In the US, I often see public parking where there's a hour limit (e.g. at a public library).

Can I simply park there, and after 2 hours, come back and re-park to the next slot in the same parking lot?

Is this a "technically correct" thing to do? Since it seems like this may defeat the purpose of the hour limit, is it frowned upon?

  • The answer is it depends. – Karlson Oct 21 '14 at 15:26
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    It very much does depend on who runs the parking lot/spot/area at the time of your use. That organization sets the rules. (i.e. a State Fair renting some land can have it's own parking rules, City Metered spots are usually under city ordinances, and a Privately Owned parking garage uses it's own rules). There is no over-arching Federal, or even State, guidance for parking, usually. – CGCampbell Oct 21 '14 at 15:41

No, usually this is not allowed, since as you say it would defeat the purpose of the time limit.

The exact rules of course vary from city to city, but as an example, here is San Francisco's rule:

In permit areas you must move your vehicle after the posted time limit (typically 1 to 2 hours) if you don't have a permit. The law requires you to move one block away or at least one-tenth (1/10) of a mile—about 500 feet. Do not drive around and then park in the same block, or you can be ticketed!

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    In my town, the traffic control uses license plate reader equipped patrol cars to ensure compliance. – RoboKaren Oct 23 '14 at 6:37
  • @RoboKaren I have just seen these in use in Berkeley. No more wiping off the chalk they used to put on the tires! In Davis, California, there are actually signs telling you how far away you need to go to reset the clock. – Andrew Lazarus Oct 29 '14 at 5:24

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