parking_meters.jpgAfter being faced with the reality of a continuing slide in parking enforcement revenue, the SFMTA promised a plan to up parking tickets. That plan was unveiled Tuesday, providing glorious driver-enraging (and somewhat satisfying for those who bus, bike, and walk) fodder for your city’s news orgs. Let’s see what they gleaned from the SF MTA’s plan, shall we?

Parking ticket crackdown coming for San Francisco drivers [Ex]
Parked in a zone that’s tow-away after a certain hour? Forget that 10 minute grace period after it kicks in, it’s been halved to 5 minutes. Stopped in the middle of an intersection once the light changed (like one might in busy traffic)? Get ready to pay! Are you a parking enforcement officer? Kiss your deficit-increasing overtime goodbye, and expect to be scheduled to work Saturdays and Mondays.

Broken meter proposal revised [Ex]
In a bit of a break for drivers, a proposal to reduce the time limit on broken meters, which lost in a vote last year, was revised somewhat Tuesday: the new plan says that “motorists parked at broken spaces can stay for free for as long as the time limit the meter allows.” The exception to this are those fancy SFPark meters that, as of March 1, will start charging based on demand, for up to four hours of parking, at as much as $6/hr. The limit on those meters, if broken, will be 2 hours.

Drivers beware: parking changes in the works [Chron] Meter maids are already writing more tickets for residential parking yellow-zone, and time-limit violations, but the “265-member squad of parking control officers is down 20 bodies,” so they’re not hitting as many offenders as they’d like. Street sweeping trucks might be getting cameras to photograph cars parked in violation of their sweepy hours, with the tickets going to drivers in the mail.

Oh, and this is interesting: “At any given time, between 300 and 500 of the more than 25,000 meters in the city are broken, with the bulk due to vandalism.” Is it that easy to kill off a meter? And, finally, the MTA is considering getting rid of the early-bird parking discount many garages offer, “to remove an incentive for driving, as part of the city’s transit-first policy.” I hate to be that guy, but wouldn’t another way to discourage car use be to have a transit system that will actually bother to take you home?

Will all these measures help the SF MTA avoid an anticipated $21.2 million shortfall? They seem to see things that way but, at the same time, they hope you don’t — the Ex reports that MTA board member Jerry Lee said “(w)e don’t want the perception that this is a cash cow.”

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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