Iffy Ticket: Meter Maid Bends Time To Issue Parking Citation

by : sfappeal.com – excerpt

Forgot malevolent spiders in parking meters or other acts of God, parking in SF is a USDA Grade A large-scale bitch even on a good day. Just because you’ve finally found a place to park your vehicle doesn’t mean it’s safe from unneeded fines. As the Ex reports, one potentially overzealous meter maid attempted to bend time and space, issuing a $62 ticket that by all evidence is erroneous.
Forest Hill resident Beth Chen was just starting her day after getting her car cleaned in Daly City. A receipt for Westlake Touchless Car Wash on 87th St. was issued for 9:24am. After the twenty minute car wash, she drove about ten to fifteen minutes into the city, arriving at the Stonestown YMCA around 10:29am. At least, that’s when her membership card logged her entering the Y. Yet somehow when Chen returned to her vehicle, she had a ticket for staying past the two hour parking limit. The problem? The ticket had been issued at noon. Though the citation said Chen had been at the spot since 9:36am, Chen’s receipts say otherwise.
Chen has formally contested the ticket. She says another woman was faced with a similar incident that very day. “I don’t know if it was because it was the end of the month and they needed to meet some quota, but this is just flat out wrong,” says Chen.
SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose has a theory to this madness. He thinks Chen’s car may have picked up marking chalk meant for another vehicle that was parked there previously. Rose also notes that the parking control officer in question has no history of complaints… (more)

Does Mr. Rose have to make excuses for everything? Sometimes  “I don’t know.” works best. Picking up marking chalk? I would like to see him demonstrate that in court.

I had a personal story this week, not with a ticket but with a wayward parking machine. First time I ever tried to use a credit card instead of coins. Took over 10 minutes, and the help of a fellow parker to get it to take my card. At what point does one determine the machine is broken?

When it finally accepted my card it would not allow me to pay less than the total day.

In the end I had no information on how long I had to park and no paper receipt came out.

Details with photos coming soon.

Inequality and Mass Transit in the Bay Area

Ellen Cushing : East Bay Express – excerpt

Inspired by the New Yorker’s recent interactive feature on income inequality as mapped by the city’s subway system, a couple of local developers, Michael Belfrage and Dan Grover, made their own version by plotting BART, MUNI, and CalTrain stops against the median income for the census tract in which they’re cointained… (more, including the chart)

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Index of interactive charts