San Franciscans have plenty to bitch, moan, and complain about when it comes to parking in our traffic-congested Bay Area, what with rampant abuse of disabled placards, bizarrely inconsistent enforcement, and those infernal parklets taking up all the best spaces. (Though we love the parklets whenever we’re not looking for parking!) But someone has finally quantified our suffering in precise average annual terms, providing metrics for your parking complaints — San Francisco drivers spend on average 83 hours a year looking for parking, they blow $1,735 per year on wasted fuel and emissions, and the average time it takes to find a parking space is 12 minutes.

Yes, San Francisco is the worst, but it’s not The Worst. New York City takes top “honors” in all of the above inconvenience metrics, with Los Angeles unsurprisingly in second place, and San Francisco third.


The report comes from a big-data traffic analysis firm called Inrix, and analyzed 6,000 U.S. drivers in 10 American cities. While San Francisco is ranked the third-worst city for parking, our average time spent looking for parking and fuel costs wasted on looking for parking are five times the national average.

“On average, U.S. drivers spend 17 hours per year searching for parking at a cost of $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions,” the report says.

On the bright side, San Francisco drivers average less than one parking ticket per year! We apparently average 0.89 parking tickets per year, according to the study — which must mean that non-full-time drivers and extra-fastidious parkers are bringing the average way down for all of you who get five or nine tickets a year — with an average parking ticket cost of $64.

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Image: Inrix