ATTN: No meter enforcement today. #BayAreaStorm— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) December 11, 2014
"ATTN: No meter enforcement today," the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency tweeted Thursday morning. The official Twitter account for the City of San Francisco followed suit, tweeting "No Parking Meter Enforcement Today Due to #sfstorm." Heck, we even reported it, quoting a Bay City News report in which SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said that “parking control officers are more focused on keeping traffic moving and keeping people safe."
But apparently not all of them had the same focus, as some drivers who didn't feed the meter yesterday still got tickets, much to their dismay.
Two different drivers who were ticketed yesterday after parking in metered spaces yesterday contacted SFist this morning, both with understandably salty tones.
"Earlier yesterday I read on the SFist Twitter feed that the SFMTA wasn't going to be ticketing yesterday but I guess that was wrong and now I have a $66 ticket to pay," one wrote.
Polite but clearly pissed, "I'm not too happy about that," she wrote, attaching a photo of a citation from Thursday that clearly cites "TRC7.2.23B Parking Meter/Out Downtown" as the reason for the ticket.
So, I dropped Rose a line this morning, to see what the heck was going on here. In a prepared email statement, he responded:
The majority of our parking control officers were deployed to keep traffic moving and to ensure safety during the heavy storm yesterday. The messages that went out only referred to parking meters. While we apologize for the inconvenience, there were only nine citations written yesterday for meter violations. Each of those have already been dismissed. As part of their duties assisting with power outages, flooding, Muni passage, pedestrian safety and the maneuvering of other hazards, PCOs did enforce other rules, including street cleaning (to help relieve clogged drains), double parking (reduce congestion), posted no parking zones (no parking zones are implemented to keep traffic moving and for a variety of safety reasons).
OK, that's sounding a little better, but how will these ticket victims know their citations are forgiven? When asked, Rose emailed back, saying "Ok, we will send notification by mail."
So only nine tickets, all of which will be forgiven? Things could be worse, sure. But it also appears that some meter parkers got slapped with tickets that don't reference expired meters, making their fight a little bit harder.
Another reader who contacted SFist wrote that he parked in what was clearly a normal, metered spot (not a loading zone, not in violation of any street cleaning) on Divisadero from 1-5 yesterday, returning to find a ticket that cited "TC7.2.41 - Parking Prohibited Out Downtown" as the reason for a new $88 bill from the city.
When shown that ticket, Rose said "It appears that the citation is a result of parking in a posted 'no parking zone'; not a meter violation."
The reader disputes this, saying "No, no driveway, no double parking, etc...it was a total meter spot, and not tow-away until after 6 p.m. (time of ticket 4:17 p.m.)."
Well, that's certainly frustrating, as that reader will not be one of the alleged nine who will have their slips dismissed. My advice to him, as dissatisfying as it is: Start the dispute process (now available, kind of, online) now, go take a picture of the parking space, and print out those tweets.
And, for the rest of you — watch the mail for those dismissals. And let me know if you don't get 'em, OK?