Supervisor Wiener’s Latest Quest: Double Parking Smack Down

Double parking commuter nightmare. Photo: SFStreets.Blog

Double parking commuter nightmare. Photo: SFStreets.Blog

District 8 Supervisor, Scott Wiener, is fed up with all the double parking he sees in the Castro and the City in general. He’s putting those who participate on notice–things are going to change.

Mr. Wiener told CBS News he believes “we have an epidemic of double parking in San Francisco. Regular vehicles, commercial vehicles, cabs, are causing traffic jams, blocking the bike lane, blocking Muni buses.”

To that end he called for a special hearing on the issue Tuesday, Aug. 6th before the Board of Supervisors. He wants to hear how SFMTA who oversees issuing tickets to violators is dealing with the situation that, to his mind and many others, seems to be getting a bit worse every day.

Wiener will ask the agency to report on City policy regarding double parking, detail how double parking affects traffic, MUNI movement, and bike riders –their safety and ability to use blocked bike lanes– as well as explain current enforcement policies. In addition, officials will have to report on citation statistics for double parking. Last year according to SFMTA 22,000 double parking tickets were issued.

Mr. Wiener also believes double parking violators should be paying a lot more than they currently are. “When you have a bus or train that is stuck and can not get around a double-parked vehicle, that fine should be higher because you’re inconveniencing not just the cars behind you but potentially 30, 40 or 50 people who are on that bus,” he said.

The fine is currently $110.00. For that number to be increased further action would need to take place.


Sup. Scott Wiener in Chambers

Mr. Wiener can be quite focused when he gets riled. His dogged, unrelenting legislative approach to solving City issues is not to be dismissed. Prime examples are his much debated public nudity law battle of 2012 or his year-long struggle to overhaul the City’s use of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) appeals process that was recently passed after three other former Supervisors were unable to make it happen. Once he sets his sites on an remedying an issue he does not tend to let up.

So double parking bandits beware; whether you’re just zipping in for a sec to pick up the dry cleaning or grab a cup of much-needed, hand-poured joe from Philz, Mr. Wiener has you in his crosshairs and he usually hits his target. Matter of fact I’d go move your car right this very second.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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34 Responses

  1. Stephen says:

    I hope he will add people who park on sidewalks (including contractors) and block the sidewalk by trying to squeeze a car into a driveway. I am so tired of having to walk into the street just to walk my dogs.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  2. Marty says:

    Come on Scott! Forget double parking and lets go after the red light runners and stop sign runners!! Market St. and 17th St is a free for all! Much more dangerous than driving around a truck.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. Nudewoody says:

    What is he going to do about all the robberies? Oh we’ll. double parking is easier to deal with.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  4. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 13

  5. Shane says:

    Riiiiiight! Because there are so many loading zones going unused in the city. I surely hope he wants to ticket those who are just idling and not those who are “actively double parked.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • mendolus shank says:

      the city should address loading/unloading zones.
      the streets are for public use NOT CORPORATE/private businesses to exploit.

      definitely people who idly park should be nabbed and citizens should be able to photograph/video violators and see some results, imo

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. SFRussell1963 says:

    Yawn. We’ve heard this rant from politicians before and nothing has changed. In the end this will be no more effective than Mr. Wiener’s war on public nudity. He’s only trying to score political points because his ambitious eye is on the Mayor’s office where he would no doubt be even less effective.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  7. rblack says:

    A good quick fix to help increase MUNI on-time performance.

    It is comical how long it takes to do anything in this city. Do we really need to hold some grand hearing on double parking?

    1. Is double parking illegal? Yes.
    2. Does double parking slow down MUNI? Yes.
    3. Is the law being enforced enough currently. No.
    4. Are the current fines and ticketing enough to dissuade people from doing it? No.

    Findings: Illegal double parking is slowing down MUNI. Parking control needs to increase enforcement and fines need to double along MUNI routes.

    See? I should be Mayor.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

    • Shane says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

      • Aaron says:

        Actually, I think if you look it up in the CA Vehicle Code, double parking is always illegal.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

        • mendolus shank says:

          just for shane, since he doesn’t know the laws of the land…

          Illegal Parking

          Never park or leave your vehicle:

          Where a “No Parking” sign is posted.
          On a marked or unmarked crosswalk, sidewalk, partially blocking a sidewalk, or in front of a driveway.
          Within 3 feet of a sidewalk ramp for disabled persons or in front of or on a curb that provides wheelchair access to a sidewalk.
          In a disabled person parking space, unless you are disabled and display a placard or special plates.
          In the space next to a disabled person parking space, if it is painted in a crosshatched (diagonal) pattern (CVC §22507.8).
          In a space designated for parking or fueling zero-emission vehicles which display an identifying decal.
          In a tunnel or on a bridge, except where permitted by signs.
          Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire station driveway.
          On or within 7½ feet of a railroad track.
          Between a safety zone and the curb.
          “Double parked.” (Parking in the street when all legal parking places at the curb are taken.)
          On the wrong side of the street.
          At a red curb.
          On a freeway, except:
          In an emergency, or
          When an officer or device requires a stop, or
          Where a stop is specifically permitted. A vehicle (even if disabled) that is stopped, parked, or left standing on a freeway for more than four hours may be removed (CVC §22651(f)).

