The Valley of the Sun encompasses nearly 15,000 square miles—almost twice the size of Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. Because much of our Valley has limited public transportation options, most Phoenicians are dependent on our car to go to work, run errands or catch an event downtown. As a result, parking can become a frustrating problem.
According to a 2019 study, there are 12.2 million parking spaces in the urbanized metro Phoenix area, covering approximately 10% of the total area. When trying to find parking fifteen minutes before a Suns’ game, though, it certainly doesn’t seem like it. In those frantic moments before tip-off—or when heading to any other destination in the Valley—here are a few parking laws to keep in mind:
There are limitations when parking on or near your own property. A recent bill passed in the house (H.B. 2395) prohibits a person from stopping, standing or parking a vehicle in a private driveway if any part of the vehicle blocks an area of the sidewalk. Violating that law may result in a $250 fine. It is legal to park on private property unless there are “no parking” signs visible from all directions (no, you cannot remove the “no parking” signs and hide them in your trunk). Additionally, a car cannot be parked on a public street or property for more than 72 continuous hours.
Observe colored curbs. Colored curbs are there to let you know there are limits on parking in that area. While it might be tempting to park next to a curb, turn on the hazard lights and head into Footprint Center, law enforcement will likely disagree with you. As a result, it’s best to abide by the following curb color rules:
- Red curb: No parking, standing or stopping at any time.
- Yellow curb: Loading or unloading of cargo or material only.
- Green curb: Limited time parking only as indicated.
- Blue curb: Disabled person parking only with a valid placard or license plate.
Parking on freeways is not legal. Stopping, standing or parking on the highway is not allowed, regardless of whether the vehicle is attended or not. This Arizona parking law provision does not apply to stalled vehicles that require towing. If stopping is unavoidable, then try to park your vehicle so it is as visible as possible, with hazard lights on. Ideally, you want your vehicle to be able to be seen from at least 200 yards away. A vehicle parked on the highway can be ordered to be removed if it is determined to be an obstacle or hazard to traffic. The vehicle may also be removed in instances of theft, if it is left unattended, or due to the arrest of the driver or the inability for the vehicle to be moved to safety.
You must have a placard or specialty plate to park in handicap spaces. Handicap placards are issued to those that meet eligibility requirements. You’ll need to be certified by a health professional as mobility impaired. Fines and penalties can occur if there is evidence of misuse. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
- You can’t walk 200 feet without resting.
- You’re restricted by lung disease.
- You’re severely limited on walking due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when traveling around the Valley in your car. While violating parking laws isn’t likely to get you sent to Florence, you can be ticketed and/or towed, which can be costly. As a result, try to be mindful of posted signs indicating where you may or may not park and any limitations. And go Suns.
Parker Bunch is a member at The Cavanagh Law Firm. His practice focuses on insurance coverage and litigation, handling complex claims and coverage issues in both first and third-party claims.