New SF Mayor Lee Hesitant to Increase Parking Meter Fines

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s recently-appointed mayor hasn’t ruled out the possibility of hiking the amount of parking-meter fines but has some important questions before making any commitments.

Fines in San Francisco range from $55 to 65.

“We’re already the highest. If you recognize that we’re already the highest, possibly in the whole country, what are we doing to ourselves,” Lee observed about the city’s fines.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Parking control officers are being redeployed to write more tickets after the Municipal Transportation Agency revealed that parking-ticket revenue is falling about $7 million short of expectations.

But Lee says he doesn’t like the punitive way of doing government.

The new mayor said he wants to strike a balance when it comes to parking enforcement.

“Are the parking control officers out there doing the best they can in terms of being efficient and not being punitive,” Lee asked rhetorically.

Lee also says he wants to expand the use of new credit-card meters.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • yohan

    welcome to the real world of difficult decisions

  • calvin

    you know what i love seeing? how those “parking control” officers wouldn’t hesitate to give someone a ticket, then parking in the red lines or even double parking themselves to buy themselves some snack in a liquor store. i’ve seen it happened myself.

  • Stuart Milligan

    Ed Lee has common sense. When meters went from $3.00 to $3.50 downtown, I noticed a drop in usage. That means less revenue and fewer tickets. If the city needs to save money, phony punishments are the worst way to do it, because poor people can’t afford huge fines. The city simply has to tax the rich in some way, and if that’s not sensible either for whatever reason, then they have to cut expenditures. Now that we have fewer idiots on the Board of Supervisors, maybe we’ll see more sensible government. (If only we could keep idiots off of juries, we’d really start making some progress.)

  • Gilbert Chan

    The City must find much more appropriate ways to raise funds for its coffers rather than punish already fine and fee burdened residents exactly as Milligan states. SFMTA is way out of control in towing and ticketing its residents who are already suffering economically.

  • Thomas Overton

    why not just raise the meter rates in the more affluent neighborhoods since that is where all the money is,what are the meter rates in The Castro it is always busy there.I thought the goal was to get shoppers in the downtown area not drive them away.

  • Wilbur Wilbutron

    The City needs to thin out City employee staffing by 25%. Yes 25%. Did you see the State grind to a halt when they started furlough Friday’s. Probably the only place a normal citizen noticed any impact was if they had to go to DMV.

  • somasoma

    Lee dosent need to increase fines because he is backing the installation of 5,000 new SF park Meters. The new metering system will bilk motorists, expand city government, and treat the streets and the sidewalks as a *new* source of government revenue. This de facto tax threatens to price residents out of their neighborhoods and decimate small businesses. More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco’s nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year. The revenue from these new meters will only benefit the pockets, and pension plans of city employees who are already receiving generous city benefits.

    The variable rate meters are a huge inconvenience to residents, and has made San Francisco a less desirable place to rent, own real estate, or operate a business. Smaller businesses, the bulk of who employ middle-class residents, will bear the brunt of the pain, along with local residents who can no longer afford to park in their own neighborhoods. The “variable pricing” can go up to $6.00/hr. or $18.00/hr. for “special events.” Charging residents $10-$50 per day to park in front of their homes is unsustainable.

    It is class warfare that favors the wealthiest residents of the city and penalizes poorer, working class citizens who have less money and education. Residents and business owners should not have to own a smart phone, or be digitally literate to park their cars, or do business in San Francisco.

    San Francisco shares the top spot for the steepest parking meter fines in the U.S. and has the third highest hourly parking rates for metered spaces. Our city businesses and residents don’t deserve this job-killing excuse to make our lives all the more stressful.

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