Q I snickered when I saw your reply about not allowing special parking spots for cars in the Smart car size range. Have you forgotten that there are special handicapped parking (mostly unused), special motorcycle parking, charging station parking, compact parking (which is ignored anyway) and regular parking spots? What's one more special spot?
A These reserved spots sure seem to rub a lot of folks the wrong way.
Q I see signs in parking lots that say "for clean air vehicle" or "mothers with child/pregnant" or something like that. They are not the same color, for example, of handicapped signs. Would I get a ticket?
Michelle de Putron
A No, not in a private lot. Police can only enforce fire lanes and disabled parking spaces on private lots, not parking for electric vehicles or other restrictions. But in city facilities and on city streets, they can enforce the posted regulations, including EV restrictions.
A word of warning, though. When parked in a private lot, the property owner cannot issue tickets but can tow vehicles if signs are posted correctly and if the owner followed the proper permit process.
Q When we visited the new Target on Cottle Road in San Jose, we found about 35 clean air vehicle parking spots up front and only 12 handicap spaces. Is this legal? My wife needs a handicap space but could not find one. Almost all the clean air spots were empty. Why the priority for clean air drivers? Can't they walk? What if a regular car parked there? A lot of people are really angry over this.
A The number of spaces for the disabled and clean air vehicles that Target offers at this San Jose store is in accordance with federal, state and local regulations, according to a Target spokeswoman in Minneapolis. But your reaction and that of others has Target making a change. Many of the three dozen charging spaces will be redistributed throughout the lot.
Q The Target on Coleman has two parking spaces near the entrance marked "Police parking only." What's up?
A It's becoming more common for large stores and malls to designate police parking locations. They have them at Oakridge Mall and Santana Row. Police say this enables them to park almost anywhere to handle certain matters, and these convenient spots allow them to get close to entrances without hindering traffic.
Q Here's a pet peeve: In front of some stores in shopping complexes, businesses put out signs which say, for example, "Bay Cleaners Parking Only." I have seen places where they would paint the parking lot with their business name. I do not think these businesses own these parking spaces. Is it legal for them to post signs like these, which makes people think that these are reserved spots?
A It can be legal. For example, San Jose's zoning ordinance does not prohibit property owners from designating some parking in a multi-tenant shopping center for its customers.