CGA Law News & Blog

Parking Enforcement in Municipalities

access_time Posted on: August 28th, 2023

When it comes to parking enforcement and restriction in local municipalities, decisions fall on the shoulders of the municipality’s leaders. Under the U.S. Constitution, it is within a municipality’s police powers to enact new ordinances to enforce parking and safety measures. When determining whether a new ordinance is lawful, the ordinance must pass the rational basis test [1]. To pass this rational basis test, there must be both 1) a legitimate governmental interest; and 2) the ordinance must achieve the governmental interest in a reasonable manner.

In addition to the use of parking meters in company with signs providing notice to drivers, another way that a municipality may choose to enforce parking is by issuing residential permits [2]. By issuing residential permits, the vehicles that do not have a residential permit clearly displayed on the dash or window will stand out, thus making it easier for parking enforcement officers to determine which cars are not permitted to park in that area.

In the Pennsylvania case, Love v. Borough of Stroudsburg, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that a Borough has the authority to regulate parking within its borders. Specifically, there, Stroudsburg Borough adopted an ordinance that restricted parking for non-residents to one (1) hour, Mondays through Saturdays, inclusive, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., subject to specific exceptions, within the primarily residential district. This ordinance passed the constitutional threshold and was considered to be a valid exercise of the Borough’s police power because it had a rational basis in promoting governmental interests in the safety of its residents and reducing hazardous traffic.

Ultimately, a municipality has the authority to regulate parking within its borders. However, to do this, the municipalities must make sure that there is sufficient notice to drivers that informs the driver of the parking restrictions [3]. To accomplish this, municipalities commonly erect signs in  the designated area. Courts have consistently ruled that “a sign provides notice as to what is and is not permitted . . . by the clear language of the sign.”

As always, CGA Law Firm has a dedicated group of attorneys who are always monitoring developments to ensure your municipalities are up to date with the latest news. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Attorney Taylor Baublitz.

[1] Love v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 597 A. 2d 1137, (Pa. 1991)

[2] Love v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 597 A. 2d 1137, (Pa. 1991)

[3] Coard v. City of Philadelphia, 193 A.3d 349 (2018)

Taylor M. Baublitz


Please contact CGA Law Firm at (717) 848-4900 or [email protected] for assistance.

Nicole Marzzacco

2023 Summer Associate, Law Clerk