Parking Enforcement Information and Questions
In an effort to increase public awareness regarding vehicle parking in the City, the following is an explanation of the law and enforcement practices of the Renton Police Department.
The City of Renton has adopted State law in regards to parking regulations. This state law can be found in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 46.61.570.
In brief, this law states where parking is prohibited:
- On a sidewalk or street planting strip
- On a crosswalk
- On any railroad track
- In front of a public or private driveway or within five feet of the end of the curb radius leading thereto
- Within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant
- Within twenty feet of a crosswalk
- Within thirty feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway
Another area of concern for the public is parking in residential areas facing the wrong direction. RCW 46.61.575 states that: "Every vehicle stopped or parked upon a two-way roadway shall be so stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels parallel to and within twelve inches of the right-hand curb or as close as practicable to the right edge of the right-hand shoulder."
Parking Enforcement Controllers are responsible for enforcing parking regulations throughout the City of Renton.
This enforcement includes:
- Two hour parking zones
- Handicap parking
- Gene Coulon boat ramp parking
- Residential streets
Enforcement of parking regulations may include citations, and on some occasions, impounding of illegally parked vehicles.
The Renton Police Department's Traffic Unit receives numerous complaints each week regarding parking violations. Parking Enforcement Controllers use "complaint based enforcement" to address parking violations within the City of Renton.
For example, if the department receives a complaint of a vehicle parked on a sidewalk in a residential area, the Parking Enforcement Controller will respond. The Parking Enforcement Controller will cite the offending vehicle and will enforce all parking regulations in the neighborhood. The reason the Parking Enforcement Controller addresses all parking violations in the vicinity is one of fairness. For instance, if the owner of the vehicle that was cited for parking on the sidewalk receives a citation and their neighbor does not receive one for parking in violation of the law, then one could argue that the enforcement practices are not fairly applied.
Why can't the Police Department give warnings instead of citations?
Parking Enforcement Controllers will issue warnings when there is a change in the law. This will allow citizens to become accustomed to the new law and should result in voluntary compliance.
If you have any questions regarding parking enforcement within the City of Renton, please contact Sergeant Sjolin at (425) 430-7561.
Can commercial vehicles stop and block a lane of travel while unloading in the business area of downtown Renton?
Can I park my car on a city street or city right-of-way in front of my house?
Yes, but vehicles parked longer than 72 hours are considered abandoned.
Can I park my boat trailer, travel trailer, or utility trailer in front of my house on the street?
No, all trailers must be attached to a vehicle that is parked on the street. Vehicles must then abide by parking regulations for parking on a street.
Where do the parking enforcement controllers normally patrol? And what are their hours?
They focus their enforcement efforts primarily in the downtown area, but they will travel to other destinations if there are complaints called into 9-1-1. They normally work Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
How do the parking enforcement controllers know how long I've been parked someplace?
It's quite easy actually - they normally chalk a line on one of the vehicle's tires, and then return to the location after the posted amount of time has elapsed. If the car is still there, an infraction is issued.
I received a parking ticket by mistake. Who do I talk to?
In short - the judge. Once a ticket is issued it cannot be "voided" or taken out of the system. On the back of the infraction is a form that can be filled out and mailed in requesting a court date. Fill out this form if you would like an opportunity to explain to the judge why you feel the ticket was given in error.
If I move, do I need to notify the Department of Licensing of my new address?
Yes, you have 10 days to notify them of your new address. Failure to do so is an infraction.
Email the Traffic Unit