Typo correction: The SFMTA says commercial vehicles are only allowed to double park when there is no legal parking space nearby.
At a hearing this week on the prevalence of double-parking in SF, Supervisor Scott Wiener said parking control officers shouldn’t give double-parked drivers a chance to move before receiving a citation.
“If the worst thing that’s going to happen to you is you’re going to be asked to move, how is that in any way a disincentive to double parking?” Wiener asked SFMTA Parking Enforcement Director Cameron Samii.
Samii said that such warnings are only given to delivery drivers, and only when there is no legal nearby parking space and they are not blocking a Muni line or “creating a hazard.” He said an exemption in state law allows commercial drivers to double park while loading under those conditions.
However, private auto drivers have long been known to get off with warnings, and there is no clear evidence that practice has changed. And for people on bikes, any double-parked vehicle creates a hazard.
Double-parking tickets have recently been on the upswing, however, with monthly citations rising from 1,808 in September to 2,947 in January, though they dropped again slightly in February to 2,495 [PDF]. Compared to all double-parking tickets, bike lane violations increased at a faster rate, from 110 in September to 285 in January.
The SF Bicycle Coalition recently conducted a social media campaign called #ParkingDirtySF, asking the public to tweet photos of drivers parked in bike lanes and blocking intersections. With more than 500 responses, the SFBC listed the 15 worst locations and the most common types of violators.