San Francisco parking citation fees go up

July 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Parking violations in San Francisco are about to get more expensive. On Friday, permit fees and citations are going up to help the Municipal Transportation Agency close its budget gap. The city is worried those higher tickets could make some people mad enough to take their anger out on the Parking Control Officers.

If the sight of a parking citation makes you cringe, the City of San Francisco wants you to know that Parking Control Officers, or PCO's, are sometimes afraid of you too. Even more so with ticket fees going up on Friday.

"It doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be a whole slew of assaults tomorrow. What it means is that over a period of time of someone receiving two and three tickets, the stress of $4 a gallon of gas, people do explode," said Sgt. Nancy Amaya, with San Francisco's Department of Parking and Traffic.

The fee for all parking citations under a $100 will go up to by $10. For example, an expired meter downtown will go from $50 to $60 dollars. Blocking a driveway will rise from $75 to $85, but there are exceptions. For example, getting a boot removed jumps from $75 to $205.

The increases are expected to close the MTA's budget shortfall with an additional $13 million a year.

"We recognize the fact that this might cause some ire from our customers, automobile-users," said Nathaniel Ford from the San Francisco MTA.

The city is so worried about that ire, that it's launching an ad campaign in September.

"Our parking control officers are our friends, our neighbors, simply performing their valuable job for this city," said Ford.

The city says in 2006, there were a record 28 assaults on PCO's. Last year that number was 16, and this year there have been three so far.

The district attorney's office says PCO assaults will be prosecuted, even if there's no physical contact.

"If the verbal assault is a threat, it may be actionable and it could be something that could be charged," said Paul Henderson.

There are non-violent ways to protest a citation. You can submit a written protest and be given a hearing at the MTA's South Van Ness customer service center.

Municipal Transportation Agency, parking citation protest process: click here


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