Posts Tagged ‘meter maid’

SFMTA Update: New Market Street Turn Restrictions to be “Enforced by SFMTA Parking Control Officers and the SFPD?”

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

1. Well, here’s the news:

“The paint crew began restriping at Hyde Street in preparation for the turn restrictions yesterday (June 23rd), just a week after board approval. The paint crew will continue their work through July along with the sign and meter shops, to install the turn restriction signage and loading zones respectfully. It is expected that the work for the turn restrictions, loading zones, and painted safety zones will be complete by early to mid-August. The signs will be bagged until all are complete, at which time the turn restrictions will go into effect, and will be enforced by SFMTA parking control officers and SFPD.”

I can sort of see how the SFMTA is able to enforce CA’s “block the box” law, as the drivers cited are literally parking in intersections, sometimes for as long as a minute.*

But, I can’t see how the SFMTA is going to be able to “enforce” the coming turn restrictions on Market Street.

What am I missing here?

Is this simply the clumsy SFMTA talking bad agin? We’ll see.

2. And since we’re here at the above link, look at what the SFMTA considers an example of a “news article” – it’s some dude on Medium. What the SFMTA means to say is here are some news articles plus links to fawning supporters, those who’d never pointy out that we operate the slowest, least-efficient big-city transit system in America. I mean how wude for ppl to say that, right?

3. Ah, what else. Hey, SFMTA! Why not now ban SFMTA taxis from making the turns you just banned Uber, Lyft and the other TNC’s from making? Hear me out – we’d be doing it for safety. And actually, the actual position of Uber and Lyft is that taxis should be similarly banned from making these restricted turns. SFMTA board members complaining about the “nightmare” of enforcement should be placated – if you see a taxi making this turn, give it a ticket just like you do with all the other cars. Easy peasy. Oh what’s that, you don’t want to, you’d have to change some rule? Well, then why not do that? Don’t you care about safety?

4. And, what else. Oh yeah, what about handicapped drivers? They’ll be getting four new spaces to park on Market betwixt 3rd and 8th (or between 8th and 3rd, as most people like to phrase it, so I guess my brain’s not hooked up right) but then they won’t be able to make the turn onto Market to get to the spaces? Or, maybe you can make these turns? But then you’d be in a private vehicle, right? I don’t get it. The SFMTA of 2014 wasn’t afraid to discuss this issue, but the SFMTA of 2015 is, apparently.

5. And hey, what about MUNI’s accidents along this stretch of road? Let’s find the stat here, direct from the SFMTA. Oh what’s that, Gentle Reader, is your link busted too. Well, who busted it – the SFMTA itself? Why’s that? In fact, the info on that web page is gone forever from – it’s down the Memory Hole, Comrade. So let’s go way back, via the Wayback Machine:

“Between 2012 and 2013, there were 162 reported injury collisions on Market between Van Ness Avenue and Steuart Street, including 2 fatalities. 33% of collisions involve Muni.

So, help me out here. What percentage of vehicles on this part of Market are MUNI vehicles? I’m thinking it’s way less than 10%. (You ever wait for the outbound buses? Just count the number of cars and taxis and cyclists what pass you by.) And yet, a third of the collisions involve MUNI? Hey SFMTA, don’t you have a problem here? Hey SFMTA, aren’t you yourselves a part of the problem?

Just asking…

*Now this is kind of stupid, as SFGov is profiting off of an intersection that it’s in control of, an intersection near the foot of Bush Street what’s managed, by SFGov, poorly, IMO. Nevertheless, the oblivious suburbanites heading home shouldn’t be blocking the box light cycle after light cycle.

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

And here’s your nut graf:

“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”

Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?

A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”

So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Yep. And then there’s this:

The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.

And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising

I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.

And lastly:

Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…

Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.

Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:

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This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.

And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.

But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL – traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)

Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)

Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:






All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

The “Innovation Capital of the World” Uses Old-School Tech: Leaning Over with a Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick

Friday, May 15th, 2015

There are pros and cons, of course, to using a stick to chalk-mark car tyres and then coming back two or three hours later to see if the car has moved away, in accordance with the 415’s infamous Residential Parking Permit Program.

Here’s what it looks like:

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An actual world capital of innovation would employ GPS and license plate scanners, these days, right?

Anyway, on the pro side, this method works, sort of. What some people do to stick it to the man is to rub off the chalk marks to buy a few more hours of free parking, until the next round of SFMTA marking and checking, but that’s agin the rules – you could get in trouble for that, one supposes.

On the con side, our PCO’s are routinely Bending Over with Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick. The reason why it costs our SFMTA an excessive amount of money to run the RPP program is because there’s no market discipline at work here, there’s no incentive for the SFMTA to save money because of how CA state law works, oh well.

