San Francisco Drivers Find Out The Hard Way That Parking Meters Didn't Take The Holiday Off

In many cities, parking meters take a day off on Sundays or on holidays, leaving car owners free of worrying about that dang expired meter. But even though the city of San Francisco added holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day to its list of days where meter fees count in 2010, many residents complained of getting tickets this past Labor Day.

Parking enforcement officers were out and about yesterday ticketing cars, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, and there were enough offenders that it would appear that many residents are clueless about the no-free-pass on holidays rules. A parking enforcement officer said it seems like drivers don’t realize they’re going to get ticketed because it’s a holiday.

“On this street there are a lot of people who haven’t paid, and that’s not the way it is most days,” said the officer, adding that “they’re lucky there’s only me out here today” working a large area.

The uptick in tickets on holidays could be blamed on the lack of stickers or signs informing drivers that there’s no freebies on such days, complain many residents.

The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency says it’s necessary to enforce parking on holidays, because well, the city needs the money.

A spokesman said with the holiday traffic on Labor Day “our main point is to provide parking management for the holiday. But there’s no denying there’s a financial component.”

The city reported last year that adding meter enforcement on the additional holidays, along with its existing rules for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day and the day after Thanksgiving brought in $1.5 million in new revenue  — mostly from issuing parking tickets, and not gleaning change from the meters.

Residents complain that the only day to park for free right now is Sunday — but that’s changing as of January. San Fransciscans will get tickets for expired meters seven days a week, with the only truly free days landing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Surely a simple sign saying “Hey, you can barely ever park here for free” wouldn’t be out of the question, San Francisco. Always watch where you park, because skimping on a few quarters could end up costing a lot more in the long run. And don’t assume holidays are a free pass, because you know what assuming does (it makes a you-know-what out of “u” and “me,” am I right?).

No holiday for parking meters in S.F. [San Francisco Chronicle]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Budala says:

    Don’t like it? Vote with your feet and move. You do have the freedom to still do that.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Wouldn’t it be more productive to vote with your vote and stay where you are?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      You do have the freedom to still do that.

      For now.

    • Costner says:

      It takes a stronger person to instigate change and make a difference than it does for someone to just turn their back and walk away. I’d rather someone fight for what they believe in rather than moving. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. just said screw it and moved to Nothern Africa? What about if Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin said it wasn’t worth it and they moved to Canada? Real change is driven by those willing to stay and fight… not by those willing to turn and run.

      Plus… it isn’t really easier for someone to just NOT use parking meters. Yes in some areas you might be able to walk or use mass transit, but for some people, some professions, and some locations that isn’t a feasible option. Moving to another city, finding another job, selling a home, removing kids from a school, distancing yourself from family etc, etc isn’t always exactly easy either.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        LOL. I guess all those people who have participated in the mass exodus and moved from CA to AZ, CO and TX in the past decade failed to understand the lessons of Thomas Paine.

        • Kate Blue says:

          Funny, it’s still way too crowded here in California. I’d have no problem with a lot more annoying people moving out.

          • JustJayce says:

            Many of those annoying people who moved paid a lot in taxes. Replaced by illegals and others who suck the state dry.

          • TheMansfieldMauler says:

            Maybe you can get them to move to Detroit. I hear there’s plenty of land and cheap housing available. For some reason.

          • Speedstr says:

            It doesn’t help that I still see commercials that have celebrities promoting California as a wonderful place to live. If it’s so overcrowded, they shouldn’t be airing those commercials in other states.

        • Costner says:

          Perhaps some did. However if you believe all of these people moved away simply because of high taxes, you are far too gullible and should probably stop listening to talk radio.

          • JollySith says:

            They didn’t move because of their own direct taxes. they moved because their employers were being taxed and regulated out of business and laid them off or relocated their jobs to business friendly states.

            • JustJayce says:

              Or they were the business owner who moved. Like several of my friends.
              The state has made a mess of their taxes and entitlements. California will be bankrupt before its over because of its desire to tax the hell out of producers and give it away to those who don’t on an ongoing basis.

