Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Park Here and Prepare to Meet thy Doom

If the powers that be want me to continue living in San Francisco, they are going to have to stop giving me tickets.

I felt so lucky to find a rock star parking space right across the street from my destination. It was two spaces uphill from a flat street. I put more money in the meter than I thought I would need and bounced into the hardware store. I even saw the meter person citing another car but I knew I was doing everything right, so I wasn't worried. When I came out, there was still time on my meter and a ticket on my windshield for not turning my wheels out as much as I should on a hill. Fair enough, except that I was not on a hill. I was at the bottom of a hill, which doesn't count. What kind of person rides around checking people's tires all day, anyway?

I know the city needs money - we have a $24.3 billion budget deficit. But there is no way they are going to get all of it out of me. Do the math. Even at a cool hundred per ticket, I'd have to be racking up thousands of them every hour to make a dent. They really need to come up with a better plan.


the walking man said...

"Parking Wars" is scheduled to move from Philadelphia to Detroit to do some filming. It might be interesting seeing as we have a high percentage of people with short tempers who always carry a gun. Our city budget deficit is over 300 million.

Cecilieaux said...

Washington, DC's principal source of income -- the Feds occupy the best and biggest real estate -- is, precisely tickets. There is a true story about the car that got ticket after ticket after ticket until one vigilant parking cop noticed that there was someone inside and he wasn't moving at all. Not even breathing!

Cecilieaux said...

Please put a comma after "precisely" above. Aaaaurgh!

furiousBall said...

one of the many reasons I love riding my bike more than my car

meno said...

Someone (meter person) needs to GET A LIFE!

That totally blows away the elation of getting a good parking spot in SF.

Warty Mammal said...


Let me know if you'd like me to pee in your Cheerios. It would be faster, cheaper, and the end result would be the same.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


That just stinks. I'm sorry to hear that you got tagged with it.

I have a theory about the parking patrol in downtown Denver.

I think they have undercover guys posing at loiterers on the street, just waiting and watching... and when they see me pull up to a meter, there is instant & undetectable action. They speak into little microphones hidden in their jacket sleeves and collars and coordinate a full scale operation... CODE SCARLETT and as soon as I walk around the corner and my car is out of sight, they pounce and plaster my car with ticker tape tickets.

One of these days I'm going to have my camera ready... and I'll expose the entire operation.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Molly said...

Now that I've stopped laughing at Scarlett's comment, that ticket writer must have been having an awful day, to deflate your elation at such a cool parking space in such a mean spirited, picky way!

The CEO said...

Wow, $100 a pop. I feel bad for what happened. Tires not turned enough. Don't bother going to court, I tried that once. Traffic court is like tax court, you're assumed guilty.

I think you've struck a nerve here, somehow. With a ball peen hammer.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I am very conscious of the fact that a lot of people bear arms these days, especially those predisposed to temper tantrums, never a good combination.


I have long suspected that San Francisco makes most of its funding on traffic tickets.

It's easy to imagine a whole squadron of parking cops failing to notice that the guy was dead. Why does this not surprise me?


I prefer my bike, too, but there are limits to where I can take it and what I can carry. There is also the problem of auto drivers who are doing more important things than watching the road.


You think?! I wonder if they grew up thinking that oh boy, whoopee, someday they would be ticket turds.


Thank you for your most kind offer, but I would hate to trouble you. If I really, really want piss in my cereal, I'll just do it myself.

Code Scarlett,

If I didn't know better (and share your delusions) I would say that you were paranoid, but if you want help in closing them down, let me know. Nothing would give me greater pleasure. And then we'll go for hot chocolate.


Yeah. What she said. Mean-spirited.
And I hope ALL his/her days are awful.


I usually contest my tickets. I only win occasionally, but at least it buys me time. Paying up is hard because I resent it so much.

In my opinion, I write pretty fine protest letters, too, so they obviously have no heart or brains.

Me said...

Use a bicycle!

On a limb with Claudia said...

Ah yes, I've received one of those tickets myself. D too. It's just... an SF thing.

The Fool said...

So, are you going to contest the ticket...or capitulate to the new definition of "hill?"

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I do when I can. (See above.)

Thank you for your visit.


It especially rankles when every day, I see people committing the most heinous acts with their cars and not getting ticketed while I try to drive safely and (mostly) follow the laws. It's not right.

No fool,

Of course, if only for the petty satisfaction of forcing them to engage with me even though we all know what their answer will be.

nick said...

Sounds like the time I got a ticket for parking at a road junction - while all the other cars parked on the junction were ignored. As you say, you were at the bottom of the hill so what's the problem? Probably like the traffic wardens here they've found a quick way of meeting their daily fines quota.

littlepea said...

Yeah. I ride a bike too. Luckily my small town doesn't have a parking problem but I can find plenty to complain about not ever having a good place to lock my bike.

BTW to answer your question I haven't decided what kind of camera to get. I don't want to pay more than 500 or 600 at the most but I want a good camera I can build on ya know? Any suggestions?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's hard to understand why one gets singled out. That happened to me a long time ago near the United Nations in NYC - I was parked on the street in a line of vehicles with diplomat plates and got the only ticket, probably for being an eyesore.

Sweet Pea,

What a lovely coincidence. I was leaving you a comment when yours came in.

I considered getting a digital body for about $1,000 that could use all the lenses we already have for the Nikon N-90, but I wanted something small that I could take everywhere. I chose a Nikon Coolpix S710 for about $300 - it's convenient, but the pictures don't look that sharp on my photo blog. Canon makes some very good mid-price small digitals you might check out. I intend to when I'm in the market again.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I thought that might come across as paranoid, but it isn't a psychological disorder, I'm just pissed off. How do they know *every* time I go downtown, how do they tag me that often? Must be conspiracy.

I've just given so much money to the city of Denver in the way of ticket contributions that it's almost like court ordered alimony... regular monthly payments.

I could have bought a motorcycle by now with that money.

Let's go crack their ring and then get hot cocoa.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I know you're not psychologically disordered, silly. I feel like they're picking on me, too. It's hard not to when I am the only one to get a ticket in a whole line of other cars doing the exact same thing.

That's very funny about your court-ordered alimony to the City of Denver. Could I have somehow entered into such an agreement with SF unawares, maybe the workings of my evil twin? Oh, wait. I AM the evil twin.

Anonymous said...

I think you are not doing your share for the economy there - get more tickets!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm doing everybody's share. I've been ticketed for everything except possibly having an unwashed car, while all those Other People drive recklessly with cell phones glued to their ears (or texting) and have no concept of right-of-way unless it's in their favor. I'm pretty sure I get their tickets, too. I am the sacrificial lamb of ticketdom.

Jocelyn said...

Couldn't they just issue you ONE 24.3 billion dollar ticket and be done with it?

Al said...

it had to have been the same mother fucker from about 2 years ago who literally sat at my meter and watched it run out as I was putting my child into their car seat. WTF!!??

Nice to find another city dweller blog.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yeah, I'll get right on it at the next Town Hall meeting. Think of all the trees they'd save.


That's really dirty, and sadly, not unusual. I've watched them hover like buzzards so they can pounce the second a meter runs out. It's a nasty business.

Thank you for your visit!