Parking Woes Make Man Abandon Move to San Francisco

Stencils of Doom

Neighbor John introduces us to an outraged young man who tried using Bernal Heights as a long term parking lot. That didn’t go so well, so he will not be moving here anytime soon. John explains:

Had to laugh when someone forwarded your posting about the contretemps between two actual Bernal residents over long-term parking.

Over here on Eugenia, we also have no street cleaning (thank goodness), and we’ve historically attracted outsiders using our street for al fresco auto repair and airport parking. No lie, you’ll sometimes see a cab pull up to a long-parked car and drop off someone with a rollie bag…

Several months ago, we had a car filled with stuff that didn’t move for a week or two. We thought it was abandoned (which happens every now and then), someone called it in, DPT started posting warnings. The warnings elapsed and the car was towed away.

Next thing, the street — cars, mailboxes — was plastered with the attached communication from the outraged non-resident parker….

So many things to like about this guy’s letter — not the least of which is the threat of social media PR suicide (“you have… forever marked San Franciscans as snobby, me-first people in the eyes of my thousands of blog and internet followers…”) We thought about warning the chamber of commerce and tourism board that this was coming.

But after reading the note a couple of times, I had to scratch my head over “Peter” and his decision to forever cross SF off his list of potential new homes. Entitlement; indiginant, unapologetic disregard for the rules; self-righteous sense of victimization? I kinda think Pete might fit right in…

So with that as our introduction, let us now savor and appreciate Peter’s cri de coeur:

PHOTO: Top, Telstar Logistics

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59 thoughts on “Parking Woes Make Man Abandon Move to San Francisco

  1. I don’t get it. He wanted a free place to stash his car in a city that is very hard to park in, and people are supposed to just allow it to sit unattended for more than a week, simply because he’s hard up for cash? The law doesn’t apply to him because he’s evaluating his life?

    The whole thing about demanding street cleaning or parking permits “if you want to restrict the cars on your block” makes no sense. Because there’s already a law on the books that restricts cars sitting on your block for a week, and it’s the same law that got his car towed.

  2. I think streets with no street sweeping should have a sign telling people that maximum legal parking time on the street is 72 hours. Too many people mistakenly believe that no street sweeping means they can leave there car for as long as they want.

      • I agree. I also think signs need to appropriately display how long parking in meters is permitted everywhere in the city where there are parking meters. Signs on the street, not just on the meter so that I can see them without having to get out of my car. I am too short to see the hours posted at the top of the meter. I also think that temporary parking restrictions need to have signs posted 72 hours in advance as they are supposed to be. I have no problem with complying with any laws the city deems fit but the city needs to tell me what the fucking laws are!!!!!!! These laws do not exist to address issues of city parking, they exist to take money for the city’s bloated government and they take it from people who are least able to pay who are simply trying to be law abiding citizens.

        Regarding the 72 hour parking “abandonment” law, I also believe the city should have to notify people that they are going to tow your vehicle. My scooter was towed from a parking space that only a scooter can park in. I was not preventing anyone else from parking a motor cycle or scooter since there is tons of this parking everywhere on my street. The purpose of the 72 hour law was to eliminate public nuisances of truly abandoned vehicles due to drug activity, graffiti, public health hazards like rodents living in abandoned vehicles, etc . It is regulated by the Department of Public Health. Don’t believe me? Check the laws, I did! An abandoned vehicle, by definition, is a vehicle that the owner no longer wants. Parking in a legal parking space, that I pay hundreds of dollars to be permitted to park in for four days hardly demonstrates that I no longer want my vehicle. If someone truly thinks I have abandoned my vehicle then the city should be required, as they were before, to notify me by mail that they are going to tow my vehicle if I don’t move it. I’ll move the vehicle. Problem solved. If you want to enact a law that says we have to move our vehicle every 72 hours to enable more people to access parking spaces then pass a law that says we have to move our vehicles every 72 hours to enable more people to access parking but don’t say it’s to enforce abandonment.

