Appeal reader and disgruntled parking-hunter Jim brought us an account of a free-parking scheme being run out of a DPT Officer’s Cushman Interceptor. In February of this year, as Jim found himself circling the block in search of a spot where hopefully he wouldn’t have to move the car until next week, he says he pulled up behind an unoccupied “Meter Maid’s Wagon” at 390 Townsend St.
Things started to get weird when he says the driver of a White Kia Sportage (possibly the only car more embarrassing than a Cushman) finished parking in a restricted parking area next to a double-parked DPT vehicle. It became apparent that the driver of the Kia was working for the DPT when, Jim says, he witnessed her she exited the Kia, retrieved one of those pink and white envelopes city drivers are all too familiar with from the DPT vehicle, and placed it on her own windshield. She then hopped into her glorified DPT tricycle and presumably headed out to ticket legitimate parking offenses.
Suspicious, our tipster went to inspect the DPT envelope, only to find it empty. Which makes sense because why would a DPT officer ticket a car she just parked? (Jim’s photos revealed she even properly curbed her tires.) Although the officer was apparently acting alone, we can’t help but wonder if this is a widely-used practice among officers in the Department of Parking and Traffic.
But there’s justice in the end, as Jim reported this to James Lee, Assistant Director of SFMTA’s Enforcement Division, who says an investigation found the officer’s conduct to be in violation of department policy and “appropriate action was taken based on the violation.”
No word on if “appropriate action” includes downgrading the officer to a post-Burning Man Cushman painted like a rocketship or whatever, but a good lesson for all of us who wonder “should I bother reporting this insane thing some city employee is doing.” Just make sure you tell us about it too!