Sunday parking, free -- for some


If you drive your car Sunday morning to a restaurant for breakfast, or if you go to a Yoga class, or if you're going to work or shopping, you have to plug the meters now, or you'll get a pricey ticket. Almost 1,800 people got caught up in the new crackdown on Sunday parking.

Which is fine with me; I think people who drive should pay to park, and as long as you can stay a couple of hours, most of the meters in the city are a bargain.

But for some people, there are no Sunday meters, and no tickets. Those are the ones who don't bother with the meters and just park in the middle of the street while they're going to church.

I've been complaining about this for a long time, and nothing seems to change:

If you go to see the (secular) Mime Troupe in Dolores Park and you stick your car in the middle of the street, you get a ticket. If you drink at a (secular) bar or eat at a (secular) restaurant and you leave your car in the Valencia Street median, you get cited. You can't double park while you run in for a (secular) cup of coffee at Muddy Waters.

And now everyone engaging in secular activities has to pay to park, and the people who go to church get to park in the middle of the street, illegally, free of charge, and with full impunity.

I called Paul Rose, the MTA spokesperson, and asked if this harsh crackdown on Sunday meters would also include a crackdown on people who park illegally in the middle of Valencia Street, but he hasn't gotten back to me. I'll let you know if he does.


Equal protection under the law. I see Tim's point here- it is unfair. But then again, it is really just sour grapes and whining that someone else is getting something from free that I can't or won't get.

Posted by Whackamole on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:02 am

A block from our house, a church double parks cars on Sundays and often on a weekday night. On a Sunday in the first year that we lived here, this double-parking blocked my ability to drive my car for about a half-hour while I looked for and finally found the youth entrustred by the church to move the double parked cars out of the way.

Not a huge deal. I missed an activity that I would have liked to attend and learned to avoid parking on that block if I need to use the car on Sunday, but the church's street parking restricts and obstructs a shared community asset, on- street parking.

My opposition to the practice is not jealousy at the church getting something that I and others don't get, but rather that it blocks people from getting into empty spaces and delays people from exiting legal spaces. Plus safety concerns that I shared elsewhere.

On a related subject, I notice that unmetered street parking in our neighborhood is more difficult to find on Sunday's now that DPT is charging and enforcing metered parking. I wouldn't be surprised if an effort emerges to extend residential permit parking to include Sundays to mitigate this result.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:30 am

adjacent block. It's not like there is a church on every block.

Residential parking permits are issued whenever a majority of the people in that area want one, so it's just a matetr of organizing to get one. But yes, there's a big problem now that SF has started putting parking meters into residential area's, particularly if meters need to be fed on evenings and week-ends.

Meters are designed to work in commercial area's and nobody should have to leave their home in their PJ's to feed a dman meter.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:40 am

(which isn't always possible,) but the fact is that the double parking regularly denies a community resource to the community.

Hey, we live in a crowded city that requires its inhabitants to be flexible for special events (Sunday Streets, Street Fairs, etc.), but every week seems excessive.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 11:01 am

And I don't own a car, can I put a couch there? As you know, a member of the community...

Posted by John Murphy on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 11:51 am

Check with DPT.

I can't park my car in the middle of Garfield Park or inside the Main Library, which are also community resources.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

it will probably stick around for a while.

Posted by anon on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

You all should try that some time, seriously, feed the meter, maybe several of them, and set up an ephemeral community space.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

someone else has got something (money, a job, a nice car) that they haven't. It's not called the "politics of envy" without good reason.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:34 am

You call it the politics of envy because you're a self serving troll.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:39 am

Starting with Dolores Park - it's totally unacceptable that people think they can come to a park, trash it and leave - and the city has to pay to clean it up. Charging entrance fees, especially on the weekends, would encourage less riff raff and more quality. It's a bargain if you compare the cost to a place like Disneyland.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

People then could be charged accordingly for all things San Francisco.

The progressives could have a "P" tat on their hands, or maybe a card made of hemp. They could have the p's lined up like on college football helmets. Ride a bike, use only one square of TP in the can, vegan, pot card, 9/11 conspiracy believer, on like Donkey Kong... When they meet up they could compare them like badges.

Also there will be demerits.

A "C" car, means you pay 20 bucks to use the park for example.

We should reward the people with the best intentions.

We need to tier this city up along good intentions lines.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

But I was shocked and appalled at the trash left in Dolores Park last July 4th weekend. Such behavior seems somewhat new. I don't know if it is generational or socio-economic or both or neither. Are the new 20-something residents used to other people cleaning up for them? Sure seems that way.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

The more popular ones should not be free. Look at what's happened to Dolores Park. It's awful.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

and I've come to believe that the problem is due to the zeitgeist of animosity and adversarial contentions within modern society.

Such anti-social behavior as littering in a public space is seen as a display of power or personal importance. It becomes a status symbol.

If I'm right -- and I believe I am -- then I still have to confess that don't know what the answer is for it in specific.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

Some summers ago I would ride past city hall for the( bi weekly anti-war/9-11 truther/ conspiracy convention) at civic center, I would stop and check out the ravings and move along.

