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Parking etiquette

  Parking spots are broadly split into on-street and off-street, and each has advantages and disadvantages. On-street parking takes place on pavement that’s taxpayer-funded and part of the common inheritance of local residents; off-street parking is more usually on privately owned land, where those who park are subject to the whims of the owner. Perhaps it’s a tribute to our latent public-mindedness and that drivers tend to prefer on-street parking – 60% of Portland residents do, anyway.
A few tips worth remembering when you park:
    Parking Lot Signs
    Unless your water just broke, the etiquette here is to find someplace else to park.
  • Do your fellow drivers a favor and center your car in the parking area. Even if it takes a few tries to get the middle of your car in the middle of the parking space, it’s just common courtesy. If you park off-center, you may make it difficult for drivers or passengers on the side you’re favoring to get in and out.

  • When parallel parking, always check your mirrors to make sure you aren’t backing up into oncoming traffic. Backing into traffic is one of the most common sources of accidents, and making sure there isn’t anyone heading your way is a basic tenet of defensive driving.

  • Parking is toughest to find at certain times of year. In warm temperatures, those are usually the holidays, summertime, weekends, and spring break. Give yourself extra time to find parking spots at those times.

  • Don’t just drive defensively, park defensively, too.Make sure to check signage, even if it isn’t facing you – you may still be responsible for signage that isn’t strictly visible from where you’re parked. It’s easier to find a legal parking spot than to appeal a fine.

  • You can get tickets or towed when you’re parking in private lots – don’t kid yourself! Follow the usual rules and prosper; defy private lot owners at your own risk.

  • You may be cited for reckless driving or moving violations if you drive too quickly, weave, or otherwise violate the law in parking lots that are owned by the state – and sometimes in private lots, too. It’s always best to assume that yes, the law does apply to you.

  • Driving drunk lawsalways apply. Cutting donuts on the blacktop after your eighth tequila is liable to land you in jail, even if you never leave the parking lot.