Spiders may become your new best parking friends or worst ticket nightmare when it comes to metered parking in the city. No, our meter maids weren’t taken over by sci-fi arachnids hellbent on ruining the increasingly limited parking options in SF. As CBS5 reports, a malfunctioning meter possibly ruined by spiders is to blame for tickets being wrongfully issued to multiple motorists.

The only problem is, according to California state law those tickets are illegal.

SF has to pass a special ordinance and post signs to allow ticketing at broken meters. Nevertheless, tickets are still being issued to that meter, though proof has been provided to the SFMTA that even when fed, the meter indicates that time is up.

SFMTA Media Relations Manager and unofficial captain of obvious observations Paul Rose told CBS5 that “it looks like it’s operational sometimes and not operational others.”

The ticket appeal process usually takes multiple tries before the ticket itself will be dismissed, making for an even bigger hassle than say, taking Muni.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • Jim

    Most individual meters will have a sticker, notice, or insert that says when the meter is broken, a car can park for free up to the usual maximum time limit allowed, usually between 2 to 4 hours. I’m sure KPIX gladly neglected to mention that.

    • I was thinking of that too. KPIX neglected to mention that. This was similar to when KPIX did a news piece on a senior who got a ticket for not tagging his Clipper card but the person said he did. The reporter failed to ask the person for a copy of his transaction report to prove it, but instead, went based on the person’s word.

  • Jim

    Most individual meters will have a sticker, notice, or insert that says when the meter is broken, a car can park for free up to the usual maximum time limit allowed, usually between 2 to 4 hours. I’m sure KPIX gladly neglected to mention that.

    • I was thinking of that too. KPIX neglected to mention that. This was similar to when KPIX did a news piece on a senior who got a ticket for not tagging his Clipper card but the person said he did. The reporter failed to ask the person for a copy of his transaction report to prove it, but instead, went based on the person’s word.

  • OnlineRefugee

    I don’t get it. Seems the obvious questions were not answered.

    – What are the municipalities contending is the law, that if a meter is broken a vehicle cannot park there? Now that sounds absurd, doesn’t it.

    – Like other said, isn’t the law that if the meter is broken, you cannot park in the spot beyond the limit that the meter allows. For example, if it is a one-hour meter, they can ticket you if you park 61 minutes. (All this is subject to the meter maid (I love calling them that 🙂 PROVING you exceeded the time limit for the space).

    – And the real issue here is the City’s motive. They know most people do not have the time to handle appeals, so the City simply denies, denies, denies, knowing people will eventually just pay.

    Is it any wonder that people despise meter maids and greedy City government.

  • OnlineRefugee

    I don’t get it. Seems the obvious questions were not answered.

    – What are the municipalities contending is the law, that if a meter is broken a vehicle cannot park there? Now that sounds absurd, doesn’t it.

    – Like other said, isn’t the law that if the meter is broken, you cannot park in the spot beyond the limit that the meter allows. For example, if it is a one-hour meter, they can ticket you if you park 61 minutes. (All this is subject to the meter maid (I love calling them that 🙂 PROVING you exceeded the time limit for the space).

    – And the real issue here is the City’s motive. They know most people do not have the time to handle appeals, so the City simply denies, denies, denies, knowing people will eventually just pay.

    Is it any wonder that people despise meter maids and greedy City government.

  • In many cities, it is illegal to park at a broken meter simply to remove the incentive to break the meter. People will go to crazy extremes to get free parking – including damaging public infrastructure…but I don’t know what the law is in SF.

  • In many cities, it is illegal to park at a broken meter simply to remove the incentive to break the meter. People will go to crazy extremes to get free parking – including damaging public infrastructure…but I don’t know what the law is in SF.