted white with the letters R and E)
  • Areas of high rotation (A, B and C: painted blue and red)
  • Half-stay area (painted blue)

(Google translation, emphasis mine).

Note that this seems to be in use in some other places. Other cities make extensive use of blue-and-red, blue-and-green and whatnot.

Just to complete the consequences of those innocent letters:

Resident area:

Only people with a resident card can park here.

  • 7
    So is there any difference between the E and the R spots? Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 18:50
  • 6
    @PaŭloEbermann it seems to be just an easy scheme to alternate the letters at a decent distance from one another...
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 20:23
  • 2
    As suggested by @Berwyn it’s probably Estacionamiento Residentes
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 4:29
  • 1
    @jcaron Yes, the "e" stands for estacionamiento. So E (estacionamiento) R (residentes).
    – Shirkam
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 6:58
  • 1
    "Other cities make extensive use of blue-and-red, blue-and-green..." This brings to mind a basic concept I learned about Web accessibility: don't convey important information using color alone as many people are color-blind. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:16

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