I recently received a parking ticket for not having my wheels curbed on a >3% grade (which is, apparently, the threshold in SF). My block, to an untrained eye, appears almost flat- in fact it’d have NEVER occurred to me to curb my wheels when parking there prior to getting the citation. A cursory glance down the street would indicate only about 1/3 of the cars parked there have their wheels curbed (most of whom, I assume, have previously received tickets like I did). My question is this- how does the DPT expect drivers to know whether the block they are parked on requires one’s wheels to be curbed, aside from carrying around a level in the glove box? In fact, I put my car in neutral and released the parking brake, and the car didn’t even roll! There are no signs on my block saying wheels need to be curbed. I realize the “easy” answer is just “always curb your wheels”- but that’s not the law.

The first DPT spokesperson I asked told me that is the law: she said that you’re supposed to curb your wheels at all times or you can get a ticket, regardless of whether you’re parked on an incline or not. According to her, the DPT is “supposed” to cite any car that doesn’t have its wheels curbed (her justification: if another car hits your parked car and your wheels aren’t curbed, your car could move and cause damage to other cars/people/objects/etc). Since the DPT (presumably) has better things to do than check up on the wheels of every car in SF, they give people a break unless there’s definitely a 3% grade.

UPDATE: I called the DPT back and asked them about SEC. 7.2.35. The spokesperson I asked (#77) told me that the previous woman I had spoken with was incorrect; they will only cite you if you’re parked on a 3% grade. She recommended rolling a “small round object, like a orange or a water bottle” down the street in order to tell whether there’s a grade; if it rolls, then you should curb your wheels. She also told me that if you receive such a ticket and believe you were parked on a less than 3% grade, you might try contesting your ticket.

My advice is to curb your wheels at all times, because, honestly, life is too short to go around rolling oranges down the hills of San Francisco OR contesting parking tickets (trust me on this one).

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