      • I agree. I also think signs need to appropriately display how long parking in meters is permitted everywhere in the city where there are parking meters. Signs on the street, not just on the meter so that I can see them without having to get out of my car. I am too short to see the hours posted at the top of the meter. I also think that temporary parking restrictions need to have signs posted 72 hours in advance as they are supposed to be. I have no problem with complying with any laws the city deems fit but the city needs to tell me what the fucking laws are!!!!!!! These laws do not exist to address issues of city parking, they exist to take money for the city’s bloated government and they take it from people who are least able to pay who are simply trying to be law abiding citizens.

        Regarding the 72 hour parking “abandonment” law, I also believe the city should have to notify people that they are going to tow your vehicle. My scooter was towed from a parking space that only a scooter can park in. I was not preventing anyone else from parking a motor cycle or scooter since there is tons of this parking everywhere on my street. That’s why I bought a scooter and I do live in an area where we have parking permits and I have a parking permit. The purpose of the 72 hour law was to eliminate public nuisances of truly abandoned vehicles due to drug activity, graffiti, public health hazards like rodents living in abandoned vehicles, etc. It is enforced by the Department of Public Health. Don’t believe me? Check the laws, I did! An abandoned vehicle, by definition, is a vehicle that the owner no longer wants. Parking in a legal parking space, that I pay hundreds of dollars to be permitted to park in for four days hardly demonstrates that I no longer want my vehicle. If someone truly thinks I have abandoned my vehicle then the city should be required, as they were before, to notify me by mail that they are going to tow my vehicle if I don’t move it. I’ll move the vehicle. Problem solved. If you want to enact a law that says we have to move our vehicle every 72 hours to enable more people to access parking spaces then pass a law that says we have to move our vehicles every 72 hours to enable more people to access parking but don’t say it’s to enforce abandonment.

  3. There are vehicles, complete with four flat tires, that have been moved in over a year. With the Mission and Potrero Hill starting to install meters, you can expect an increase in the amount of cars stored in Bernal Heights

  4. wow! what a crybaby! send him back to the suburbs where he can park his car in front of mom and dad’s house for free all he likes!

  5. I love to imagine what his note would have looked like had his car been stolen and left there by the thieves, only to be discovered by a neighbor who was thoughtful enough to notice a car that didn’t belong and to report it to the authorities. I know how delighted I was a few years ago when our stolen car was reported for having been parked too long in a different neighborhood. We got it back with very little damage.

    • I was just thinking that same thing Scott. He is SUPER lucky that his movable home wasnt stolen. My car was broken into while i was moving when i was Really young. I learned quick and the hard way not to park a car packed with stuff that is visible to the world in SF overnight unattended (for me it was SOMA). I didnt cry or whine like this little prick because as soon as it happened i knew that i maybe had to start thinking smartly now that i am in the big city. Sometimes it cost a lot more to save a couple of bucks. If he was really smart, he would have just parked it at a friends or watched garage or dont get the mani pedi before the wedding to pay for proper garage storage. What a tool. He is clearly unequipped with enough intelligence and self-responsibility for our lovely bohemia!

  6. While his endless explanations grow tiresome, and he apparently never considered trying to befriend a local (I’m sure, being the fine, upstanding person he is he’d have no trouble), or at the least leave a note in his car, Peter the whiner makes a valid proposal…we do need a neighborhood parking permit program. Paying another tax is no joke. But purchasing and owning a car does not include or guarantee free, unlimited access to the public right-of-way. We car-owning Bernal residents ought to pay a yearly fee to lodge our beasts on the public space, and then get involved to see the city spends the money well.

    • I hate to say it, but I agree. I would even be willing to contribute to a fund to help neighbors who’d have trouble affording the permit.

      Over the last two years, parking has gotten so tight in the neighborhood that coming home after 8pm on a weeknight means a nightmarish 20 minute search for parking.

      Parking is a precious resource, and if entitled d-bags are gonna hog it all up, I’d prefer it be my neighborhood’s fellow entitled d-bags, not dudes like Peter.