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • rblack says:

      Typically SF (see also: Homlessness, MUNI, high housing costs etc):

      We’ve been through this all before.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Shane says:

    Why stop at those who double park illegally? Let’s start ticketing those who park on Dolores and Guerrero during church services on Sunday. I doubt every single one of them are confessing their sins. As far as I know, there isn’t a law on the books that allows this…it’s just that SFMTA turns a blind eye to it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    • Lee says:

      ya, i’ve often wondered how the selective non-enforcement against church double-parkers squares up with the separation of church and state…

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

      • Clem says:

        Right on. The city tolerates double-parking for Jesus, but not to take someone the emergency room.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  9. Mitch Mansfield says:

    Tuesday July 7th? I want to go to the hearing but I’m confused as to when it is happening.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. DerekSF says:

    We need to get to the root of the problem. We need one 15 minute loading zone per block during daytime hours.

    I live on a one way street where there’s only one lane and no room to get around a double parked car. While a compact car could parallel park in someone’s driveway for a few minutes, any kind of pickup truck or delivery vehicle has no where to go. Then we end up with a line of cars honking their horn causing noise pollution.

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  11. Mark says:

    If you look carefully around the entrance to your home, your office, your daycare, your theater, your pharmacy, your police station, your… you fill in the blank, you will notice that the majority of such places in our town offer little to zero space for picking up or dropping off passengers (or anything else). The closer to downtown, the worse the problem. A few feet of green or white curb here & there adds color to the gutters but is laughably inadequate for actual everyday needs. Is Mr. Weiner prepared to walk a block in winter rain if the white zone at City Hall is taken, or will he quickly jump out of a double-parked vehicle? Will he then reimburse the driver for the ticket that will cost more than many citizens make in a day? What about you, dear reader? Are you willing to pass by your home & continue riding around in that cab until the driver finds a legal place to pull over & let you out?
    We all understand the problems associated with double parking, but – for once – I would like to see the City & all of us here direct some of this righteous attitude toward actually solving the problem instead of simply making noise, multiplying the punishment, & assuming this will solve it for us. It won’t.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

    • Stephen says:

      I am pretty sure Scott Weiner takes the Muni to work. I am guessing the rain is not a huge issue for him

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    • AC94114 says:

      No one is saying cab drivers who wait for you to jump into their cab will get cited: we are talking about double parking and running into Peet’s for 10 minutes to grab a coffee…or a truck double parking and unloading merchandise for 30+ minutes…or the driver that just pulls over, mid-traffic, and just stops there & turns on his hazard lights, with no regards to the drivers behind him…etc.
      Double parking may seem innocent to some, but when you factor in the following scenarios, it can be very dangerous, along with the “annoyance” factor: bicyclists and/or pedestrians are forced to go around the vehicle + other vehicles attempt to go around + MUNI buses trying to go around + opposite/oncoming traffic having to avoid those vehicles trying to drive around + other scenarios I haven’t even mentioned here.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Ramón says:

    I’m going to borrow Whoopi’s preface, from the days when she was a stand-up comedienne, concerned with social issues that seem to have an obvious solution to everybody, except to those with power to change things, politicians.

    “Maybe it’s me!” But isn’t a public transportation system all about moving people from point A to point B? And shouldn’t the right-of-way of that system be of paramount importance to, not only the citizenry, but also to the people who should make sure that the system functions, thereby removing as many other vehicles from clogged city streets and relieving congestion?
    So, let’s pick out a bus route at random; the 30-Stockton. The #30 has to maneuver thru some of San Francisco’s most clogged streets. Those streets are clogged because……….Double Parking!!!!! It’s not just double parking but let’s pretend that that’s a glaring problem for Muni drivers on many routes. Wouldn’t it be in the interest of riders, merchants, visitors, students, workers, employers, etc., that the obstacle(s) is removed, thereby saving time and money?
    Since Muni needs to be more efficient, it’s time to increase the fines to scary amounts, have the law enforced by MTA and be realistic about commercial deliveries to congested Muni route zones of the city. In other words; if you need to make a delivery, but your truck is going to be an obstacle to Muni, you can’t stop – period. There are dozens of transit/traffic laws in San Francisco and most of them aren’t enforced. It’s costing everybody money, but obviously BOS isn’t taking the hard line that helps Muni do its job.
    We didn’t need a multi-billion dollar hole in the ground (Central subway); less money could have been allotted to hire more MTA people to go at the gridlock and double-parking like attack dogs. Muni is supposed to serve everybody, and it can’t do that when it’s stuck in bumper-to-bumper while people and companies give them an Eff You.

