You may not know this — we certainly didn’t — but if your car is left parked in the same spot in Berkeley for 72 hours, it can be towed. Really.

This information comes to us courtesy of Berkeley City Council Member Gordon Wozniak’s latest District 8 newsletter, in which he cites the ordinance in question:

It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing, or cause to be parked or left standing any vehicle upon any public street in the City for seventy-two or more consecutive hours. (Ord. 4006-NS § 1 (part), 1964: Ord. 3954-NS § 2, 1963) BMC Section 14.36.050.

Wozniak notes that the Berkeley police generally do not enforce this ordinance, unless there is a complaint, and mentions a recent case where it was put into effect: “Recently, a visitor of a District 8 resident parked his car on the street and left town for two weeks. A neighbor complained and a warning notice was placed on the car. Since no one noticed the warning, the vehicle was towed after three days. When the visitor returned from his trip, he had to pay $2,000 to the towing company to recover his vehicle. [The vehicle owner is liable for the towing and storage charges, which can exceed $100/day.]”

The “72-Hour Rule” applies to any public street in the city, regardless of other parking designations or restrictions.

You have been warned.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...