      • Bernal has changed over the years. It is not the same Bernal our minds remember or even better, wished it could stay as. More people have moved to this area while others have spread the word of an already popular new(to us) cafe that recently opened up; specialty chefs come here with their weekly menus to set up shop in our older, quiet corner restaurant and finally, yes JoeMac is right about Potrero Hill and Mission installing meters this year. I spoke to the supervisor and she confirmed.
        Translation? Yes, expect an influx of outsiders storing their recreational and work trucks over here in addition to the more cars from folks flocking to these popular places that have brought with them their loyal customers from other parts (I have yet to see a surge of customers at the Precita Bench Cafe or at the deli who by the way, has been serving us for some time now) of the Mission.
        JeffLester and citizen e, your ideas are in the best interest of our homes, our streets, and sidewalks. I imagine you guys care and have a thorough unbiased understanding of economics. That is, there is no free lunch. Parking in public streets is a priviIege.
        Many of us own older homes that have no garages and as JeffLester has already said, finding a place to park after eight pm is grueling (he really does live here if he knows about this). Hence, once scarcity snowballs, a value suddenly appears. A basic law of supply and demand. A proven fact of life.
        Consequently, I believe and many true Bernal dwellers will agree, that in the end it is not only the responsible thing to do but that indeed it is a small price to pay in return for conservation of our precious resources such as parking for those who live here as well as perhaps quieter, cleaner and less congested streets (maybe back to what it used to be like).
        For this reason I am willing to put the time in to see if this can get done. Are you? It will take effort. Again, nothing is free. An opportunity cost is incurred in some form or another. In this case, it is time. Someone’s time. Our time.

  7. Amazing letter! It’s hard to decide what the best part was. Maybe “humbly caring.” Though I do like the reference to thousands of blog followers.

    I posit that there is a simple solution to these parking dilemmas: friends (or, barring that, acquaintances interested in a quid-pro-quo). If you need free airport parking, have a friend walk by the parked car every couple of days to see if the warning notice is affixed. If it is, the friend will move the car. The warning notice is supposed to be on for three days before the car is towed.

    Another option, which I learned from (of all people) PG&E — they were doing work on our street and had every parking spot nominally reserved for their work. But they told the residents we could go ahead and park our cars there, and that we should just write our cell phone number on a piece of paper and leave it on the dashboard. They called us if they needed the spot. Is it too naive to propose that if you’re using a spot for long-term parking, you leave such a note? This would also involve having a friend on standby to move the car, I guess, and could leave you open to harassment from people who believe they “own” a particular spot or don’t like the looks of your Camaro or teens reviving the lost art of prank calling. But anything to save us from the arms race of passive-aggressive anonymous or semi-anonymous notes!

  8. Gosh, it’s really too bad he didn’t let us know about his blog! What a fun read that’s going to be, and it would be even better were we able to chime in. Such a missed opportunity!!

  9. I live on a block that has consistent out-of-neighborhood-on-vacation-two-car parking problems. I don’t have a garage and sometimes have to walk two or three blocks with groceries back home because some inconsiderate jerk off uses my street as a personal parking lot. Unfortunately, they are well within the law, the only recourse is to call 311 and have an abandoned vehicle notice put on the vehicle. I don’t mind people parking on the street for 72 hours and that’s why I report the vehicles as soon as they park; it usually takes one to two days for the DPT to come out and three days until it’s towed. The only other option is to have the street made a “residential parking permit” area. For that, you need to follow this circuitous route:

    The proposed block(s) must be contiguous to each other and must contain a minimum of one mile of street frontage.

    A petition signed by at least 250 households in the proposed area must be submitted to Transportation Engineering (one signature per household). Blank petition forms can be obtained from the Municipal Transportation Agency’s Transportation Engineering at One South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor.

    At least fifty percent of the vehicles parked on the street in the proposed area must be non-resident vehicles.

    At least eighty percent of the legal on-street parking spaces within the proposed area are occupied during the day.

    The legislation and sign installation process takes approximately three months from submittal of valid petitions for area extensions and six months from submittal of valid petitions for new areas. The process is as follows:

    1. Review by the Traffic Engineering Division
    2. Field study conducted
    3. Review by the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT)
    4. Departmental Public Hearing
    5. Review by the SFMTA Board of Directors
    6. Sign installation and permit issuance

      • Right? Who’s entitled? That silly boy, or the person who had enough money to rent a place on the block?

      • Seriously, you report vehicles you don’t “recognize” as soon as they park on “your street”. You must have plenty of time on your hands.

