There’s an app for that: Fed-up motorist helps others fight parking tickets, for a fee

By Martha Neil : abajournal – excerpt

A San Francisco motorist who got so many parking tickets that he became something of an expert at fighting them has created an application to help others do so, for a 25 percent fee if there is a dismissal.

David Hegarty’s Fixed app, launched in a trial beta version last week, has member San Francisco motorists submit a photograph of the ticket, plus the violation code. Then it suggests common defenses and prompts fellow drivers to take relevant photos that could be used in evidence. A letter is prepared, digitally signed by the driver, and submitted by Fixed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and TechCrunch.

Hegarty told NPR that he got the idea for Fixed after paying multiple tickets, only to discover two more tickets on his car the same day. He says he plans to expand the application to other cities, too. Currently, there is a waiting list to participate in the San Francisco trial version.

“Fixed is not a law firm. Your parking advocate is not an attorney. Communications do not constitute legal advice,” notes the fine print at the bottom of the Fixed page.

Similar services are offered, in multiple U.S. cities, by parkingticket.com and, in Toronto by the Parking Ticket Guys, TechCrunch notes… (more)

There are so many people who are livid over illegal tickets and broken meters, that we will try to keep up with some solutions for those problems. The media is picking up on these so we are as well. Coming soon a story about a little guy who sued the city and SFMTA and won.

A Big, Good, Bad Day for Google Buses in San Francisco

By Katy Steinmetz: time – excerpt

The city came one step closer to regulating them, and protestors staged one of their biggest protests yet…

Dozens of anti-eviction protestors marched behind a small brass band through the streets of San Francisco on Tuesday morning. The parade stopped at an intersection in a long-blighted, recently gentrifying neighborhood called the Tenderloin. Then the protestors did what has become their signature move in recent months: They blocked private buses attempting to ferry tech workers to their jobs in Silicon Valley, this time at Google and Facebook.

Private shuttles have become the cake in San Francisco’s revolution, a symbol of disconnect as the have-nots rally against a backdrop of skyrocketing rental prices and eviction rates. At a hearing at City Hall later in the day, a committee approved a proposal to allow and organize the growing fleet of vehicles currently using city bus stops without regulation. During roughly two hours of public comments, officials heard from tech workers who ride the buses, working-class residents who drive them and activists who oppose them (not to mention everything they stand for). Then the committee unanimously voted to go ahead with the 18-month pilot program, set to begin this summer… (more)

We are taking no position on this. It seems that there is a broader consensus on how to fix traffic and parking problems than on solutions for housing issues.

SF’s parking meters should continue to be enforced on Sundays – NOT

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

Charging for parking meters on Sundays is part of a smart-transit strategy for San Francisco, and ending that enforcement is taking a step backward while asking voters to pass a bond to move forward. The SFMTA board of directors should keep The City moving ahead by maintaining enforcement at meters on Sundays… (more)

We beg to differ… you you disagree, comments are welcome here.

 

The anger over free Sunday parking is part of the Bicycle Coalition’s constant war on cars. Cyclists demand hundreds of millions of taxpayer money for special bike projects. We heard they expect 20% out of the next multi-billion dollar bond and tax measures SF wants taxpayers to pony up next November. They want us to vote to raise our annual car license fees to pay for their anti-car street diets and other supposedly safe street projects. They claim we owe them their share but they they should have to pay a penny for the streets they claim are theirs.

Would you people get over the fact that you are still in the minority and you have pushed everyone else too far too fast. The voters are furious and many want to tear the SFMTA apart, which is why Mayor Lee offered to lighten up on Sunday charges. He wants to return to some civility.

Reckless behavior like that I witnessed last night makes people even madder. I was driving south on Mission just north of the Dubose intersection, when I witnessed a cyclist acting out his aggressions to anyone who happened in his path. He was riding in the far left lane with traffic when he suddenly veered to the right, crossed all lanes traffic, then plowed through the red light without hesitation. Of course he was wearing no helmet.

This is a very dangerous intersection, with a freeway exit and two lanes of side streets full of the last fortunate among us sleeping and moving about with carts and belongings. Everyone needs to be careful in this area, including cyclists. This is the sort of action that puts everyone at risk and this is why motorists have had it with cyclists.

