Residential zoned parking

Residential zoned parking is a local government practice of designating certain on-street automobile parking spaces for the exclusive use of nearby residents. It is a tool for addressing overspill parking from neighboring population centers (such as a shopping center, office building, apartment building, transit station, stadium, or central business district). Typically, residents in the zone pay a small fee to the government in exchange for a placard or sticker placed on their automobile(s) that indicates the zone designation (signified by a number or letter).

In the United States, residential zoned parking was challenged in 1977 as violating the constitutional right of equal protection of the laws, because it favored one group of people (nearby residents) over another group of people (commuters). However, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the practice did not violate Equal Protection. Since then, it has been put into common practice throughout the United States, and has even been used in non-residential areas when a local street's parking is reserved for a business, museum or other facility.

SF parking sign
This parking sign in San Francisco stipulates that motorists may only park for up to two hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday unless the applicable residential parking permit is displayed


Overspill parking

Overspill parking is the parking of vehicles beyond a defined area specifically designed for this purpose. It can occur because provided parking spaces are insufficient for demand or considered unsatisfactory, and may have unintended consequences on its surroundings. Additional official parking may be provided for an event, or at some distance from the intended destination.

Overspill car parking may simply be parking further away from a place than desirable. In some circumstances it may involve parking violations or other unauthorised or anti-social parking such as double parking, parking on verges or on sidewalks and can on occasions create difficulties for others.

Available parking may be insufficient, unsuitable, expensive or otherwise undesirable. Parking may be limited because the urban form historically made little provision for the parking of private vehicles, or because the transport authority zoning policies consciously limit the provision of parking spaces to discourage car use. Overspill parking is commonplace near shops, schools, hospitals, sports grounds and train/metro stations and at other locations that attract people and vehicles. Commuters prevented from parking for the day close to train stations may resort to parking elsewhere, for example on side streets, verges or other locations.

Overspill parking may conflict with other road users including other motorists, emergency vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and members of various vulnerable groups including the blind, wheel-chair users and people with small children. Vehicles parked on grass, authorised or not, can turn the area to mud in wet weather and parking on sidewalks can cause damage and additional maintenance/repair costs. Such cases may prompt preventative action.


Parking is the act of stopping and disengaging a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied. Parking on one or both sides of a road is often permitted, though sometimes with restrictions. Some buildings have parking facilities for use of the buildings' users. Countries and local governments have rules for design and use of parking spaces.

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