I have been parking in Atlanta for 8 years now and have never received a parking ticket. I haven’t put a lot of thought into it either. I have parked around Georgia State, near the High Museum and in the Business district with no problems and no tickets.
Still, Atlanta residents and business owners are fed up with parking tickets since PARKatlanta took over Atlanta parking. At a recent meeting at Grady High School a chiropractor (Dr. Jay Hammer) complained that PARKatlanta is running off his business and making him feel like what he is doing is illegal. School employees complained of receiving tickets while doing their jobs. In fact, parking tickets were given out to people at the meeting. One has to ask why people are being penalized for parking to conduct business and what they could be doing wrong.
PARKatlanta.ORG has made parking regulations clear on its website. According to the website, the city has parking zones that are indicated by signs and must be obeyed. There are 15, minute, 30 minute, one-hour, and two-hour time limits in different zones. These zone limits must be obeyed from Monday through Saturday from 7am to 7pm with the exception of certain holidays. In addition to these zones, the Government/Business zone allows 2 hours of parking, there are mixed use zones that allow 3 hours of parking, School/University zones allow three hours of parking, and in the Entertainment/Restaurant/Hospital zones, parking is allowed for four hours.
Besides obeying the rules of each zone, drivers must be aware of colored curbs. Each color indicated a different rule. No Parking/No Stopping zones which are indicated by yellow curb markings. In short, if the curb is painted yellow (or has remnants of yellow paint) don’t park there. Also keep an eye out for orange curbs which are reserved for commercial loading. Finally, if the curb is painted blue, and you are not handicapped, park elsewhere. If you are in doubt, read the sign that accompanies the painted curb.
Then there are parking meters. The rules around the meters are probably the most infuriating and confusing. Basically, you can park for up to 2 hours, for $2.00. You cannot feed the meter, and you are not allowed to finish out someone else’s parking time.
If you live in Atlanta, some neighborhoods also have permit based parking rules. However, residents are complaining that PARKatlanta is writing them parking tickets in front of their own homes. PARKatlanta has responded that they are following neighbor complaints and not “trolling streets looking for victims.” Perhaps these residents are supposed to be parking in their driveways and/or facing in the right direction.
So what is someone who wants to park in Atlanta supposed to do? Well, since I have never received a parking ticket (crossed fingers for good luck), I will give my best advice. Look for zone signs when finding a spot. Check the curb for painted no parking zones. Get out of the car, walk around the car to make sure you are parked correctly, and that you have read all the signs nearby. If you are using metered parking give yourself an extra 1/2 hour to conduct your business. When in doubt use private garage and lot parking. It works for me.