Wednesday, January 12, 2011

San Francisco Tries Street Sweeper Cameras to Issue Parking Tickets

The Municipal Transportation Agency's latest victim of its budget crisis: drivers.

San Francisco's transit agency is asking parking control to write even more parking tickets for drivers around town. The agency is disappointed that its budgeted $99 million in parking ticket revenue has fallen by $7 million.

The Chronicle gives the breakdown of the MTA's next targets, which include residential parking permit holders, and drivers who take advantage of broken meters.

Drivers also might not get the 10-minute grace period at tow-away zones; instead of waiting until 7:10 a.m. to start writing tickets, parking control officers will go ahead and slap a ticket at the 7 a.m. start time.

If there is any silver lining to this it is that the parking control department is short 20 employees, which means there will be 20 fewer enforcers roving the streets looking for violations.

As part of a pilot program, street-sweeping vehicles will soon have surveillance cameras attached to the front of them to record images of license plates that are blocking the way. Drivers will get those tickets in the mail. The fine: $55.

For you early-morning commuters, the agency wants drivers to pay full price to park at public and private garages -- no more early bird discounts.

So it seems the city is accomplishing its transit-first goal, to get more drivers on public transportation. Of course, it won't be long until Muni passengers take a hit.