If cyclists are smart they will play along with the Mayor and give up Sundays to motorists who need to do things that they can’t do during the week. And shut up about demand parking. No one is buying that line any more.

Transit Lovers Oppose Mayor Ed Lee’s Move to Make Parking Free on Sunday Again

By Erin Sherbert : sfweekly – excerpt

Remember how pissed you were when the city decided to start charging drivers to park at meters on Sundays — the one day of parking freedom?

Well, that’s kinda how transit people feel about Mayor Ed Lee’s recent call undo all that and let everyone enjoy free parking on Sundays again. The Transit Riders Union has started a petition opposing the Mayor’s opposition to metered parking on Sundays.

So if you have thoroughly enjoyed shelling out more money the past year for parking, go ahead and sign the petition. On that note, you’ll probably be delighted to know that drivers have to pay for parking today even though it’s MLK Day(more)

Why do cyclists care about six hours of free Sunday parking? They are the ones who started the petition and protest and claim support of Muni riders and “pedestrians”, (as if we aren’t all pedestrian).
Unlike cyclists, people opposed to Sunday enforcement don’t have to run down to city hall to scream and protest. We merely point to the current condition of the streets and reports that accidents are on the rise, to prove that street diets and the war on cars has failed to produce safer streets.
The rise in unruly behavior noted by many is the result of a lot of frustrated people who no longer play by the rules because nobody knows the rules. Before we had freely flowing traffic and an easy going city with polite individuals. Now have a lot of pent up anger and individual animosity acting out on city streets.
It is time to end the war on cars, which is about as popular as the war on drugs. If you feel as we do, consider signing the Stop SFMTA petition:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco

And if you already signed the petition, write a letter to the Mayor and supervisors thanking them for their support.

Hate Parking Tickets? Fixed Fights Them In Court For You

by : techcrunch – excerpt

Up to 50 percent of parking tickets are dismissed when fought in court, but it takes knowledge and time to do it. New app Fixed will do it for you. Take a photo of your ticket, Fixed contests it, and if it’s dismissed, you pay Fixed 25 percent of the ticket price. If Fixed loses, you pay it nothing, so there’s nothing to lose. Fixed just launched in San Francisco, but wants to fight tickets nationwide.

David Hegarty started Fixed after paying four parking tickets one morning only to come to his car and find two more. “The tickets were complete bullshit, and I knew they had been erroneously issued,” he tells me…

The idea was so popular that Fixed filled up its early beta group in SF almost as soon as it launched its site, but you can sign up for the waiting list now…

In the meantime, it will have to compete with clumsier web-based services Parkingticket.com and ParkingTicketGuys. Scaling will be a serious challenge, and the company could run into trouble dealing with city governments. “They’ve seen parking fines as a cash cow that they milked from motorists,” Hegarty says. “If we start helping the motorist fight back, we don’t know how they’ll react.”…

$64 tickets (in SF) for not re-parking your car at 6 a.m. every other day seems a bit outrageous. If cities want to hammer people with expensive tickets, they should have to make parking rules clear and enforce them fairly. If they don’t, Hegarty says Fixed is “here to restore a little bit of justice to your day.”… (more)

This story is making it around the media. We waited till we saw a link to what appears to be a legit site to add it to our files. Here it is. Check it out and report back. http://getfixed.me

A lot of people are asking about taking ticket cases to court.  Yes, you can sue the city because the city is a corporation. There is a growing list of successes in lawsuits against city where parking and badly written tickets are concerned. One is scheduled to settle today. There are some attorneys who will take the city on when the appeals process fails.

Find out why is the appeals process is handled by the institution that hands out the tickets?

Sunday parking meters, transit issues take center stage with Ed Lee’s proposals

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The potentially difficult task of convincing voters to increase the vehicle license fee has thrust Sunday parking meters and other transit-related debates into the forefront this year.
Mayor Ed Lee is calling for an end to Sunday enforcement while drumming up support for a transportation revenue bond and a vehicle license fee increase for the November ballot. The mayor also wants free Muni for low-income youths to be a permanent fixture. The 18-month pilot, which launched last year, cost $1.6 million.
During his State of the City address Friday, Lee said that with November revenue measures it was time to do away with Sunday meter enforcement, which began in January 2013…
Lee’s support for a $500 million bond for the November ballot and an increase in the vehicle license fee, from 0.65 percent to 2 percent to generate $73 million annually, was recommended by a transportation task force he assembled.
The mayor acknowledged that asking voters to approve the fee increase was an “uphill battle,” especially with the existing high cost of living in The City… (more)

Be sure to email Mayor Ed Lee and the other city officials to let them know how pleased you are to hear about the return of free Sunday parking.

