Each year, the City gets dozens of request for special curb markings. Curb Markings can quickly resolve parking management problems.
Curb markings can help customers and delivery drivers with quick and easy access to your business, increase public safety by maintaining visibility in driveways and at corners, provide a dedicated pick-up place for SamTrans, and provide dedicated parking for physically challenged motorists.
Please click below to jump to the description of each curb marking.
The City maintains accessibility for people with mobility challenges in accordance with The City’s guidelines. That includes providing on-street blue reserved parking zones in residential areas, where appropriate, for physically challenged drivers.
Blue zones are areas reserved for parking by disabled persons. Blue means no standing or parking except by vehicles which display a distinguishing license plate or a placard issued pursuant to Section 2251.5 ("Disabled Persons' Exemption"), or Section 9105 ("Disabled or Blind Veterans"), of the California Vehicle Code. To be enforceable, a disabled parking zone requires a blue painted curb, a handicap pavement legend, and appropriate signage.
The City installs green curbs adjacent to business areas that typically have a high volume of short-term visits that are 20 minutes or less. A small percentage of these green zones are in downtown and are strategically located at intersection corners.
Business outside of the downtown area may be interested in short term parking. A request can be made by filling out the General Curb Marking Request Form and paying the appropriate application fee. Please refer to the fee schedule for information. If your request for a green curb is approved, you will also need to help pay for the installation.
How Long Can I Park at a Green Curb?
A green zone indicates no standing or parking for longer than twenty minutes at any time between 7 am and 6 pm every day except Sunday. The time limit will be painted on the curb in addition to a sign. In the downtown area, green zones have a time limit of 24 minutes.
Where Are Green Curbs Usually Found?
Green curbs typically are installed in shopping and entertainment areas where short term parking is needed, like downtown. Parking restrictions benefit the most people, most of the time in these areas. Outside of the downtown area green zones can be found adjacent to businesses like liquor stores, which typically have a high volume of short visits.
Red Zones - No Parking
Red Curbs are necessary for the smooth and safe operations of public transit, fire responders, and in general, all motorists. Red curbs are also necessary for other areas where a parked car will limit visibility for traffic, pedestrians or bike riders.
The City aggressively enforces its no parking areas. No stopping, standing or parking is allowed at any time at a red curb. No-parking signage is sometimes used instead of a red curb, but they are similarly enforced. No-parking areas are found all over the city.
Public transportation is the only exception to the “no parking in red zone” rule. A bus may stop in a red zone marked or signed as a bus zone.
Critical Red Zones
Critical Red Zones are installed for the benefit of the entire community. They can be installed on any intersection corner to maintain safe and efficient visibility, or on certain segments of streets where narrow street widths impede the flow the traffic or create unsafe driving conditions.
Non-Critical Red Zones
Non-Critical Red Zones include the curb space in front of fire hydrants, United States Post Office mailboxes, and appropriately signed and marked public transit bus stops.
Red Tipping – Keeping your Driveway Approach Clear
Ever try to get into your driveway only to find that the entrance is squeezed tight or partially blocked by parked cars? We can help you with a special curb marking called Red Tipping.
Red Tips can be installed typically in the following situations:
A typical driveway red-tipping installation would include up to approximately five feet of red curbing on either side of the driveway. However, the length of red curb installed at each location could be adjusted on a case-by-case basis depending on other factors, such as minimizing the loss of adjacent on-street parking spaces and operations at adjacent driveways.
Parking restrictions for driveway red tipping is enforceable just as any other no-parking red zone in the City. Any vehicle, including that of the property owner, can be cited for parking in a driveway red tipping zone.
To report a car parked in a red zone, call the 24 hour Police Department Non-Emergency Line at (650) 522-7700.
- Short sections of red curbing, normally requested by property owners, can be installed on either side of a driveway to promote better maneuverability into and out of the driveway and to improve visibility from the driveway. The amount of red tipping will be installed in a way that minimizes the loss of existing on-street parking spaces.
- Driveway red tipping can be installed to eliminate non-standard parking spaces (less than 18 feet) between driveways – a condition that sometimes leads to one or both driveways being partially blocked by parked vehicles.
Yellow and White Zones
Yellow and white curbs are provided for the convenience of businesses and to alleviate congestion in high-use loading areas. Detailed information, including the criteria we use to approve requests, can be found in the Curb Marking Policy Summary.
A yellow curb means no stopping, standing, or parking at any time between 7am and 6 pm of any day except Sunday for any purpose other than the loading or unloading of commercially related passengers or materials. There is a 3 minute time limit on passenger loading and a 20 minute time limit for material loading and unloading.
Yellow curbs are installed front of a business where there is frequent freight and passenger loading and unloading and where most of the curb space is taken up by people who park for several hours or days at a time, especially during critical delivery and drop-off/pick-up hours.
White curbs can be installed to permanently reserve curb-space for passenger loading only.
White means no stopping, standing or parking for any purpose other than loading or unloading of passengers. There is a 3 minute time limit for passenger loading and unloading.
White curb restrictions are in effect between 7 am and 6 pm of any day except Sunday and except as follows:
- When such zone is in front of a hotel, the restrictions shall apply at all times.
- When such zone is in front of a theater, the restrictions shall apply at all times except when the theater is closed.
- When such zone is in front of a school, the restrictions may be modified to apply to drop-off and pick-up times only, as determined necessary by Public Works staff and school officials.
Passenger loading zones typically are found in commercial areas, near schools, senior care facilities, senior housing, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, theaters, churches, and other large places of assembly.
There is a one-time fee for installing a white or yellow curb to help offset the city’s labor and materials costs.
Curb Marking Application Process
If you would like to apply for curb markings outside your home or business, please explore the Application Process page for policy information, forms, and fee schedule.