Mountain View RV Residents Face New Parking Restrictions Oct. 1. Here's What to Know

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a red and white 'no parking' sign is seen on a street where an RV is parked
A 'No Parking' sign aimed at RVs is posted near RVs parked along Continental Circle in Mountain View on Aug. 17, 2022. A new ordinance goes into effect October 1 further prohibiting where RVs can park in the city. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

On Oct. 1, Mountain View will begin enforcing two parking restrictions: the Narrow Streets Ordinance and the Bike Lane Ordinance. Both measures restrict where oversized vehicles — including RVs and large trucks — can park in the city. This comes a week after the city released the details of a tentative settlement it reached with a group of RV residents who had sued the city over the parking restrictions.

The settlement gives Mountain View authorities the green light to begin fining and towing vehicles that are in violation of the parking rules. Vehicles larger than 22 feet long or 7 feet high can no longer park on streets that are less than 40 feet wide — which represents roughly 90% of Mountain View streets.

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If an RV parks on one of these “narrow streets” or a street with a bike lane, officials can ticket the vehicle. Owners also can be ticketed again after 72 hours if they do not move or end up parking on another narrow street. Each ticket will come with a fine of $65.

If the owner does not move the vehicle after 72 hours, they can be ticketed again. After three citations, the city can immediately tow the vehicle. An RV also can be immediately towed if it’s blocking a driveway or parked in the path of traffic.

What does the settlement mean for RV residents?

According to the settlement, the city must provide at least three miles of “street segments” where people can park their vehicles. The city defines street segments as specific sections of a few streets distributed across the city. The settlement states that street segments “shall have some parking capacity for [oversized vehicles] on both sides of the street.”

So where can RV residents park starting Oct. 1?

Below is a list of the street segments in Mountain View where RVs can park. Keep in mind that streets where many RVs used to park, like Continental Circle and Crisanto Avenue, will be marked as either a narrow street or a bike lane street — meaning off-limits for RVs.

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Additionally, once an RV owner finds a parking spot where RVs are allowed, they can only stay there for 72 hours max. On Oct. 1, Mountain View will also begin to enforce City Code Section 19.72, which prohibits all vehicles from parking for more than 72 hours anywhere in the city. This rule also requires that when a vehicle moves to find a new parking spot after its 72 hours are up, that new parking spot must be 1,000 feet (or roughly one-fifth of a mile) away from its previous parking spot.

If a vehicle doesn’t move to a new parking spot after 72 hours, the city says the owner can receive a warning or citation and/or get towed.

Spaces where RVs and other oversized vehicles can park beginning Oct. 1

KQED created this list based on a map provided by the city. However, always pay close attention to the parking signs you see on the streets because those determine how the city will enforce its rules.

North Mountain View

  • All of Casey Avenue
  • All of Broderick Way
  • All of Coast Avenue
  • All of Marine Way
  • All of Space Park Way
  • All of Pear Avenue
  • All of Armand Drive
  • Leghorn Street: Two blocks between San Antonio Road to Rengstorff Avenue
  • Independence Avenue: Two blocks from East Charleston Road to Wyandotte Street; southern half of the block between Old Middlefield Way and Wyandotte Street
  • Wyandotte Street: One block between San Antonio Road and Independence Avenue; eastern half of the block between Independence Avenue and Rengstorff Avenue
  • Old Middlefield Way: Blocks stretching between San Antonio Road and the eastern end of the street
  • Plymouth Street: Two blocks between Rengstorff Avenue and Amherst Way
  • Colony Street: Western portion of the block between Rengstorff Avenue and Sierra Vista Avenue (look for where the parking restriction signs are placed)
  • Terra Bella Avenue: Blocks stretching from West Middlefield Road to the start of San Leandro Street (in front of Recology Mountain View)
  • Linda Vista Avenue: Between West Middlefield Road and Moonbeam Drive; and the northern half of the block between Terra Bella Avenue and where Linda Vista Avenue dead-ends

West Mountain View

  • All of Ortega Avenue
  • Del Medio Avenue: Blocks stretching from California Street to the 100 block
  • Del Medio Court: Between Del Medio Avenue and the start of the Montelena Court cul-de-sac
  • Fayette Drive: Between Mayfield Avenue and San Antonio Road
  • Pacchetti Way: Between California Street and Freedom Lane

East Mountain View

  • All of Winston Place (between Leong Drive and Emily Drive)
  • All of National Avenue
  • All of Pioneer Way
  • Clyde Court (breaks off from Clyde Avenue)
  • Logue Avenue: Between Maude Avenue and the northern end of the street
  • Ravendale Drive: Space between where Ravendale Drive turns and North Bernardo Avenue
  • North Bernardo Avenue: Between East Middlefield Road and the Central Expressway
  • Devoto Street: Between Borello Way and Muir Drive
  • Muir Drive: Southern half of the block between Devoto Street and Moraga Drive
  • Easy Street: Between Creekside Park and ramp to get on Highway 85