On a Pedestal: Muni’s Obsession with Dodgy, Expensive Hybrid Technology Ignores San Francisco’s Deepest Transit Need: Transit

Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

…Last week’s SF Weekly cover story detailed a bizarre handshake agreement that resulted in 50 of these $700,000-a-pop buses being manufactured and transported from Minnesota to clandestine East Bay repositories weeks before the Board of Supervisors approved the $38.3 million contract to manufacture and transport them. This hurriedly consummated arrangement scotched an internal Muni competition between rival hybrid propulsion systems, meaning all the new buses were de facto equipped with hybrid components manufactured by the British defense giant BAE….
In fact, virtually every hybrid bus San Francisco has ever owned is equipped with BAE components — which has resulted in much non-transit.
The city’s extant hybrid fleet has failed with a regularity that would dispirit even owners of AMC Pacers; Muni transit director John Haley candidly admits the BAE-equipped buses have been “an embarrassment … they were our newest buses and our worst performers.”
And now we’ve gone out of our way to amass even more. When life deals Muni lemons — it goes behind everybody’s back to invest in a lemon tree….
Time is money: Muni’s riders lose out on the former while Muni loses out on the latter….
This is the hand Muni has dealt itself as it slouches toward the future. Its long-range plans call for a greater percentage of San Francisco’s ever-growing population to take transit daily. Muni has also committed itself to growing more environmentally friendly during this period of expansion…
A breakdown-prone vehicle will encourage riders who can to opt out of public transit, no matter how impressively green or costly or beautiful it is.
It’s taboo to suggest it in this town, but Muni might be better off investing in the latest off-the-shelf diesel technology rather than exuberantly sinking millions into the dodgy hybrids that’ll look so pretty jacked up on a hydraulic lift. Reliable service and the ability to make repairs quickly and economically are “green” factors, too. Because the most environmentally friendly bus is a full bus.
The cleanest transit is the transit you take… (more)

 

Mayor Lee’s Pedestrian Safety Plan: Have SFPD Enforce Existing Laws

by : baycityynews – excerpt

In advance of a joint hearing Thursday by San Francisco politicians and police on pedestrian safety, Mayor Ed Lee has released plans for increased enforcement, training and a citywide public awareness campaign on the issue.
The hearing, being held by the San Francisco Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors’ neighborhood services and safety committee, comes after several recent pedestrian deaths, including that of a 6-year-old girl in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood on New Year’s Eve.
In an effort to increase pedestrian safety, Lee announced today a 12 percent increase to the Police Department’s motorcycle unit and said police will target what city data has identified as the 50 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians… (more)

 

 

No new parking meter locations allowed in SF under $51 million purchase

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

Old news that bears repeating: San Francisco plans to spend $51 million to buy up to 30,000 new parking meters, but on one condition: no meter installations allowed at new locations.
All parking meters in The City – save for the “smart” meters installed in 2010 under SFPark, which track when spaces are open – are due to be replaced. (This conflicts with another article that claims the meters installed in 2010 are being replaced.)
Most of the meters are only about a decade old, but use technology that’s already outdated, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Meters that currently accept only coins will be replaced with credit-card friendly technology sometime next year.
In addition to the upgraded replacements, SFMTA had initially sought to buy an additional 10,000 meters from the San Diego-based company IPS Group… (more)

If you see any new meters going in let us know and let your supervisors know.

SAN FRANCISCO: Paying to park on Sunday could come to an end

ktvu – excerpt

San Francisco’s mayor is asking the city’s transportation officials to overturn the year old policy of forcing drivers to pay for parking on Sunday afternoons… (more)

The reason the Mayor gives is that half of the Sunday revenue is coming from traffic tickets, (not what we have heard from SFMTA), and he feels that nickle and dimming people is just not fair, especially since they are getting ready to ask for us to approve a 500 million dollar in bond. We have heard they want 3 billion, but in this case he is saying 500 million.
At any rate, now is the time to get your comments and letters to the city authorities if you haven’t sent one yet, and send another one if you like.