In order to combat late-night double parking issues, the San Luis Obispo Police Department has designated taxi zones throughout the downtown area.
The new taxi zones are a way of ensuring the safety of both nighttime pedestrians and taxi drivers, according to police.
“What we’ve seen in past years are more and more people stopping in the middle of the street,” police Lt. Chris Staley said. “We just wanted to make sure we have a place for taxis to park while they’re picking people up.”
The implementation of the taxi zones began on Aug. 9, and a grace period for violators will follow until Sept. 9. During the grace period, any non-taxi or non-delivery vehicle parked in the zone during the designated hours will be issued a warning. Following Sept. 9, the warning will be replaced with a $40 ticket for prohibited parking.
The seven new taxi zones are in effect from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., and are located in areas where double-parking has traditionally been a problem, Staley said.
Three were placed on Higuera Street: one in front of the Mission Mall, one in front of the Sports Forum, and one in front of Verizon. The four remaining taxi zones are dispersed throughout downtown, one is across from Blue on Osos Street, one is in the 1100 block of Garden Street, one is near Mission Grill on Chorro Street, and one is in the 1000 block of Nipomo Street.
The areas are marked by a white sign with black writing that reads “Taxi Zone Only, Nightly, 10 p.m. – 3 a.m.”
Despite the implementation of the zones, Beach Cities Cab owner Jeff Goldenberg said not to expect an increased availability of taxis. Beach Cities Cab operates 46 cars in San Luis Obispo, and Goldenberg said during certain hours taxis are often maxed out.
“Nothing is going to change,” he said. “If the need arises I’ll have more cars on the road.”
Although for the time being the number of taxis in San Luis Obispo will remain the same, Beach Cities Cab does offer a special service to transport Cal Poly students home. The service does not offer