Just before lunch on this beautiful day, we asked you to decode a confusing construction zone sign––the type you see around town next to many parking spots. So, are they available or not? Here's how to tell:
Can you park in front of this sign?
A) No way. That’s why it’s all like orange and red.
B) Totally, if there isn’t any construction going on it means that it’s okay.
C) I’m not sure, it’s one of those construction zone thingies and I don’t
know what all the rules are with those things. I don’t want to get towed.
D) Yes, but only if it is not within the enforceable dates and/or times posted.
E) None of the above all of the time.
F) All of the above some of the time.
Answer: F) All of the above some of the time.
“No Parking” signs attached to construction saw horses or parking meters can be beacons of hope when looking for a place to park. They are used for construction, moving trucks, festivals and even sometimes for scheduled large home deliveries. These signs are one of my absolute favorite places to park. Most people immediately dismiss and drive right by them, but I drive straight for them. Don’t assume that because a sign exists, it means you can’t park there.
These signs must be put in place three days before their enforcement is valid. And, they are also often negligently left behind after the job is finished, sometimes for weeks. Pull up to the spot, and read the posted days and times on the paper sign. Also, read the fine print. The conscious and considerate construction companies will add a small line of text stating, “If work has not begun by noon, parking is allowed”.
Be careful though, if the spot is vacant, it doesn't always mean it is available. It could mean that a dump truck, or a truck delivering a Wurlitzer organ, is just around the corner and about to park in its reserved space. If you are in the spot, you will be ticketed and towed in a heartbeat. I was looking for a spot near my destination on March 10th when I saw the sign posted above. I drove straight for it, and read the dates and times. Free parking once again in under 30 seconds!
For more SF parking tips, tricks, and secrets click here.