Ask the Parking Guru: When A Parking Sign Is Vandalized, How Should You Appeal Your Ticket?


Dear Parking Guru,

I recently contested a ticket because the street sweeping sign that I parked underneath was altered to read just "Mon Wed" instead of "Mon Wed Fri."  I sent in pictures of the sign that was tampered with and received the following response:
"The San Francisco Traffic Code section 42 requires that all signs restricting parking be posted not more than 100 feet from the cited location.  An on-site field survey was conducted and confirmed that at least one legible sign is posted within 100 feet of the location on the citation.  The review has confirmed that the citation was properly issued and is valid."
Is there any block that has differing signage for the same parking restriction?  
Have you heard of this 100-foot rule? What you think about my situation?

Dear KK,
Your question is a great one.  I believe that the SFMTA missed the nuances of your situation. I do indeed know about the 100-foot rule and warn people of it regularly.  If you’d like to read more about it, click here.
However, that is not what your situation is about. Yes, there may have been one legible sign within 100 feet. In fact there were two legible signs. However, the one that was closest to you had been altered...not graffiti-ed with black spray paint to block it out, so much so that you should have checked for other signage.  I'm assuming by your description that one of the restricted days was scraped off or whited out. The sign was still legible and believable, and gave you no reason to look for another sign to confirm that it was accurate. And you followed its rules.
To answer your first question, no, there is no block that has two street sweeping signs on the same block, on the same side of the street, with differing restrictive information,except one: the one that you parked on.  
When you get out of your car and see a sign right in front of your car, and it is legible, that should suffice. If what DPT wrote to you is their final stance, then that would mean that every time you park, you will have to verify that every sign on the block is the same. You should not have to go up and down the entire block comparing signs. But, let’s say you did (like I am now going to have to do), and what if two out of three signs are the same, but the other is not?  What if it is 50/50?
My opinion is that SFMTA is so flooded with questions contesting tickets that were fairly and justly handed out, that your situation was lost in that flood.  They should thank you for bringing to their attention that one of their signs has been vandalized, fix the sign and waive the ticket. What their answer is failing to address is that the sign by your car was legible, just altered.  I would definitely appeal it!
It is cool that they will investigate every ticket that is contested.  But that brings up a question. While they took the time to go out and examine the altered sign for the investigation, did they fix it while they were out there?
To read more in depth about the subtleties and nuances of parking that and to save some money on acid reflux medication, click here

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