On my way back from drinking at a few bars in the TL I would note the piles of trash and the people cleaning it up.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

I'm supposing you lyingly intended to misrepresent facts.

The fact is that after such events, those who hold the permits for them are responsible for clean-up; something which is always joyously launched-into by event attendees.

Going to one of those protests is a great way to meet and interact with decent people who are willing to pitch in and help out; totally unlike interacting with trolls on the internet.

Posted by lillipublicans on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:56 am

read one of this L.S./Troll II's comments.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 31, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

The hugely undefunded "city family" pension pot needs filling, folks.

Sunday parking fines will help a little.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 7:18 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 8:06 am
Posted by CJ Roses on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 8:49 am

I think there's an argument to be made that taking up a lane of some streets with parking on Sunday mornings doesn't impede traffic flow because it's not a busy time. However, last I read up on this, there are *no* official regulations in SF about this; the SFPD has simply always turned a blind eye, and only for churches. That's unfair and perhaps unconstitutional. It doesn't have to be unworkable, though.
The Board of Supervisors should work with the MTA and the SFPD to create an official policy on this. Seems to me it could work with a) specified non-busy windows of time (like Sunday mornings), b) a requirement of a permit, which could be ongoing (to ensure that whoever wants to do it gets proper training from the city on how to manage it and what info to give to attendees), and perhaps also c) specfied zones where it could happen (certainly traffic couldn't get through if a lane was blocked on certain streets).
This doesn't have to be a win/lose situation, but we all need to agree on a set of ground rules to make SF work for everyone.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:21 am

Something that is lost in this discussion, however, is that the parking of cars in the middle of streets obstructs the vision of drivers in the other lanes, putting pedestrians and bicyclists at greater danger than they already are in a very dangerous city for those groups.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:33 am

inpair the vision of a driver since cyclists would be on his right or ahead, while traffic coming the other way is physically separated by a median.

I don't believe anyone has ever been injured as a result of the Sunday de facto parking amnesty. Do you know differently?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:41 am

Guerrero Street, Folsom Street, Valencia Street and other streets without medians?

I have no idea about any statistics, but I know that I feel more unsafe walking when drivers have an even harder time seeing me. The number of near misses I have had with drivers (and bicyclists) under normal conditions is alarming.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:57 am

control your mood regardless. I ama sking for clear evidence that parking in the center lane on a quiet Sunday morning poses any provable, credible danger to anyone?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:28 am

on pedestrian and accident statistics on Sunday's if such statistics exist.

Regardless of how I feel (would my comment have been more acceptable if I had used the word "think",) San Francisco is a very dangerous city for pedestrians.

You are an argumentative sort, aren't you? You don't require any "provable, credible" evidence for the state to spy on its subjects, but need conclusive evidence to restrict a practice that directly affects your safety, since presumably you walk in San Francisco.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:46 am

Discretion works much of the time.

Same thing with street cleaning. The cops won't ticket you for parking on the sidewalk during street cleaning. It's not written down anywhere - but everyone knows that's the case.

Likewise the 3-day rule isn't enforced so, in practice, you can park your car on the street for a week without getting a ticket under the 3 day rule.

We don't have to have a law for everything

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 9:35 am

in "their spot," then they call and complain that you've been there for three days as soon as they see you parked in front of their house. Chalk marks appear promptly and the ticket appears in three days and the tow truck comes.

I know this from personal experience.

Posted by lillipublicans on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:01 am

If it is noticed that your car has been in a psot for 3 days, the cops obviously have to wait at least 3 more days to be sure but, in practice, it is 10 days. I know because it happened to me once when I went away for 2 nearly 2 weeks. I knew i'd get a ticket for street cleaning but figured it wasn't long enough to get towed under the 3-day rule.

Absent that or a really pesky neighbor, the 3-day rule is ignored. If your street doesn't have street cleaning (too narrow or steep) you can park for months at a time.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:33 am

"If the your Libertarian/Nazi neighbor doesn't like you parking
in "their spot," then they call and complain that you've been there for three days as soon as they see you parked in front of their house. Chalk marks appear promptly and the ticket appears in three days and the tow truck comes.

I know this from personal experience."

Just imagine being lilli's neighbor...

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:52 am

households is what the whole city would be like if someone like Lilli was ever given any real political power which, fortunately, has no chance of ever happening.

Anyway, if someone reports your car like that, it's obvious who did it, and you can go and superglue their keyhole.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2013 @ 11:14 am

I'm not saying nobody should ever be able to park in the median; it may be a fine Sunday morning policy. But it should not be limited to certain religious institutions. If the Mime Troupe or a yoga studio or any other event or enterprise wants to apply for a permit, they should have the same rights as a church. Get a permit, pay a modest fee, follow the rules and everyone wins.


Posted by tim on Feb. 04, 2013 @ 11:44 am

Why should creepy cults get free parking? It boggles the mind? Maybe some smashed windows are in order?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

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