Game, Set, Match: How to Contest a Parking Ticket for Uncurbed Wheels


Dear Parking Guru,
I was given a parking ticket for not curbing my wheels. Is there any law that says how far you have to park away from the curb so that your wheels are "effectively" curbed?  I looked on the SFMTA website and didn't see anything about it except “curb your wheels to prevent a run away.”  I was very close to the curb admittedly, but my wheels were in fact curbed!  See the attached pictures I took when I saw the ticket. My wheel was actually touching the curb, there was no way the car was going anywhere. Two questions:
1.  Is it worth contesting the ticket?
2. If so, do I send the picture I took, or just state that my wheels were in fact curbed?

Dear Curbacious,
Is it possible to be too close to the curb? Excellent question. There is a law that states that your wheels must be no more than 18 inches away from the curb when parallel parked. But, there is nothing written about being too close.  If your wheel is actually touching the curb, that is the safest position possible.  If your wheels were turned correctly and they were 18 inches away from the curb, and your car popped out of gear, it is possible that your wheels could jump the curb. If your front wheel is touching the curb and your car were to pop out of gear, it seems to me that there wouldn’t be enough inertia to jump the curb, unless maybe you were parked on Kearny Street above Lombard which is a 28% grade, but there is no parking allowed there.
Section 7.2.35 of the SF transportation code states that it is a violation: To Park a vehicle upon any grade or slope exceeding three percent without effectively setting the brakes and blocking the wheels of the vehicle by turning them against the curb or by other means.
In the pictures you sent, it shows your wheel is turned properly toward the curb on the downward slope, and it is touching the curb.

That seems pretty darned effective. Your car is not going anywhere. I don’t understand why you were issued a ticket.
Now to answer your questions:

Yes, I would contest this citation. Follow the instructions on the back of the ticket.

And yes, you should include the photos.  If not a thousand, your pictures are worth at least two words…ticket dismissed.
And, by the way, not that you need it, but if you want extra supporting evidence, I checked the Surveyed Streets of SF map to see what the actual grade of the street where you were parked is…it’s 2.7%, so your wheels didn’t need to be curbed in the first place.
Game, set, and match.
To see a list of parking resources not on SFMTA’s website, click here. To be safely and easily guided to a public parking space so you too can practice effectively curbing your wheels, check out the VoicePark app by clicking here.

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