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Colorado Parking Laws


Colorado Parking Laws

Colorado Parking Laws: Explained

Parking laws are different in almost every state. Colorado, being one of the most active states in the country, has very specific parking laws and regulations. Knowing all of the specific parking regulations in Colorado is important, especially if you frequently drive in the state. Here is a guide to Colorado parking laws, what you need to know, and how they have changed over the last ten years.

Generally, the parking regulations in Colorado are similar to many other states in the country. However, they are actively enforced, meaning that it’s important for drivers to understand the state’s parking rules. They are designed to ensure the safety of pedestrians and other drivers, smooth traffic operation, and maintain the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods and streets.

General Parking Regulations

In Colorado, it’s important to be familiar with the general parking regulations that may seem obvious but frequently violate. For example, drivers cannot park their cars within fifteen feet of fire hydrants or intersections. Additionally, they cannot park in front of or within twenty feet of any driveway or entrance to a fire station.

Public streets that are non-residential also have specific time limits for parking a vehicle. Drivers must adhere to the posted time limit; otherwise, they can receive a parking ticket or be towed.

Moreover, in Colorado, it is illegal to park vehicles on unpaved locations like grass or dirt lots. The state has strict rules about parking on sidewalks and bike lanes too. It is illegal to park in these designated areas, and doing so can result in fines or even the vehicle being towed.

The state laws are predominant in Colorado when it comes to parking regulations. However, cities like Denver have separate and specific regulations. The city has complex parking laws regulating street parking, parking garages, and off-street parking.

How Colorado Parking Laws Have Changed in the Last Ten Years

Since 2011, significant changes have occurred to Colorado’s parking regulations. The changes have been made to improve traffic flow within cities, ensure pedestrian safety, and reduce the impact of parking on the environment. Here are some of the most significant changes:

  1. Extended Non-residential Parking Time Limits

Several cities in Colorado, including Boulder and Denver, have extended non-residential parking time limits. Before these changes, most non-residential parking lots had a 2-hour limit for parking. Now, people can park for up to four hours, depending on the lot.

  1. Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Colorado has intensified its pedestrian and bicycle safety measures through changes to parking regulations. One significant change is that drivers are now required to park their cars further from the crosswalks, and they must park in a way that doesn’t block the crosswalk. This regulation ensures the safety of pedestrians and bikers who are crossing the road.

  1. Parking on Narrow Roads

Another change to parking laws in Colorado has been the addition of restrictions for parking on narrow roads. If a driver’s vehicle blocks a portion of the road, it can lead to an accident or make it difficult for emergency vehicles to pass through. This regulation mandates that drivers need to park at least two feet from a narrow road’s edge.

  1. Parking and the Environment

It’s no secret that car emissions contribute significantly to air and environmental pollution. Colorado has introduced new parking regulations to reduce the impact of parking on the environment. Several cities within Colorado have implemented low-impact development regulations, requiring that parking lots are designed in such a way that they promote environmental sustainability.

  1. Parking Garage Regulations

Colorado’s major cities have plenty of parking garages to accommodate drivers. As such, there are now specific regulations regarding parking garages. One of the most significant changes is that parking garages in Denver now must have a minimum of one electric vehicle charging station for every 50 spaces.

  1. Transportation Network Companies

Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly prominent modes of transport in Colorado. In 2019, TNCs were required to have a valid permit from the state. Additionally, TNC drivers are required to adhere to specific parking regulations, including using designated pickup and drop-off areas.

  1. Residential Parking Permits

Several cities within Colorado have established residential parking permit zones. These zones are enforced during specific times of the day, and they are designed to ensure residents have priority parking spots within their neighborhood. The permits are issued to residents and their guests, and they must be displayed on their vehicles.


Colorado parking laws are designed to keep pedestrians, drivers, and the environment safe. They are enforced, and drivers can expect to receive fines and even have their vehicles towed if they violate state or city regulations. Knowing all of the specific parking rules in Colorado is essential for drivers in the state to avoid unnecessary expenses. It is also important to keep up with any legal changes and updates since laws can change frequently, even within a few years.


Knowing the Colorado Parking Laws

Some laws are taken for granted, you know? It’s a matter of fact. The situation’s no different in Colorado, so be sure you know what those Colorado parking laws are to avoid any citations you might not have been aware of:

What Are Some of the Most Important CO Parking Laws?

Easy. There are three statutes under the Colorado parking law specifically dealing with parking:

1. The CO Parking Laws of Starting a Parked Vehicle

2. The CO Parking Laws of Parking With the Intention of Leaving Vehicle

3. The CO Parking Laws of Parking in Prohibited Places

As far as Colorado parking laws go, you have to be aware of them specifically for a good number of reasons. Starting with….

The CO Parking Laws of Starting a Parked Vehicle

According to the statute in regard to Colorado parking laws, no person should be allowed to start a parked vehicle until there’s reasonable safety.

What is reasonable safety? That could constitute anything like:

1. Congested Traffic

2. Environmental Concerns

3. Even the Weather

If it’s proven that a driver started the car without taking these precautions, believe it or not – under Colorado parking laws – that driver can be issued a Class A parking violation.

What About the Colorado Parking Law of Parking With Intention of Leaving a Vehicle?

The key to that Colorado parking law is about where you intend on leaving the vehicle. Prohibited areas would include:

1. Business or Residential Districts on Paved Roads

2. Business or Residential Districts on Improved Roads

3. Or the Main-Traveled Part of a Highway

The only way to legally leave your vehicle in any of these areas would be proper emergency lights as stipulated by the Colorado parking law. This would involve, of course, emergency situations where suitable parking hasn’t become available.

And as For Prohibited Places Outside the Realm of Emergency….

Unless otherwise directed by law enforcement to place your vehicle for the purposes of avoiding traffic, no driver with a vehicle can park a car in any of these areas:

1. A Sidewalk

2. An Intersection

3. A Crosswalk

4. Between a Safety Zone and Curb

5. Next or Opposite a Street Excavation or Obstruction

6. A Roadway Side at the Edge or Curb of a Street

7. A Bridge, Elevated Structure, or Highway Tunnel

8. Railroad Tracks

9. A Controlled-Access Highway

10. The Area Between Roadways of a Divided Highway, Including Crossovers

11. Other Areas Prohibiting Parking

Specifically, it also lists in regard to safety zones and curbs that a vehicle can’t be parked with thirty feet of points on a curb opposite those specific ends of a safety zone.

And according to the Colorado parking law, no vehicle may be parked….

1. Within 5 Feet of a Public or Private Driveway

2. Within 15 Feet of a Fire Hydrant

3. Within 20 Feet of a Crosswalk

4. Within 30 Feet of a Flashing Beacon, Signal, Stop Sign, or Yield Sign

5. Within 20 Feet of a Fire Station Driveway

6. Within 50 Feet of a Rail for a Railroad Crossing