Welcome to the City's Frequently Asked Questions page where you can find answers to commonly inquired about topics. Explore the FAQ library below by keyword search or by filtering by department.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find rates for renting the Pavilion on the Lake and other City facilities?
How can I get a copy of my accident report?
If a report was taken, you must be named as a party involved in the accident or an insurer of the named party in order to obtain a copy of the report. Please bring photo identification. A report release fee will be charged. The report can also be obtained online at LexisNexis.
How can I get a digital radar speed sign on my street?
Permanent radar speed feedback signs are generally limited to larger arterial streets that have had a significant collision problem, with at least 50% of those collisions being identified as due to excessive speed. They also cost approximately $10,000 to install (2021 estimate).
The City of Atascadero Police Department has a mobile radar speed trailer/sign which can be moved onto certain streets throughout the City on a rotating basis.
These radar speed signs are only a tool and are used best when drivers may not be aware that they are speeding. They are designed to let the drivers know how fast they are going in relation to the posted speed for the road segment they are on.
The radar speed trailer may not be used on certain road segments. The speed trailer cannot be parked on the sidewalk or in a bike lane. It is also not effective if other vehicles can be parked in front of it, blocking the radar function and the sign visibility for drivers.
If you would like to recommend a location for the mobile speed trailer, please contact the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.
How can I get a STOP sign installed on a neighborhood street to slow down speeding drivers?
“STOP” signs are installed according to the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA-MUTCD) to assign right-of-way at an intersection, not to control speeding. “STOP” signs must meet certain criteria so there is uniformity in their use around the nation. This criteria looks at vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian volumes, accident history, and any unusual conditions which must be present at the intersection for a “STOP” sign to be installed.
Locations that currently have two-way stop control also have criteria for determining if the intersection would be better suited with all-way stop controls. Generally all-way stop controls are used when the vehicle volumes of the intersecting streets are approximately equal. Requests to review intersections for multi-way stop control are evaluated using criteria established by the CA-MUTCD.
If there is an intersection you think the City should investigate for the installation of “STOP” sign please fill out a Traffic Calming Request form. This form is available at the City Hall front desk or by contacting the City Public Works Engineering Department at (805) 470-3456 or email@example.com. Please fill out the form as completely as possible and either email it back to Public Works or drop it off at City Hall.
How can I get speed bumps or speed tables installed on my street to slow traffic?
While there are no Federal or State regulations regarding the use of speed bumps or speed tables, the City has a long-standing policy of not allowing speed bumps to be installed as a means of speed control. While many people believe that speed bumps are an effective means of traffic speed control, multiple studies have shown that the following negative impacts are associated with speed bumps:
• Increased emergency vehicle response time.
• Increase in air pollution and fuel usage.
• Increase in noise pollution due to additional braking, acceleration and jarring truck beds.
• Increase in vehicle wear and maintenance costs.
• Increase in accident rates and passenger injuries if unrestrained.
• Headlight beams dip and jump when traversing speed bumps, which can result in beams shining into house windows.
Additionally, installation of speed bumps typically doesn’t discourage individuals who choose to drive recklessly; it often just shifts them to other parallel streets or encourages reckless driving between speed bumps. For this reason and others listed above, speed bumps are not allowed on roadways within the City right-of-way.
How can I report vegetation that is blocking sightlines or obstructing traffic flow?
If the address is within City limits, please call or email Public Works Maintenance Operations at (805) 470-3148 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the address and details. If City Staff confirm there is an issue, we will send the property owner a notice to trim back the shrubs/trees within 30 days.
If the address is outside of City limits (but within SLO County), contact SLO County Public Works at (805) 781-5252.
How can I request the City repair potholes in a street?
You can verify whether the pothole is on a City maintained street by looking it up on our City Maintained & Non-Maintained Streets Map.
• If the street is not City Maintained, the City can provide Atascadero residents access to cold mix asphalt for use on publicly owned, non-City Maintained roads only. Cold mix asphalt may be used to fill potholes and other minor road repairs, but may not be used for speed bumps, drainage berms or private driveways. To schedule an appointment to pick up cold mix from our Corporation yard, please contact Public Works Maintenance and Operations (805) 470-3148 or email@example.com.
