What Does a Yellow Curb Mean?

Quick answer:


West Coast Yellow Curbs

Generally, yellow curbs on the west coast are for commercial loading up to 30 minutes or passenger loading/unloading up to 5 minutes. What most drivers don’t know, however, is that the restrictions for yellow curbs are only in effect from Monday – Saturday 7am – 6pm (depending on the city). After 6pm (and on Sundays), you are free to park in at yellow curb. Los Angeles, are you listening? You can park in these spots for as long as you’d like unless a sign specifically says otherwise! Score!

East Coast Yellow Curbs

On the east coast and various other states, yellow curbs may mean “no parking”, similar to red zones. Confusing? You betcha. Look to parking signs in the area to determine exactly what is allowed.

More details on yellow curbs:

The sweet golden conundrum. With cities like Chicago bringing in over $176 million in parking ticket revenue, it almost makes too much sense that different states would have different definitions for the meaning of yellow curbs.

In California and other west coast states, a yellow curb means that section of the street is for the purpose of loading or unloading commercial freight, like a cleaning service, in addition to loading/unloading passengers for a period no longer than 5 minutes. You may typically see the words “LOADING ZONE” stenciled on the yellow paint or appropriate signs may be posted, which will help inform you of specific regulations in the area.

In cities like Boston and New York City, yellow curbs are often used in place of red curbs, meaning “DO NOT PARK”. The ol’ tourist trap (as if you’d be stupid enough to rent a car in New York City).

can you park in a yellow bus zone
It’s a trap!
Yellow curb parking loading zone
Woo! You’re golden after 6pm!


Written by Peter V.
Peter is an L.A.-based designer, blogger and daily commuter. He explores what causes parking to suck in urban environments, how to bring about parking regulation changes, and the latest advancements in parking tech.