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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 a handicap space (designated by a Handicap parking sign) unless you have a valid, properly displayed handicap 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 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 parking decks/lots; and 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. Motorized scooters may also park at public bicycle racks for free, as long as the scooter does not block the walk way. Motorized scooters cannot be driven on the sidewalks.

FAQs
General Parking Information
What is the fine for parking in a designated accessible (formerly termed handicap) parking space without an accessible-parking permit?

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 is it against the law to put more money in a meter once the time limit has expired?

This is called “feeding the meter” and although the meter can’t prevent you from doing so, does make it unlawful and you may receive a parking ticket (See Town Code 21-39(1)). Parking meters are placed downtown to ensure turnover for businesses in that area. If turnover does not exist, patrons looking for a parking space close to a specific business will be discouraged and go somewhere else. Town code of ordinances can be found at municode.com

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. According to it is unlawful for any person to operate, stop, park, or leave a vehicle in violation of these conditions.

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?

In residential areas you may not park within 25 feet of the adjacent street indicating no parking areas. In general, 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. For more specific information on loading zones (See Town Code 21-35). Code of ordinances can be found at municode.com

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 (919-968-2804). If you were to receive a ticket the status of the paystation can be checked to verify your complaint. You have the right to file a written appeal for any parking ticket you may receive.

Paid the pay station but still received an expired meter violation. What can I do?

You have the right to file a written appeal for any parking ticket that you may receive. You can access the appeal form at townofchapelhill.org.

I need to park for more than three hours. Can I park in a three hour space and extend my time after the first three hours?

The On-Street meter three-hour time limit is to provide parking space turnover. You can move your car to an off-street location. You can park at the Wallace Deck, 140 West, 100 East Rosemary St. or Off-Street lots that provide for extended parking.

How do I know I am parked in a legal parking spot?

All public parking spots should have a three-digit space number. If you do not see a three-digit number on the curb or the parking spot, look for the posted signage. The signs will state if an area is No Parking, a Loading Zone or a Bus Zone.

Do the Pay Stations accept Visa, Master Card, and American Express for Pre-Payment?

Visa, Master Card and American express are acceptable forms of Payment.

What other forms of Pre-Payment do the Pay Stations accept?

All Pay Stations will accept American coin currency. At 100 East Rosemary Street and 150 East Rosemary St. there are Pay Stations that will accept American paper bills.

What Pre-Payment App can I download to Pay for Parking in Chapel Hill?

Parkmobile App is the correct App to use in the Town of Chapel Hill for Parking Payments. You can also locate this site by parkmobile.com or call 877-727-5301. By Using this App, you can extend your stay by phone if you find you’re staying longer than your estimated time.

When I park do I pay when I am ready to leave?

You need to Pre-Pay for your parking. The correct way to pay for your parking in Chapel Hill is to estimate the time you need to park. Then make your payment at a Parkeon Pay Station. You can also Pre-Pay with the Parkmobile App.

Do I need to display my parking receipt on my vehicles dashboard?

No, keep your receipt so you will be aware of your parking expiration time.

Will I be Booted and Towed for an unpaid parking ticket?

Only after 4 unpaid tickets can your car be booted and towed.

Are there any Parking Lots I can park and Pre-Pay for an overnight stay?

Yes, 140 West Rosemary St., 100 East Rosemary Street, and 150 East Rosemary Street, however parking for more than 24 hours could result in a Parking Ticket.

Is it necessary to park between the painted marked lines when I am parking in Chapel Hill?

You should park between the marked lines.

Why does the parking rate increase when there is a Football Home game, Halloween, or other Special Events?

This occurs when there is an over demand for the limited parking areas in Downtown Chapel Hill. During these special events we raise the rate to encourage carpooling and to maximize and increase the number of people who enjoy a special event.

How do I Pre-Pay for my Parking Spot when I park?

Make a mental note of your parking spot number. Then use the Parkmobile app or walk up to the nearest pay station. Press Start, enter your parking spot number, then enter your estimated parking time, then insert coins or swipe your credit card quickly for the purchased amount. Take your receipt with you so you know when your time expires.

I have a Downtown Employee Parking Pass. When can I park without receiving a ticket for misuse of this pass?

The valid time period to use this is from 3:30pm – 7am. The areas to Park with a Downtown Employee Parking Pass are 150 East Rosemary St/Wallace Deck, the Basnight Lot and Cameron Avenue.

If my car has been Vandalized or Damage, what should I do?

Call 911, and report the damage. Chapel Hill Police will respond and file a report. You will receive a Police Report Number that your insurance company can use to file your claim.

FAQs
Residential Parking Permits
Who is eligible to obtain the Residential Parking Permits?

Any person who maintains their residence within the Residential Parking Zone may apply for one parking permit per vehicle. Proof of residency for homeowners is a current property tax statement or current utility bill, along with a current driver’s license and vehicle registration. Proof of residency for Renters is a current lease, current driver’s license and vehicle registration. You may not sell, give away or transfer a permit.

Is it possible for me to apply for my Permit by mail?

Currently, all residents must apply in person at the Parking Services Offices located at 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Is there a fee for residential permits?

Town of Chapel Hill residential permits are $25.00 for each permanent permit. There is a replacement fee of $15.00 for any lost, stolen or destroyed permits. All permits expire July 1 of each year.

Where does my residential permit allow me to park?

The residential permit allows you to park on-street anywhere in the permitted zone where there is not another parking restriction, such as a “No Parking” zone or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

Who may obtain a Guest Permit?

Two guest permits can be obtained by residents living in the Residential Permit Zone and can be used only by guests or visitors while temporarily visiting. A guest of visitor is defines as anyone staying with you for 1 day or less. Misuse of guest permits may result in fines and penalties in addition to the forfeiture of both guest permits.

What hours will the Residential Parking by Permit areas be enforced?

Unless otherwise posted, areas may be enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parking regulations are in effect throughout the year.

How much is the fine for a violation of the Residential Parking by Permit Ordinance?

Violation of this ordinance is subject to a fine of $50; anyone abusing or misusing the permit(s) will be subject to the same fine amount and/or confiscation of the residential permit and denial of further residential parking permits.

How can my neighborhood be zoned for residential parking permits?

In order for the Town of Chapel Hill to zone an area for residential parking, residents must petition the Council. The request will be forwarded to the Town Traffic Engineer, who will review the request and make recommendations based on the findings.


Additional Resources

Downtown Chapel Hill Website