does SacCity care about blocking crosswalks?

In the city’s 311 website and app, the following 10 options are listed under Parking: Enforcement Request:

  • Blocking Alley
  • Blocking Driveway
  • Commercial Vehicle in Residential Zone
  • Parked Beyond Posted Time
  • Parked in Disabled Space Without Placard
  • Parked On Unpaved Surface
  • Parked without Permit
  • Red Zone
  • White Zone
  • Other

Blocking a crosswalk is not listed. Is this a mere oversight? I doubt it. I have reported dozens of vehicles parked blocking crosswalks, and not a single one has resulted in a citation. Apparently the city does not consider this a citable violation. One time I actually waited at the crosswalk where a vehicle was parked in violation. The parking officer drove up, noticed the vehicle blocking the crosswalk, and drove away. The 311 request was marked closed with the note that the vehicle was no longer there. But of course it was, and the parking officer knew that it was.

California Vehicle Code (CVC) Division 11: Rules of the Road, Chapter 5: Pedestrians’ Rights and Duties, paragraph 21970 states:

(a) No person may stop a vehicle unnecessarily in a manner that causes the vehicle to block a marked or unmarked crosswalk or sidewalk.

In addition, paragraph 22500 states:

A person shall not stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places:

(b) On a crosswalk, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier or a taxicab may stop in an unmarked crosswalk to load or unload passengers when authorized by the legislative body of a city pursuant to an ordinance.

The city should do two things: 1) add ‘Blocking Crosswalk’ to the 311 website and app; and 2) actually enforce this CVC.

This is yet another example of the city’s bias toward motor vehicle drivers and against people walking. Please join me in emailing the city’s Parking Services at, and requesting that the city add this violation to the 311 website and app, and that violations be cited when reported or observed.

If you would like some copy and paste text:

I request that the City of Sacramento Parking Services:

  1. Add ‘Blocking Crosswalk’ to the list of parking violations in the 311 website and app. This is a violation of CVC 21970 and CVC 22500.
  2. Issue citations to vehicles blocking crosswalks, in order to protect the safety of walkers using crosswalk.

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

5 thoughts on “does SacCity care about blocking crosswalks?”

  1. Just copied your wording, adding that I just reported 2 cars two days ago, same block as American Lakes Elementary

  2. I’ll send that email. There are also a lot of times on 2nd Ave in Oak Park in particular where people block bike lanes with their refuse bins and I don’t see a way to report that in 311 either. It says right on the can not to put it in the bike lane so the City should be warning them and citing them. They could cite 30 people in a given week just in a couple blocks and make some $.

    1. Though I’m not necessarily in favor of the city making money on this, I am absolutely in favor of eliminating this problem. The trash cans made in the last few years have this warning imprinted, but older ones do not. The city can communicate this through billing, but I understand from some single family residence people that it does not. The most effective solution would be for the city to refuse to empty trash cans left in the bike lane, but that would certainly generate controversy. The city’s Curbside Collection Services page ( mentions “Keep containers out of bike lanes whenever possible” but doesn’t make clear what ‘possible’ means. I think most people think it means ‘if I doesn’t inconvenience me in any way whatsoever’.

      There are a few situations in the city where the bike lane is at the curb, and the sidewalk is attached so there is no buffer strip to place the trash cans in. Sometimes they can be placed in driveways, but otherwise this would be one rare exception to the rule.

      I agree that there should be a specific item in 311 to report this. Currently, only the general ‘bikeways issues’ is offered.

      1. Another issue is that trash cans left in the bike lane at night, which they often are, are a collision hazard for bicyclists. All trash cans deployed on streets with bike lanes should also have reflective tape on the side of the can, and this should be done by the city at their expense. I ran into a trash can filled with construction debris one dark night on a dark street, with pretty serious injuries and damage to my bike. Needless to say, that trash can ended up somewhere other than the bike lane.

  3. I received an email response from ParkingCSR, stating that the 311 app and website are managed by City Of Sacramento’s 311 IT Department, so perhaps email about adding blocked crosswalks should go to Complaint about lack of enforcement would still go to ParkingCSR (see blog post).

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