is multi-space parking illegal?

I know “Double-parking” is illegal - that’s where people are parked at the side of the street and someone else parks next to them so they can’t get out of their spot.

I’m talking about multi-space parking, where you take 2 or more spots in a parking lot. You aren’t technically blocking traffic, but you are keeping other people from parking where it’s convenient.

I started a Blog site where I’m putting up pictures of cars parked rudely ( ) and a friend told me I should submit the site to the police so they can pursue those drivers.

I have actually called the police two times and both times they told me that multi-space parking is not illegal. My friend tells me the police don’t know, it’s Parking Enforcement I should call.

I’m in California, if that helps.

Also, does the law change depending on the type of property? For instance, in a hotel parking lot? At your business parking lot? In a grocery store (or other retail) parking lot. Apartment complex? I assume at business and apartment complex, you have a manager call a tow truck. But what other places and the law?

I handle traffic cases all the time and I’ve never seen anyone cited for parking so badly that he takes up two spaces. It’s sloppy, selfish and rude, yes, but isn’t illegal in Ohio, AFAIK.

I got a $50 ticket for doing this in California.
FWIW, it’s still unpaid.

If it was street parking where the parking spaces were metered, would you have to pay for two parking meters?

Police would make a fortune in the winter around here if it were illegal (actually, I don’t know if it is or isn’t). And it’s not just the snow that covers the lines. Even when it’s completely dry outside, the salt residue is apt to make parking space indicators invisible.

Where? On the street? In a private parking lot?

There’s a lot of variation. For one thing, as we’ve discussed in other threads, parking enforcement varies with the jurisdiction and the type of parking area. In some jurisdicitons, private parking lots are pretty much private. There is an exception for handicapped spaces.

If it’s a university with its own parking enforcement people or a municipal lot, there’s a much better chance that taking up two spaces can result in a ticket:

In a parking lot that serves a hotel / boardwalk in Marina Del Rey. You pay for a ticket as you enter. I have a big truck, and parked at the far end of the nearly empty lot, and took 1 1/2 spaces (I pulled through, so the truck took up part of the rear space). There’s no way I’m ever paying that ticket…

According to what I’ve learned from reading Gridlock Sam, in NYC if a car is longer than two street parking spaces, the driver should feed the first meter only.

It depends on where and local laws. AFAIK ianal, in CA you can be ticketd in a public lot, on a private lot they can tow you. In some private lots, they have given over parking enforcement to the police.

But rarely ianal can the police do anything with a photo of what amounts to a code violation that occured in the past. (Generally, ianal they have to witness such violations in person, ymmv) So, in CA, submiting those photos to the local police could not and would not get them to write a ticket- ianal, ymmv, this is not legal advice, etc.

My anecdote: in the next town over, the public library is right next to the police station, and shares a lot. I’ve seen a truck parked across two spaces over a period of months, and it has never seemed to be bothered.

Now, it might be owned by the police chief for all I know, but it doesn’t appear to be an issue in that California town. Our truck is pretty big, and we often wind up taking a bit more than one space (always far away in the lot) and have never had a problem.

“Mr. Skin! That’s even a better name than ours!”

I had been taking pictures of rudely parked cars and considering setting up a site for about a year when I heard about this site on a local radio station (KROQ). This was about 2 years ago.

I liked their idea, but using the word asshole unfortunately makes it tough to get the human resources director at work, my grandmother, and people’s 13 year old kids to go to the site.

I also don’t like the smaller thumbnails on their site - on some of them it’s tough to see the violation without clicking. Plus it’s a little slow.

TheSan Francisco law looks like it specifically mentions multi-space parking:
According to the Traffic Code, “it is a violation for vehicles to stop, stand or park other than in a regularly designated parking space, across any such line or marking, or in such position that said vehicle shall not be entirely within the designated parking space area.”

But that looks like a SF thing, not a California thing.

If it’s on a grocery store or mall parking lot, who do I call?

I guarantee if I call the owners of the lot, they won’t care. They won’t use law enforcement on a paying customer. I asked them at Walgreen’s to do something about a truck that took two spots right in front of their door, and they refused.

One problem is that there may have been a former parking screwup with previous cars in the lot that force a later driver to park in a weird way to get the space. When the other cars leave, it just look like like the last car just chose to do it on purpose.

Actually, I kind of had a hard time seeing what the problem was with some of the photos on your site. On some of the other photos, you seem to blame car B, when it’s apparent that car A is so close to the line that of course car A has to park “rudely.” I’m saying “apparent” because it’s not really clear in some of the photos.

It depends on the jurisdiction and usually the individual lot. Here is how they work it in Pasadena, for example:

Here is the ordinance:

I’ve seen very few signs saying “Park in numbered stalls only” and the like. Would a legitimate customer in a lot saying customer parking only (which is common) be liable to be cited if there is no sign about taking one space?