The First Sunday With Metered Parking: Was It Completely Ignored?

Updated 4:47 p.m.

Yesterday was supposed to be different: San Francisco parking meters were to be in effect during business hours on Sundays for the first time ever, meaning fewer drivers would be clogging up the streets looking for a spot.

Almost every meter I passed on a few blocks of upper Haight Street yesterday afternoon was unpaid, with no warning stuck on the windshield. What's going on? Photo: Aaron Bialick

But in at least two busy commercial districts, nearly every parking meter appeared occupied but unpaid. The displays flashed “expired,” but parking control officers were absent, as were the warning leaflets that the SF Municipal Transportation Agency said it would hand out during the first three weeks before actual ticketing kicks in.

That’s what I found on upper Haight Street yesterday just after 5 p.m., and what Streetsblog reader Mike Sonn observed on 24th Street in the Mission at about 2 p.m. It was enough to make you wonder if the message about Sunday metering will actually get across before the real enforcement kicks in.

Of course, it could have been a fluke — enforcement staff is limited, and perhaps PCOs were too busy elsewhere to blanket windshields with warnings in the Haight and the Mission. One report from ABC 7 did show a parking control officer handing a woman what appears to be a leaflet about Sunday parking meters. But upper Haight and 24th are prime examples of busy commercial streets where one would expect to see the PCOs in action.

So, what’s going on? Was this a sign of the SFTMA’s enforcement department bungling the first day of Sunday metering? A decision by management to ease into Sunday meters a little too incrementally? Streetsblog is still waiting to hear back from the SFMTA in response to a request for explanation sent in yesterday. In any case, without any real enforcement to speak of, it seems the first few Sundays of 2013 are going to be metered in name only.

Update: SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said PCOs distributed 4,000 warnings citywide, including 600 in the Haight area, and approximately 1,000 warnings in the Mission District. He also said that “old meters” don’t display a change when drivers pre-pay or pay by cell phone.

  • Anonymous

    There was so much whining on twitter, and elsewhere you’d think that atrocities were being committed. No one got any tickets and the sky didn’t fall. I’m sure the SFMTA will find a way to screw this up…frankly they should have gone on a ticket rampage NOW, and let the screaming subside later on, instead they’re just kicking the outrage can down a little which will only give the whiners more time to scream and yell and get in front of the cameras.

  • jimmy

    This was expected.  The drivers that didn’t know about the change didn’t pay.  The drivers that did know about the change also knew that meters would not be enforced for the first 3 Sundays and also didn’t pay.

    I would not be surprised if the SFMTA waits until March or April to starting issuing real tickets.

  • What’s with SF Weekly being all “Boo hoo hoo, it’s so unfair that anyone should have to pay to park their car. THAT’S WHAT TAXPAYERS ARE FOR!” Seriously? Next people will be required to pay for their own groceries. IT’S AN OUTRAGE!!!

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2013/01/sunday_parking_petition.php

  • Meters that don’t register when you pay? How can you trust meters that don’t acknowledge your payments? 

  • Put on your tin foil hat and you will know!

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