"Are Tickets for Double Parking A Real Thing?" we asked back in 2013, with nearly 80 percent of the respondents to our survey answering "no." And it appears that San Francisco Supervisor/District 11 State Senator hopeful Scott Wiener was one of the "no" voters, as in a Monday interview the D8 rep admitted that enforcement of city double parking laws is where city "agencies have just failed."
Wiener, who's also the chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, let loose on the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency during a wide-ranging interview with Streetsblog SF (read the whole thing here). When asked why a Muni operator allegedly involved in a racial-slur laden road rage incident was fired but a SFMTA staffer filmed parking in the bike lane, with numerous other MTA and SFPD officers refusing to ticket him remained, Wiener did not mince words, saying that "neither the SFMTA or SFPD takes double-parking seriously."
"But double parking is one area where both agencies have just failed it’s private automobiles, it’s taxis, it’s garbage trucks it’s an unending situation," Wiener said, "and that is indicative of the agency’s general laissez-faire approach to double parking."
This isn't the first time Wiener has taken on the SFMTA over double parking enforcement: In March of last year, SF Bay reported at the time, Wiener tore into the MTA over a drop in citations for the offense, from 24,263 in 2013 to 22,072 in 2014. At the time, the SFMTA’s enforcement manager said the drop was due to a staffing shortage, and said "said parking control officers are told to not to ignore double-parked vehicles no matter what assignment."
But, despite what PCOs are told, it's apparently not making enough of a dent to impress Wiener, who describes double parking as "one of my significant frustrations." And not only is double-parking frustrating, Wiener says, it's bad for anyone who calls the San Francisco Fire Department. When on a ride-along with the SFFD, Wiener says, "fire trucks were getting stuck behind double-parked cars. The driver of the truck said yes, there are a number of streets where he has to look down a street for double-parked cars and if he sees one he has to take a different street."
"I repeatedly expressed to the fire department that double parking is a fire-and-life-safety issue and the fire department should be beating the drum on SFPD and SFMTA on double parking," Wiener says, seemingly suggesting that firefighters might have more juice than a city Supe.
But as Wiener noted last year, "It’s not uncommon to see a double-parked vehicle block a Muni bus and even shut down an entire Muni line." If we can't expect the city agency that is, itself, being thwarted by double parkers to bother with enforcement, why should we expect our fire department to give a damn?