Midavalo mentioned that there exist some free parking lots in Old Town in San Diego near the trolley that goes to San Ysidro border crossing. E.g. https://www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com/dayofthedead/parking2.html

Free and ample parking is available at the Caltrans parking lot at 4050 Taylor Street. It is free and open to the public all day both Saturday and Sunday and Monday after 5:00. It's a great place to park, as the event begins just across the street!

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60750-i41-k5242108-Free_Cheaper_Parking_in_Old_Town-San_Diego_California.html mentions other free parking spots.

For how long can one leave one's car parked in such free parking lots? 24 hours, a few days/weeks/months?

  • 4
    Theres going to be a point at which its deemed to be abandoned, but exactly when is probably unanswerable as it depends on who notices it (parking attendant, police etc) and when its noticed. Will probably end up with a notice of removal on it for a week and then be removed. Same deal in the UK and in NZ for roadside parking, so its probably going to be similar here.
    – user29788
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 3:39
  • 1
    It seems like it's not open and free 24/7, based on your description.
    – Kat
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 18:43
  • @Kat thanks I was just quoting one example I could find easily. See the answer below for other parking spots. Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


I know people who have parked for 3 days in the public parking under the freeway right across from the train/trolley station. It is free and the signs only forbid RV overnighters. It is not a secure lot.

I have parked there myself, but never overnight. I last used it in Feb 2020. Looking at Google maps to locate it properly is tricky due to the freeway in the picture, east side of Pacific Hey next to the Old Town Transit Drop Off.

It's approximately in the location of the blue pin I've dropped on this map (it's below the freeway).

enter image description here

I found some of the signs in the lot (see below). It seems some say 24 hour limit, and some just say 24 hour parking, so I guess it's your risk any longer than that. As I said above I know people who have parked for 3 days (2 overnights) without issue - I was with them when they parked there, and they told me everything was fine when they returned.

24 Hour Parking:
enter image description here

24 Hour Limit:
enter image description here

There are other lots around Old Town, some free and some that charge. The other free ones I believe are less than 24 hours, and are for visitors to the park.


Depends on who owns the lot, and who administers it...and, as Midavalo and Moo observe, how much attention they're paying. The lot addressed by Midavalo seems to be administered by the City of San Diego.

The lot you cite at 4250 Taylor Street is owned by CalTrans. CalTrans' main District 11 parking page contains this text:

Lot Use

  • Park and Ride lots are for the ride share commuter (vanpool/carpool) parking and are not intended for residential, commercial, or long-term parking.

  • Daily commuter parking at Caltrans operated park and ride lots is free of charge; no permits are required.

  • Some Park and Ride lots are limited to Monday through Friday 5:30 am to 6:00 pm. There are signs posted at each of these lots.

  • 24-hour parking is not recommended. Vehicles parked outside of designated spaces or left in excess of 72-hours may be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense (California Vehicle Code Section 22651(k)).

  • No loitering, camping, vending, or parking of vehicles 30-feet or longer is permitted at any Park and Ride lot (California Vehicle Code Section 22518).

The entrance to this lot is on Sunset Street. Here's the entry, showing the signs posted there:

enter image description here


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