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Chapel Hill Parking Cheat Sheet

Parking 101
Safe parking requires that all drivers follow these basic guidelines

  • Do not park farther than 12 inches from the curb.
  • Once you park, make sure that all four wheels of your vehicle are touching the street surface. You will receive a parking citation if a tire is sitting on the curb or sidewalk.
  • Parking is prohibited within 25 feet of an intersection.
  • Parking is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Parking is prohibited in bus stops or loading zones. Loading zones are reserved for commercial vehicles that are actively loading and or unloading only.
  • Do not block driveways; you may be cited and towed.
  • Do not park in an accessible space (designated by a accessubke parking sign) unless you have a valid, properly displayed accessible plate or placard.

6 Parking Fails
The ticket to avoiding tickets
No Parking on Sidewalks – There is no parking allowed on any sidewalk within the Town Limits.

No Parking Left of Center – You can not cross the center line to park on the opposite side of the street.

Parking over Marked Lines – Motorists must park within the marked lines in designated areas. Any tire touching the line or beyond is considered outside.

Parking Beyond Meter Time Limits – Upon reaching the expired time, you must move. All on-street Town meters have a 3-hour time limit.

No Parking Except by Residential Parking Permit – Permits may be issued to residents of a particular zone to park on the public street if they have no available off-street parking. The person must live on that street to obtain the permit.

Method of Parking – Motorists who park in any Town-owned facility must park in marked spaces.

Leave something behind?
If your car is not moved in time, it may be moved for you
“It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle on property owned or operated by the town for longer than twenty-four (24) hours. Any motor vehicle left on property owned or operated by the town for longer than twenty-four (24) hours shall be considered abandoned and shall be subject to towing and impoundment; provided, however, that such vehicle shall not be subject to being towed under the provisions of this article for such a violation until notice of violation shall be placed on the vehicle forty-eight (48) hours prior to said towing.

It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle on a public street or highway for longer than seven (7) days. Any motor vehicle left on a public street or highway for longer than seven (7) days shall be considered abandoned and shall be subject to towing and impoundment; provided, however, that such vehicle shall not be subject to being towed under the provisions of this article for such a violation until notice of violation shall be placed on the vehicle forty-eight (48) hours prior to said towing.”

Special Guidelines for Motorcycles and Scooters
There are two designated Motorcycle parking areas in Chapel Hill
Motorcycles must be parked in public parking spaces both on-street and in off-street locations like decks and surface lots; and must pay for the usage. There are motorcycle-only parking spots in front of the Post Office/Courthouse at 179 East Franklin Street and in the Rosemary Parking Deck at 125 East Rosemary Street.

Motorized scooters (Vespa-style scooters) may park in public parking spaces, similar to a vehicle or motorcycle, and pay for the usage. Currently, motorized scooters may also park at public bicycle racks for free, as long as the scooter does not block the walk way. The scooter should be parked as close to the public bike racks as possible, while still allowing space for bicycles. Motorized scooters cannot be driven on the sidewalks.

FAQs
General Parking Information
What is the fine for parking in a designated accessible parking space without an accessible parking hang tag or license plate?

Currently, drivers who have a valid accessible plate and/or placard may park in an accessible space or regular metered space for free. The fine for parking in a designated accessible space without a valid parking permit is $250.

Why are there time limits to how long you can park?

Parking time limits ensure turnover for customers of businesses. If turnover does not exist, customers looking for a parking space close to a specific business will be discouraged and go somewhere else.

How long may a vehicle be parked in the same place when there are no other prohibitions or restrictions in effect?

It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle on property owned or operated by the town for longer than twenty-four (24) hours. Any motor vehicle left on property owned or operated by the town for longer than twenty-four (24) hours shall be considered abandoned and shall be subject to towing and impoundment; provided, however, that such vehicle shall not be subject to being towed under the provisions of this article for such a violation until notice of violation shall be placed on the vehicle forty-eight (48) hours prior to said towing.

It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle on a public street or highway for longer than seven (7) days. Any motor vehicle left on a public street or highway for longer than seven (7) days shall be considered abandoned and shall be subject to towing and impoundment; provided, however, that such vehicle shall not be subject to being towed under the provisions of this article for such a violation until notice of violation shall be placed on the vehicle forty-eight (48) hours prior to said towing.

Can I park vehicles in an alley?

Vehicles are not permitted to park in an alley unless it is being used for delivery purposes and then, only in designated areas. Once the vehicle is parked, it is only allowed to remain legally during the time of loading or unloading. Some alleys have posted signage indicating the period, if any, and length of time for legal parking.

Can I park a motor home/RV/Tractor trailer/Bus on a public street in a residential area?

No.

How close to an intersection can I park my vehicle?

A vehicle should remain at least 25 feet back from a stop sign or traffic signal, pedestrian crosswalk, and/or the property lines.

How long can I park a non-commercial/delivery vehicle in a loading zone?

Since loading zones are meant for loading passengers, merchandise, or materials, they must be kept open for that purpose. Passenger vehicles are allowed to stop, park, or stand in a loading zone for no more than five minutes. There is a thirty minute time limit for all commercial and delivery vehicles loading or unloading passengers, merchandise, or materials.

I just need to run into this store for five minutes, is it ok if I park in a loading zone?

Town ordinance states that loading zones are restricted to delivery vehicles only.

I need to stop for a minute at the ATM, is it okay if I stop in the travel lane and put on my flashers like delivery trucks do?

You are subject to receiving a travel lane violation.

The pay station isn’t working, what should I do?

Call the number on the sign next to the pay station to report the problem (919-968-2760). If you were to receive a ticket the status of the pay station can be checked to verify your complaint. You have the right to file a written appeal for any parking ticket you may receive.

I paid the pay station but still received an expired meter ticket. What can I do?

You may appeal any parking ticket that you receive. You can access the appeal form at