Here's a good old-fashioned parking quiz for this sunny Friday. You park in a spot with a sign posted that says, 2-Hour Limit, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm. It's 9 am. You move your car at 11 am to another block. When are you safe to park on the original block again without fear of getting a ticket?
A violation of Div. I 7.2.35 , aka Parking on Grades, aka Block Wheels, aka Curbing your Wheels will cost you $50. But tickets for this violation are often given out erroneously because unfortunately, some DPT officers don't know that in order to cite somebody for violating this traffic code, the street must be a grade of 3% or more. A 3% grade is actually 1.72 degrees (picture a 45 degree ramp). It looks almost flat. Many of these citations are written in error because DPT officers can't possibly know the specific grade of every street in SF. And many of these erroneous tickets are paid erroneously by us, because how could one possibly disprove it?
Last week's story seemed to strike a nerve or two, which generated a lot of first amendment activity in the comments section. I found alot of them to be smart, funny, and insightful. So much so that I thought I'd share some of the highlights with you this week. Without further ado, here are your fellow readers' recent freedoms of expression about parking:
Hello My Dear Parking Guru,
I need your help desperately. My husband's car was towed on a Sunday morning along with other cars, in front of our house. We parked there on a Saturday night after 9 pm, and there were NO SIGNS on our stretch of the street. There were signs on our crossing street, for a Sunday Streets Event which we love and support, but again THERE WERE NO SIGNS OTHERWISE.
When we woke up at 9 am, we thought his car was stolen!
Dear Parking Guru,
I thought I was pretty good at finding parking spaces, but thanks to the 7x7 articles and your parking app I am excellent at finding parking, so a million thanks. However, I'm still getting parking tickets (seven so far this year) and am often not sure exactly why. I'm not really learning any lessons because the violation descriptions on the tickets are always ambiguous, and I often don't know what I've done wrong. Do you have a quick primer for me to simplify parking on a block with a lot of signs?
Somebody recently asked me, "So, when you were a kid, and you were playing with trucks and cars in the sandbox, were you parallel parking all of your hotwheels?" I told her that I have memories of controlled vehicle chaos in the sandbox like other kids...but with an occasional explosion to give the Tonka ambulance and fire-truck something to do. So upon reflection, even then, I was afflicted with the childhood version of parking anxiety, and intermittent explosive disorder.
I enjoy your 7x7 posts and your website. I pulled up at SFO this morning and stopped just for 20 seconds partially on a pedestrian crossing, just to let my son get his stuff out. Saw a meter maid writing me up. She said she was writing me a $332 ticket, and then had me move back out of the crossing. Then she walked away, without any effort to give me the ticket. No idea if she was just staging the ticket-writing process to make sure that I was obedient, or whether I can expect a ticket in the mail. Are tickets enforceable if the meter maid made no effort to actually deliver it in person?
Your book looks great, and I read a rumor that you're making an app, I will be looking for them.
I was driving down Fillmore the other day getting close to my destination for a meeting. Time was of the essence as, par for the course, I was running late. I was simultaneously employing each of the 1001 strategies that I've written about, including asking the parking gods if I could cash in some of my good karma points for a spot right now. And not shockingly, they delivered–one block away from my destination. I slowed down, pulled past it, and began to back into it, when suddenly, out of nowhere a man jumped and landed into the middle of the spot like a caped crusader who had just repelled down the bat-rope.
New Year's Eve (otherwise known as Saturday) may feel like a holiday as everyone will be in party mood, but remember, it is not a holiday. It will be just like any other Saturday in the eyes of the parking police. The usual $250,000 worth of parking tickets will be issued, and 300 or more cars will be towed. Remember to take a breath, look up and down the street for 100 feet for any enforceable sign, and don't start off the New Year with a large non-tax-deductible donation to SFMTA.
NEW YEAR'S DAY