Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

No More "Free" Parking @ Broken Meters

Photo via kaiherrner on Flickr.com

Remember when our parking guru David La Bua quizzed you about parking at broken meters? Looks like it's about to get much harder to get away with it in San Francisco. The SFMTA is trying to clamp down on the time limit allowed for free parking at a busted meter to a measly one hour.

According to the Chronicle, SFMTA directors will vote on this decision tomorrow and if passed, it will give meter maids the opportunity to issue $55 or $65 tickets (depending on the neighborhood) after an hour of broken meter parking.  So don a hawk's eye to make sure you won't get slapped with a ticket, especially this time of year.

The reason behind this buzzkill is the good old SFpark program. In some areas, they're extending parking time limits to four hours or getting rid of them altogether, based on parking spot demand. If they weren't nabbing those taking advantage of broken parking meters, the city would receive a brutal reality check.

Says David La Bua:
The law now reads that you can park at a broken meter for the entire limit of that meter. The new SFpark meters are going to have time limits of 4 hours, 6 hours, and in some cases, no time limit. So, under the old law, you would be able to park there for the posted time limit...at a meter with no time limit.  That would mean, you would get to park there for free...forever! Actually, the 72 hour law would come into effect, and pee on your parade.

However, it would mean that you would have free parking for 72 hours!  And at $6 per hour at some of the new meters, you could potentially get $432 worth of free parking at a broken meter.  That phenomenon would have spread like wild fire, and with that kind of financial incentive, the City may have found 1200 of their new SFPark meters continually in disrepair. Let's tip our cap to the SFMTA person who reasoned that situation out before the City found out the hard way.