parking_meters.jpgSan Francisco residents could get advance warning that their car might be towed under a proposal introduced by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu today.

The proposal, introduced at today’s board meeting, requests that legislation be drafted to require the creation of a towing notification system for San Francisco and the release of live data streams for temporary and permanent towing restrictions in the city.

Chiu said about 150 cars are towed in the city each day, and is not just inconvenient, but also costly–the current towing fee is $385.75 with additional charges for storage.

The proposal “could help people avoid being towed by using technology,” Chiu said.

City departments, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Department of Public Works, would create a system to notify people by email or text message about temporary towing permits for special events and construction zones, as well as for permanent tow-away zones.

Incorporating the tow-away live data streams in the city’s current DataSF program would also encourage developers to create smartphone apps similar to the SFPark pilot program that helps drivers find open parking spots in certain neighborhoods of the city, he said.

Chiu said similar notification programs are already in effect in cities like Chicago and Denver, and that the proposal, which would have to be approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors, could also require notifying a person when their car has been towed.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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