      • No kidding, who’s the jerkoff? Who’s the one with entitlement issues, believing you own the parking spaces in front of your building.

    • P.S. And you’ll never satisfy this requirement: “At least fifty percent of the vehicles parked on the street in the proposed area must be non-resident vehicles.” No way that is the case in Bernal. Heck, I bet it’s not even true on Courtland, the one place people from afar might actually be parking.

    • “I don’t have a garage and sometimes have to walk two or three blocks with groceries back home because some inconsiderate jerk off uses my street as a personal parking lot.”

      yeah – don’t those jerks know that the public street is actually your personal parking lot?

  10. Ok, so the letter is over the top, but even many locals don’t know the 72 hour rule. I’d never run into it before 2 week street cleaning began, because moving the car once a week never prompted a notice. Then, with two week street cleaning, I parked 2 blocks from my house, left for my honeymoon, and came back with a 1500 bill. I had a friend move it for street cleaning, but she found it gone right before we came back.

    The city should post the 72 hour rule once every few blocks, or maybe wherever they end up doing multiple tows. It wreaks of profiteering by the tow companies that they don’t.

  11. I totally agree with Bernal Journal. We use to have neighbors that would allow their friends to park on our Street, then take a taxi ride to SFO. Its not right when parking is next to impossible in Bernal Heights, yet alone the City of SF. Therefore, I would strongly support “Residental Parking Pemits” In Bernal Heights.

  12. What Rusty, citizen e, and Michael said. Any parking law which could result in the towing of your car should be posted on the sign.

  13. Really is a fight between entitled assholes on both sides. I live a couple blocks away from one of these zones, and I can’t leave my car there for a week to go visit my family. I have to take it to Oakland and hope it doesn’t get stolen there. I can’t even park there in my normal fight against the street sweeping scam. Just because you live on a block does not mean you own the parking on that block, especially in San Francisco. I see example after example given that these people are coming from all over to park, how do you not know that the vast majority of these cars could actually be your extended neighbors? A couple blocks away there is street sweeping 3 times a week at 6 in the morning…those people aren’t entitled to use “your” parking spaces?

  14. If he couldn’t afford $100 to park in the longterm lot at SFO, he has no business thinking about moving to the City. When I lived in the Panhandle in the 90s I would budget that much every month just because I’d sometimes forget about street sweeping days. It’s an expensive city, get used to it.

  15. Just think of the pressure on parking in the Precita valley once all of the street parking is eliminated from Cesar Chavez!:

    “At the last community meeting in August 2011, SFMTA presented an alternative for Cesar Chavez which would remove all on-street parking and replace it with a buffered, safe-hit post protected bicycle lane. This proposal has moved through all the approvals and will be implemented in the spring of 2012.”

    • The proposal is to remove parking on the eastern stretch of Cesar Chavez, between 101 and 280, quite a ways from Precita Valley.

      • That makes much more sense. I was surprised that something so dramatic could get approved with no mention in any of the usual places.

  16. Never understood why people pay 600 or 700 a square foot to live in a home without parking. Then get mad when an “outsider” parks on their street.

  17. Some people use my block to store big trucks, or small fleets of junky vans. Pickups with large, inhabited campers often overstay their welcome. When it becomes abusive, I post a warning, and if that doesn’t work, I report ‘em.

    • And that is what the law if for. It’s not supposed to just be just for any person who has the nerve to park their car in one place for four days.

  18. I actually feel for the guy. The neighbors around me have definitely changed in tone along with affluence. Perhaps he heard the days of Bernal Heights being full of artists and radicals, homemade hippie shacks and free roaming mountain goats. We could all chill the hell out a little up here. I’ve got my own passive aggressive parking wars going on around me. Like the loud yuppie who takes up two spots in a shortage…or the guests who take up other people’s implied permanent spots. I could get all upset and start calling the city to chase “the outsiders” and “infiltrators” out or I could save myself some stress and realize we are all on this messy little planet together and get my regular spot back the next day. No biggie, folks. Its just a parking spot and we are awfully lucky to not have street cleaning.

  19. Pingback: Bernalwood 2012: The Year in Superlatives | Bernalwood

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