        • Applekid says:

          That’s why there’s only one MLK, and relatively few Founding Fathers, and other historical folks. The leadership, courage, and willingness to risk all come together to remove 99.9% of the population from ever having an impact in society.

      • Budala says:

        Did you just compare those historical events with a parking meter being enforced on a holiday? I think you did.

        One doesn’t need to move too far away. Move to a suburb if San Francisco and commute to work, may even be able to use public transport to get to work. The city council in San Francisco is messed up and I don’t think much will change, who still remembers the banning of happy meal toys law? Plenty of reports are coming out of Californian cities of them being broke/bankrupt or of the cities generous/overinflated pension benefits, which won’t change and by staying there and paying taxes you are supporting their bad behavior.

    • Kate Blue says:

      If you are moving away from a city simply because you don’t like the Sunday/Holiday parking fees, your priorities need closer examination.

      • Budala says:

        There is a whole lot more wrong with the San Francisco government than just this issue. Staying there and paying taxes (the government wages) you are only encouraging the same bad behaviour.

    • Kuri says:

      If you have the finances to do it.

      • nishioka says:

        If you have the finances to live IN San Francisco, then surely you have the finances to get out of town and find someplace else to live…

    • regis-s says:

      Moving every time the government does something you don’t like seems a bit much. What happens when the feds piss you off? All of you can’t come to Canada.

      • Budala says:

        Plenty of other countries to move to that have better/warmer climates than Canada, and why move to a country that still pays taxes to the queen of England.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          They don’t want you. No countries want Americans. Many of them even *explicitly* make it more difficult for Americans to immigrate.

      • Michael Belisle says:

        Not to mention that moving to another country involves fighting for permission to be a second-class citizen. I’ll take fighting for change at home, thank you.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Totally, because everyone has the $20-30k saved up that they’d need to move, on top of being able to immediately jump into a new job wherever they’re going.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency says it’s necessary to enforce parking on holidays, because well, the city needs the money.”

    It’s also why there’s no incentive to actually provide information for residents that, hey, the meter isn’t free today.

    • Jawaka says:

      I’m curious why people would assume that parking was free in the first place if there were parking meters on the road. Common sense would dictate that if there’s a meter there than you pay to park unless there’s instructions on the meter or a sign specifically saying that it was free to park on certain days. No sign then you pay.

      Are there also masses of people walking into Walmart assuming that Labor Day is their Free Day as well?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Per the article, SOME holidays are free to park, and only beginning in 2010 were many of the previous free holidays no longer free.

      • SerenityDan says:

        Because you lived there for say 20 years and Sundays and Holidays have always been free so why would you think otherwise if no new sign saying otherwise was put up?

        • regis-s says:

          That’s not exactly true. Apparently this has been enforced since 2010. Which would make this the third year.

          I’m not saying I’d be happy with it but claiming I had no warning would be stretching things a bit.

          • SerenityDan says:

            Ah, but since they never put up signs saying the law changed and they only had a handful of ticket givers it would have been easy to get lucky the first 2 years so that this ticket is still the first you are hearing of it.

      • dreams305 says:

        Because there used to be signs like this on or near the meters:
        If they haven’t replaced them or updated them, then people aren’t going to know.

  3. mcgyver210 says:

    Signs would mean Less Revenue so No they wont be making things more clear. Anytime you deal with any Government you should assume you are dealing with a Corrupt system designed to deceive you & take your money anyway it can.

    • Velifer says:

      You give the government far too much credit.
      Hanlon’s razor: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    • HeadsOnPikes says:

      Seemingly randomly capitalized words is the surest sign that somebody is about to make a cogent political argument.

      • mcgyver210 says:

        LOL I agree & I have a tendency not to hold back my true feelings.

        Either way I can honestly say my opinion of the Government isn’t just from a political view but also based on first hand experience.

