How a $900 parking citation became a $25,000 federal lawsuit against SF

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Two San Francisco residents, one of whom is disabled, are furious with what they see as an unjust parking ticket, and they have taken their complaint to federal court.

The lawsuit — which was served Sept. 12 to The City, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and one of its citation review officers, and the Police Department, its chief and the officer who issued the citation — claims the Feb. 16 parking ticket was unlawful.

Although the fine has been greatly reduced, the plaintiffs have decided to press on with their complaint… (more)

Limo driver’s suit against parking officer upheld

By Bob Egelko : sfgate.com – excerpt

A federal appeals court has refused to dismiss a suit by a San Francisco limousine driver who said a city parking control officer followed him out the door of a fast-food restaurant after a shouting match, then pepper-sprayed and punched him… (more)

Many interesting points to this story, but what concerns us is finding out who authorized the parking officers to carry pepper spray and how does the public feel about that? Do they carry other weapons we should be aware of?

Parking enforcement department in SF has flaws, report says

By: Andrea Koskey : SF Examiner Staff Writer – excerpt

Report spotlights issues SFMTA may encounter with enforcement boost.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency wants to boost revenue through better parking enforcement, but it has hit a bump in the road because the agency is not equipped with enough officers to adequately cover The City, according to a report released this week by the Controller’s Office.

The report highlights other issues, such as the agency’s inability to be reimbursed for officers’ time during festivals and sporting events, low hiring levels and a lack of ongoing training. It also offered 39 recommendations to improve parking enforcement.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the new budget cycle, which started July 1, will help the agency address what is in the audit…

Last month, SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin said increased efforts in parking enforcement are one way the agency could balance a $17 million deficit for this fiscal year. (When does this fiscal year begin and end?)

“Everybody benefits, including motorists, when we enforce the laws that we have,” he said. “We’re not anticipating these revenues from more meters or extending meter hours — it’s enforcing the rules we have.”…

The inability to collect on some 15 festivals, plus Giants and 49er games, means a $65 an hour loss. In 2011, that amounted to some $709,000…

(more)

I’ll say there are some flaws in the system. SFMTA claims there are fewer parking tickets being issued due to the fact that it is easier to pay now. So, how will adding more officers increase the number of fines issued when there are fewer parking infractions? Wouldn’t having more people chasing less infractions add to the cost per ticket?

This article triggered some comments on facebook from people who favor more enforcement and less meters.