How can I retrieve property that was booked at the Police Department?
Property will only be released to its rightful owner. To retrieve property, you must make an appointment between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm with the Property and Evidence Specialist. Please call (805) 461-5051 to make an appointment.
How can I take care of a warrant for my arrest?
It depends on the warrant. The issuing magistrate will indicate on the warrant if the warrant can be cited out or if bail will need to be posted.
A cite release on a warrant allows the officer to issue the suspect a citation with a new appearance date, which will clear the warrant from the system. If the magistrate required bail on the warrant, the suspect will have to post bail in order to be released.
If you are taken into custody and booked, your warrant is automatically cleared. Note, warrants are issued by the Court and not Atascadero Police Department. They may be re-issued by the Court without notice or warning for a variety of reasons; the most common being "failure to appear".
How can I volunteer to help with litter removal in the City?
The City's Litter Removal Program provides local residents, businesses, service organizations and all service-minded individuals with an opportunity to help make a difference in our community.
The City provides volunteers with gloves, plastic bags, safety vests, and litter pick up tools, and arranges to collect the bags of litter that are gathered by volunteers.
Get registered by completing the Litter Removal Program Registration form.
How do find out about affordable housing opportunities?
Please visit the City's Affordable Housing page.
How do I access my own criminal history record?
To receive a copy of a criminal history record, individuals must submit Live Scan* or ink fingerprints along with a $25 fee to the California Department of Justice. For a complete criminal history, contact: California Department of Justice Record Review Unit PO Box 903417 Sacramento CA 94203-4170
*If you live in California, you must use the Live Scan fingerprint process.
How do I claim a towed or impounded vehicle?
The Section 40215 of the California Vehicle Code sets forth uniform procedures for contesting parking citations. These procedures include several time periods that must be carefully adhered to. Vehicles can only be released to the registered/legal owners of the vehicle. ID and all pertinent paperwork must be presented and a vehicle release fee collected at the time of release (cash or check only).
Thirty day stored vehicles will not be released prior to 30 days without approval from a traffic officer. Please bring your ID, license plate number or case number with you. Vehicles will only be released to drivers with a valid license. Vehicle registration must be current with the DMV prior to release, or a 1 Day moving permit from the DMV must be obtained for vehicles registered for non-operation.
How do I contact an inspector with a Code question?
The inspectors spend most of the work day out in the field so it is highly recommended inquiries be sent by email. If your question relates to a specific inspection or correction notice left by an inspector, email that inspector directly. Direct email addresses can be requested at (805) 461-5000 or you may submit your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be routed to the appropriate inspector.
How do I contest/appeal a parking citation?
The California Vehicle Code, Section 40215 sets forth uniform procedures for contesting a Notice of Parking Violation, also known as a Parking Citation. These procedures include several time periods that must be carefully adhered to.
In order to contest a citation, a Request for Administrative Review Form must be received by the Atascadero Police Department within twenty-one (21) days of the citation issuance, or within fourteen (14) days of the postmark of a delinquent citation notice you have received.
All periods are expressed in calendar days. Please review the Parking Citation Appeals Process and contact the Traffic Unit at (805) 461-5051 with any questions. Administrative Review and Hearing forms are available below.
How do I dispose of household and prescription medication?
In response to a growing demand for a safe and convenient way to dispose of household medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, a medicine mail-back service was created. For more information about this FREE disposal program, visit Medicine Mail-Back Service.
PLEASE, DO NOT FLUSH UNWANTED MEDICATIONS DOWN THE DRAIN. These materials can remain in the environment and in some cases pass through to the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant intact.
How do I find how much traffic there is at a specific location, or how many accidents there have been?
The Public Works Department compiles traffic counts conducted throughout the City. Generally, counts are completed by the County, Caltrans, or as part of a project or study. All intersection related collisions for which police respond or accident reports are filled out are also tracked and summarized in a database. This allows the City to identify safety problems that arise at specific intersections.
Requests for intersection collision reports should be directed to the Police Department at (805) 461-5051.