Anyway, just because your Interim Mayor says that your town is the “Innovation Capital of the World” doesn’t necessarily mean that your town is actually the “Innovation Capital of the World”

White Over Raspberry – The Smartest-Looking GO-4 Intercepter Three-Wheeler in Town – But Is This Legal?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

San Francisco, in particular, has an active meter-maid-motoring community.”

Can you legally perpendicular park your Frisco Family Car in a parallel parking area?

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I know not.

This kind of thing is agin the rules if you used a four-wheeled SmartCar, but SF could have special rules for three wheelers…

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?

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Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.

Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco  intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.

And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!

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(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)

(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)

Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.

And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.

Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.

I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?

*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain. 

**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!

SFMTA Meter Maids Refuse to Ticket Car Parked Illegally on the Sidewalk of Hayes Street Because of an Unwritten Rule

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

And that rule is that Parking Control Officers won’t give you a ticket for parking on a sidewalk so long as its street sweeping time, so, you know, the SFMTA is “making money” well enough already, thank you very much.

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That’s life in the big city…

The Time of the Week When the SFMTA Doesn’t Seem to Mind Cars Parked on the Sidewalk

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The white truck on the left is parked on the sidewalk. The SFMTA “knows” this because a dozen SFMTA-employed eyeballs have just passed by to see it. Yet, it didn’t get ticketed.

OTOH, the white car on the far right _did_ get a ticket, you can see it, for blocking a street sweeper on street sweeping day

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These practices have developed over the years – they’re a culture.

If you ask somebody from the SFMTA about this sitch, they’d be all, well, call it in and we’ll come out and give it a ticket. (When SFGov doesn’t have the will to enforce its own rules, it says the whole process is “complaint driven.”)

Anyway, this is the culture, not that you’d find it officially documented anywhere…

And the Richmond District’s Biggest Illegal Parking Violator is … Giorgio’s Pizzeria, 151 Clement Street

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

When I come across Giorgio of Giorgio’s Pizzeria, I’ll say, “Hey Gio, how come you ain’t got no brothers up on the wall here?”

And then, regardless of the answer, I’ll follow up with a question about why he doesn’t arrange for a place to park his Prius and whatever delivery vehicles, you know, legally.

Click to expand

(In mitigation, this joint is a viable institution of the Richmond District and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you’re looking for an old-school pizza place out in the Avenues…)

Cold Busted: Do SFMTA Parking Control Officers Even Try to Follow the Law? Take a Look

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Leave us review California Vehicle Code Section 40202(a):

“The notice of parking violation shall also set forth … the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is readable through the windshield...”

Except some DPT meter maids are in the habit of not writing down the last four digits of the VIN. Check it:

Some SFMTA parking citation officers thought they found a loophole by simply entering “cannot read,” “covered,” or “unable to locate” in the VIN field space of a citation. 

03/07/12: Officer NW (Badge #206) wrote 66 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 66 of them!  

02/01/12: Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them.”

So am I saying I believe the factual statements of some random petition over anything spun out by the SFMTA?

Yes, yes I am.

Now is this VIN requirement kind of a technicality, and is it kind of a pain to be looking for VINs when the PCOs need to make their quotas in order to pay for Ed Reiskin’s generous benefits package? Yes and yes.

But that’s the law. Perhaps the SFMTA should try to change the law if it’s so hard to obey.

Let’s hope that the SFMTA keeps a closer eye on its PCOs in the future…

Now let’s travel back to the past:

Via the excellent Uptown Almanac comes news of this anti-MUNI bumper sticker campaign:

Beej Weir with deets here and here.


As previously noted, harsh.

California Penal Code 241 — Assault, punishment. (“(b) When an assault is committed against the person of a parking control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a parking control officer, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

So much for “Good People, Tough Jobs.”

OMG, “Parking Angels” Help You Stick It To The Man: Reduce Tickets via the “SF Parking Alliance”

Monday, November 18th, 2013

All the deets:


1) Somebody sees a car that is about to get a parking ticket
2) They see that the car is registered with SF Parking Alliance
3) They text SF Parking Alliance (415-968-5137) your call sign
4) We forward the text to you and hopefully you move your car!
5) You respond to the text with a thank you and we anonymously forward it

So in this case, the car owner’s handle is GOGIANTS. If you see his/her ride about to get ticketed/towed, you’re supposed to send out a text

Click to expand

I don’t know how often this system has worked to take food out of the mouths of Harvard Boy Ed Reiskin’s kids. Perhaps never.

But it’s the thought that counts, right?