Downtown Mountain View

  • All of Polaris Avenue
  • All of Gemini Avenue
  • Stierlin Road: Between North Shoreline Boulevard and Windmill Park Lane
  • Central Avenue: Blocks between Andsbury Avenue and Moffett Boulevard
  • Moffett Boulevard: Between Jackson Street and Cypress Point Drive
  • Wright Avenue: Between North Shoreline Boulevard and Granada Drive
  • Villa Street: Between Escuela Avenue and Higdon Avenue
  • California Street: Block between Castro Street and Hope Street
  • View Street: Blocks between Church Street and El Camino Real
  • Centre Street: Block between CA 237 and Yuba Drive
  • Yuba Drive: Between El Camino Real and Church Street

South Mountain View

  • Ernestine Lane: Between Dennis Lane and Mountain View Avenue
  • Mountain View Avenue: Between Ernestine Lane and Vista Grande Avenue
  • Miramonte Avenue: Between split with Park Drive and Rincon Street
  • Camille Court: Between Bonita Avenue and Petie Way
  • Ednamary Way: Between Clark Avenue and El Monte Avenue
  • Clark Avenue: Between Marich Way and Jardin Drive
  • Dale Avenue: Short segment in the middle of the block between Continental Circle and Heatherstone Way (look for where the parking restriction signs are placed)
a map of parking spots in Mountain View
When issuing a ticket, police have to provide a copy of this map so RV residents know where they can and cannot park. The city of Mountain View started distributing these maps in early September. (Courtesy of the City of Mountain View)

What will happen to RVs that remain parked on a 'narrow' street?

Starting October 1, the Mountain View police can immediately ticket any RV or oversized vehicle they spot parked on a narrow street. If the vehicle stays in the same spot — or moves to another street deemed off-limits for RVs — officials need to wait 72 hours before they can issue another fine. If a vehicle has been ticketed three times and is spotted once again by the police, that vehicle will be towed immediately.

It’s important to keep in mind that the city doesn’t need to wait for the third citation to tow a vehicle. The settlement allows Mountain View to tow RVs with at least one ticket, as long as 72 hours have passed since the police issued the first fine. If a vehicle is towed, you can call (650) 903-6344 about retrieving it.

However, the settlement also allows police officers the option to grant RV owners more than 72 hours to move their vehicle before calling in the tow truck. This can only happen if the police officer believes there is “good cause.” A “good cause” extension could be granted if there is a mechanical issue that prevents the RV from moving or if the RV owner was not properly notified that their vehicle was violating parking rules. If this is the case, the vehicle owner would have to prove this to the police officer.

How can RV residents prepare for the parking rules?

KQED spoke to former Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel to better understand how people living in RVs can prepare for the parking restrictions. He’s an outspoken advocate for RV residents who has closely followed the developments of the Narrow Street Ordinance.

“I would advise people not to wait for the last minute to figure out where they would want to move,” he said. “A lot of these streets often have cars parked on them during the day and so they will have to figure out a time when they’re available.”

But most importantly, Siegel said, “you have to be prepared for backlash.” He points out that some of the streets where RVs will be allowed to park after October 1 are residential streets that are not used to RVs. Some areas may be more friendly to RVs than others.

Another thing to keep in mind is the 72-hour parking limit. Some RV residents said they are considering a strategy to trade parking spots with each other every 72 hours, and that way follow both the Narrow Street Ordinance and the parking limit.

What other housing options are available?

The city of Mountain View has distributed a flyer titled “Other Resources and Information,” listing the contact information of agencies and nonprofits in the South Bay that offer shelter and food.

a flyer listing resources for residents of RVs
A flyer distributed by the city of Mountain View listing resources for RV residents. (Carlos Cabrera-Lomelí/KQED)

Only two programs listed offer some sort of housing: MOVE Mountain View and Santa Clara County’s Here4You hotline. MOVE MV provides free parking lots for people who are living in RVs or other vehicles. These lots include shared bathrooms, hand-washing facilities and security. Residents are required to work with a case manager to find permanent housing, which may not be in Mountain View.

There is a waitlist to enter MOVE. To get on the list, go through the program’s website or call (650) 861-0181. KQED was unable to obtain information on how long the waitlist currently is.

The other option is the Here4You hotline, which connects callers to the network of homeless shelters across Santa Clara County. These are congregate shelters, with private rooms and shared restrooms and social spaces, that offer 60-day stays and the assistance of social workers to find long-term housing. There are options available for families as well.

Many of these shelters have rules, like a curfew that requires guests to be back at a certain time. But if you work at night and can provide documentation from your employer that confirms your schedule, the shelter can be flexible with this requirement.

To reach the hotline, call (408) 385-2400. Callers will be asked to provide some personal information to complete an intake form and start the process to find a shelter.

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Several of the RV residents who have spoken to KQED have said that these options are not feasible for them for various reasons, including long wait times to receive assistance or worries that they may lose their RV. KQED will continue researching alternate options for RV residents who may be affected by the parking restrictions and update this guide as we find them.