  4. nybiker says:

    Here in NYC they publish on the website the list that shows when alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended. That list does indicate that meters are in effect on those days. Except for MAJOR Legal holidays, which are New Years Day, Memorial, July 4th, Labor, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. On those Major days, meters are not in effect. Also, Sundays are free (as in you don’t have to pay to pray).
    That same site shows the current status of ASP rules and meters directly on the home page too. “Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect on Tuesday, September 4; Wednesday, September 5; and Thursday, September 6. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.”
    It beats me as to why San Francisco can’t have something like this on their city’s home page (or maybe they do and people aren’t checking it out?).

    • nybiker says:

      Well, it seems that there is another agency that does that. And buried in their website is this url that tells you, amongst other things, that Meter rules will be enforced on Labor Day.
      They sure don’t make it easy to know.
      The SF govt website is pretty lame too. Nothing of help on the home page. You have to click drop-down menus to find things. Good luck with that.

      • George4478 says:


        Main webpage – Parking – Enforcement – Holiday
        Main webpage – Search on ‘Holiday’ – #1 result
        Google ‘san francisco holiday parking’ – #1 result

        Why would you expect the holiday enforcement schedule to be on the main page? Of course you have to use the menus. That’s why menus exist; to subdivide the topics into usable chunks.

        • nybiker says:

          Well, I did start by looking for San Francisco’s govt main page. It wasn’t there. Then I started looking at various menus to try and find it. The SFMTA is not the SF city govt page.

          As for using Google, my exercise was more along the lines of what does the city do on its home page. As I pointed out , has it right there on the home page. No searching needed.

          In any event, between your work and mine, I think that anyone now in SF knows where to look. Thank you.

  5. polishhillbilly says:

    revenue is job 1, not serving and protecting.

    • Kate Blue says:

      No, keeping people from monopolizing parking spaces all day long in a crowded city is best for the economy. You want those who come into the city to shop to be able to find some place to park and you want to discourage people who live there from parking on the streets.

      • Torchwood says:

        To me, parking meters are a shopping dis-incentive.

      • shepd says:

        “You want those who come into the city to shop to be able to find some place to park and you want to discourage people who live there from parking on the streets.”

        You’re right, of course, for those that come into the city.

        I don’t shop downtown because I don’t pay for parking when I can shop at a store an equal distance away from my house with their own free parking. It’s unfortunate for downtown stores as they aren’t chain stores so they never see my money, although I would love to give them a chance.

        Only time I go downtown is once a month to pay the water bill. And that sucks because I discover their meters rarely work, but they’re happy to ticket you none-the-less. And yes, I call every time, and every time, it’s an intermittent problem that the useless technician says “Well, it worked for me after a couple of tries”. Great…

      • bbb111 says:

        “…and you want to discourage people who live there from parking on the streets.”

        For the shopping areas, it is to keep the employees from taking the spaces near the stores so shoppers can find parking. [Also to stop tourists from taking these spaces and hopping on a tour bus for the day.]

    • JollySith says:

      Which would be applicable if street cops were the ones out writing tickets and not a separate department dedicated entirely to parking enforcement.

  6. kanenas says:

    Blame the OPs. A meter will tell you if certain days are exempt from enforcement.

  7. Overheal says:

    Fuck them.

    The point shouldn’t be to “Make Money”. The point should be to regulate/manage parking and traffic during the holidays.

    If Parking and/or Traffic aren’t a problem during those holidays (as it typically isn’t on a Sunday) then they need to go fuck themselves and stop stealing people’s money for services not rendered.

  8. shepd says:

    You know, when the parking meter was introduced, it was hailed not as a money making measure, but rather a way to ensure that people didn’t block up all the limited street parking all day by parking their cars there while they were at work.

    As with so many government things, it has morphed from its original noble purpose to a sinister money grab.

    Remember that next time you support a new way for them to tax you (or even someone else).

  9. Press1forDialTone says:

    Ah, yet another example of the clueless not-paying-attention class in Cali that
    feel that they are just entitled because they live in Cali. Stay there please, don’t
    move away, we want you all in one place, to keep an eye on ‘ya.