Curb Markings

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.

Application Process

If you would like to apply for a curb marking outside your home or business, visit the Application Process webpage for policy information, curb marking request forms, and applicable fees.

Types of Curb Markings

Blue Zones

Blue zones are areas reserved for parking for disabled persons. A blue curb means no standing or parking except by vehicles displaying 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. 

The City's blue curb policy, called the Residential On-Street Accessible Parking Spaces Policy and Procedures, strives to accommodate the needs of the community by designating on-street accessible parking spaces in residential areas when no reasonable off-street parking option is available. 

Green Zones

Green zones are time-limited parking zones where the length of time that a vehicle can remain parked in a particular space is limited to a specified duration. A green zone indicates no standing or parking for longer than twenty minutes at any time between 7:00AM and 6:00PM every day except Sunday. The parking time limit for green zones is typically twenty minutes. However, other time limits may be established if warranted by Public Works review. In the downtown area, green zones have a time limit of 24 minutes.

Green curbs are typically 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 zones are no-parking zones where no stopping, standing or parking is allowed at any time. The City aggressively enforces its no parking areas. No-parking signage is sometimes used instead of a red curb, but they are similarly enforced. 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.

Red curbs are necessary for the smooth and safe operations of public transit, fire responders, and in general, all motorists. Red zones are also necessary for areas where a parked car will limit visibility for traffic, pedestrians, or bike riders.

Critical Red Zones

Critical red zones are installed for the benefit of the entire community. Red zones are generally considered “critical” where parking restrictions are necessary to maintain safe roadway and traffic conditions, such as 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, but are not limited to, the curb space in front of United States Post Office mailboxes and public transit bus stops. 

Red Tipping – Keeping your Driveway Approach Clear

Red Tips can typically be installed in the following situations:

  • 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.

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.

Report a Car Parked in a Red Zone

Call the 24-hour Police Department Non-Emergency Line at (650) 522-7700.

Yellow and White Zones

Yellow and white curbs are provided for the convenience of businesses and to alleviate congestion in high-use loading areas. 

Yellow Zones

A yellow zone indicates an area that has been designated for freight and passenger loading activities. A yellow curb means no stopping, standing or parking at any time between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. of any day except Sunday for any purpose other than the loading or unloading of passengers or materials. There is a 3-minute time limit for passenger loading/unloading and a 20-minute time limit for loading/unloading materials.

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 by people who park for several hours or days at a time, especially during critical delivery and drop-off/pick-up hours.

White Zones

White zones can be installed to permanently reserve curb-space for passenger loading only. A white curb 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 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. of any day except Sunday and except as follows:

    1. When such zone is in front of a hotel, the restrictions shall apply at all times.
    2. When such zone is in front of a theater, the restrictions shall apply at all times except when the theater is closed.
    3. 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.