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The Office of Transportation is responsible for developing and implementing parking policies and programs that serve the needs of residents, employees, and visitors, while also supporting City transportation and environmental goals.

Check out the Parking Action Plan to learn more about the City's parking programs and policies, and to provide feedback on current or proposed policy implementation strategies. 


Parking enforcement (ticketing) has resumed, as of October 1, 2021. It is in effect in all commercial and residential parking districts. (It had been paused since March 2020 due to COVID-19.)

Enforcement for issues like parking during street-sweeping, blocking fire hydrants and red curbs, and any other violations prohibited by law is always in effect.

Uplift Local & Public Parking

Portions of University Avenue and California Avenue will continue to be closed to through traffic to support in-street dining and retail experiences as part of the Uplift Local program. While local Downtown and Cal Ave. visitors & employees are encouraged to walk and bike, any visitors arriving by automobile are encouraged to Park Free at the City’s public garages and surface lots through September 30. Time restrictions, fees, and permit requirements are currently waived, but will return on October 1, 2021. Local business staff and employees are encouraged to utilize garage and lot availability to prioritize commercial curb space for pickup/dropoff, and active loading/unloading. 

Please Note: Restricted areas such as red curbs, spaces designated for persons with disabilities, and any other locations prohibited by law are always in effect. 

Parking Action Plan

This Palo Alto Action Plan presents City staff's current comprehensive parking strategies for developing parking policy and implementation plans in the City of Palo Alto, coordinated by the Office of Transportation.

Residential Parking

Residential preferential parking districts, established by ordinance (Ordinance No. 5294), are intended to restore and enhance the quality of life in residential neighborhoods by reducing the impact of parking associated with nearby businesses and institutional uses. Learn more about the RPP programs in the following neighborhoods:

Employee / Employer Parking

Palo Alto Employers and employees may purchase permits to park on the street, or at any of the area off-street parking lots and garages. Learn more about the parking in the following districts and neighborhoods:

Visitor Parking

All day visitor parking permits are also available for all off-street parking lots and garages. Learn more about Palo Alto visitor parking.

Pay a Citation

Please visit the Administrative Services Department's Pay a Citation page.

Helpful Hints


  • Parking is prohibited within 15 feet on either side of a fire hydrant as per California vehicle code.
  • Parking is prohibited in a wheelchair parking space and the access space next to it unless the parked vehicle displays the placard issued by the DMV.
  • Several motorcycle parking spaces are available in Downtown Business district where you may park for free for up to an entire day.

On-street bike and parking lanes:

  • On a five feet wide bike lane, parking is prohibited at all times.
  • On a seven to eight feet wide bike and parking lane, parking is prohibited from 7 AM to 7 PM all day.
  • On a twelve feet wide bike and parking lane, parking is allowed at all times.