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David LaBua a Parking Ticket-Free New Year

New Year's Toast

It may feel like a holiday with everyone in party mode, but remember, to parking enforcement, New Year's Eve is just another Monday. It will be just like any other Monday when 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.

Christmas Holiday Parking Rules

Christmas Parking Rules

The Night Before Christmas: as usual.  Everything is enforced on Christmas Eve. 

This Week Was Next Week Last Week


Dear Parking Guru,
A few days ago, I drove to North Beach, found a spot super quickly (thanks to your advice) and I had an awesome lunch with some old friends. On my way back to my car, I was humming corny holiday songs to myself, and was really feeling joyous, when the vinyl record playing in my mind suddenly came screeching to a halt. Up the block I saw a DPT officer double-parked near where I had parked. I ran up the street as she was driving away and found a big fat ticket on my windshield. I used the pay by phone option you wrote about last week, and wondered if all that technology got me jacked up somehow. But it wasn’t for an expired meter, it was for parking in temporary no parking zone.

Parking in SF: An Expensive Game of Inches

Parking Goal Line

Dear Parking Guru,
On Sunday, I was towed for "blocking" a driveway. I was parked in one of the relatively small curb spots between two driveways, but my car fit completely within the spot (i.e. no part of my vehicle entered the portion of the curb that starts to slope downward into either driveway). I am confident of this because I, along with three friends, made a thorough examination of the car's position before deciding the parking spot was safe. One of the driveways had the edges of their curb painted red on both sides, and my back bumper did break the plain of the red line (my tires did not), but I figured it wouldn't be a problem since the driveway was clearly unobstructed. When I came back the car was towed.

Brother, Can You Spare 70 Dimes?

Pay by Phone Meter

So, there I was, parked safely and securely at a meter in the Financial District on a recent rainy afternoon, ten minutes before a meeting. I knew I’d easily be able to find a vacant spot at one of the yellow loading zone meters that becomes a general parking meter at 11 AM. My favorite go-to-broken-meter-free-two-hour spot was occupied, so I took another one. I got out to feed the meter and reached for my wallet to use a credit card or SFMTA smart card, and I realized that I had left my wallet in my other coat. Damn.

The SFMTA Is Not Full of Homicide Detectives

No Driving on Sidewalk

Dear Parking Guru,

I have a challenging parking ticket question. I received a parking ticket for parking on the sidewalk in North Beach right after I moved here a few weeks ago. My car still had Texas plates and was registered in Texas at the time. However, the parking officer wrote down the wrong license plate number by one character. So technically, it isn't correct. They did get the last four of my VIN correct. I have not received a letter in the mail. Will they be able to track me down?

Texas Pete

Thanksgiving Holiday Parking Rules

Turkey Day Driving

Nothing can ruin a Thanksgiving weekend more than getting a $72 ticket...except being blamed for your in-laws' car getting towed. We've broken down the matrix of rules and regulations for you so you can relax this Thanksgiving knowing that neither will happen to you.

You Have a 50% Chance of Getting a Parking Ticket Dismissed

Heads of Tails

In any job, making a mistake once in a while is inevitable. But add to any job the elements of stress, name calling, 1001 rules to be aware of, and the fact that when you do your job well, the people to whom you deliver your services typically react with sadness, outrage, and despair, it is inevitable that even more mistakes will be made.
There are four jobs that I can think of that fit the above description: An IRS agent, an eviction attorney, a vehicle repo person, and a SFMTA parking officer.

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

Curb Parking

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?

Parking 501: Advanced Techniques

So, you’ve circled a block more than a few times and there isn’t a parking spot available on any of the streets on either side of the street. VoicePark is not available because there are no sensors in that area yet. You’ve even expanded your search to a four-block radius. Absolutely nothing.

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