    Question: Remember that Red Lane on Church Street, the one that supposed to make for more efficient J and N lines? Are taxis exempt from that ordinance? And who, exactly is enforcing it? I haven’t seen anybody enforce it, like at 4:04 PM today, when I was the seventh car in line, waiting for the N-Judah to enter the tunnel, while taxis and a white four-door BMW with three S parking stickers zoomed past me.

    So, Wiener; you can make all the laws you want, it’s about enforcing them so that this city ceases to be the ever-increasing hell it’s become. The shit’s really gonna hit the fan when people move into all of the condos currently under construction and find that the city hasn’t pre-planned the traffic lights with such helpmates as turn arrows, etc., – think, east/west 15th street at Market, 16th street east at Market. Nobody who shells out that many ducats for an overpriced condo is going to rub elbows with a crackhead dragging a garbage bag filled with crushed cans on Muni – they’re going to be driving their own whip.

    You cannot will people to use mass transit when it isn’t efficient, and mass transit isn’t on time because you don’t enforce what laws you already have.

    Shall we discuss the beer, soda, chip trucks that double-park at intersections and block traffic lights?

    Maybe it’s time for BOS to take a hard look at how this peninsula, with no elbow room works and DOESN’T work. Roll up your sleeves and tackle the in-your-face problems.

    Sorry that this is all a ramble, but the obvious stuff pisses me off, because I expect more from City Hall than “don’t show your dick” ordinances and empty promises. If you’re going to jive me, at least dress as nice as Willie.

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    • AC94114 says:

      I don’t disagree with your point/s, but I think you’re giving the politicians, and the “system” we have, way too much credit if you’re expecting common sense.
      I have learned things take time here – no rules/laws, especially in this city, can just be written, agreed upon, then be enforced. There’s lots of bickering and red tape involved. (And everybody has a chance to have their say, however idiotic their stance is.)

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Matthew says:

    Enforcement needs to happen. That is what seems to be missing in San Francisco. Enforcement.

    I ride a bike to work. (I stop at stop signs and red lights). And when double parking happens it slows me down, and also cars, busses, etc.

    This morning for example, I saw this guy double park and run in to Peet’s on Market. There was an empty spot 2 cars ahead, but he ran in. A cop car pulled up behind him and the cop went into Peet’s as well. Instead of writing a ticket for the guy double parking, the cop needed his coffee too so he did a double park.

    I see cops all the time that allow cars, and bikes to break laws constantly. No wonder people have a “I can do what I want attitude”. There are no ramifications.

    But if you forget to feed a meter rest assured a ticket will be waiting for you.

    Should the meter maids be allowed to issue tickets to red light and stop sign runners? Ease the burden of our boys in blue?

    If you think double parking is bad now, wait until the Castro gets wider sidewalks. Oh. My. God. What a cluster that will be.

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  14. William Boot says:

    I’m genuinely baffled by the overt and overly fawning tone in reference to Sup. Weiner. Such journalistic cheerleading of a local politician is fine — if this were “The China Daily”. This reads more like an eager aide’s press release rather than the ‘objective reporting’ it’s intended to be. A more arm’s length approach would be welcomed.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      You’re reading to much in to it but thanks for equating our blog with nationalized Communist media as that’s a first.

      I’ve been critical of the Supe and his positions many times in the past in posts as you’d know if you’ve been following us for our run here on the Biscuit. In all likelihood will continue to be when it’s called for. What you call ‘cheerleading’ I call facts. He said he’d ban nudity and he did. Which btw this blog and I personally disagreed with and posted about repeatedly. He said he’d change CEQA rules and he did where 3 other Supes failed in the past. If you take umbrage with those legislative truths it’s certainly your prerogative.

      Thanks for reading.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • William Boot says:

        Thanks for the response. However, I was in no way referring to the actual political elements of the post — either yea or nay. I’m referring to your writing style. And choice nuggets such as:

        — “Mr. Wiener can be quite focused when he gets riled. His dogged, unrelenting legislative approach to solving City issues is not to be dismissed.”

        — “Once he sets his sites on an [sic] remedying an issue he does not tend to let up.”

        — “Mr. Wiener has you in his crosshairs and he usually hits his target.”

        Perhaps it’s just your attempt at punchy copy? But it’s ultimately jarringly out-of-tone for what should ostensibly be neutral reportage. Can you hear the cheerleader-y tone of these? It makes you appear as an applauding fan. Something to keep an editorial eye on for future posts since these frothy blurbs tend to weaken the case presented.

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