Parking in San Francisco is notoriously difficult and costly – the city has some of the most expensive parking citations in the US. But according to one couple, the city gave them a ticket for parking in a red zone after workers painted the curb red while the car was parked.
Desiree and Jeff Jolly told ABC7 they received a $180 fine for parking in a red zone that didn’t exist when they parked the car days earlier. They pointed out a spot workers missed to avoid painting their vehicle.
“The red stripe is there, where it wasn’t before, and they had the nerve to just go around my tire,” Desiree Jolly said.
The couple, longtime residents of the city, say they have been using the spot regularly for decades.
A spokesperson for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation told ABC7 that the citation was issued not for parking in the new red zone, but because the couple’s car was parked in an older faded red zone, and provided a photo showing faint red spots on the curb. ABC7 found that in Google street view images the paint was completely faded away in 2016 and 2021.
The city has said the citations clerk will determine whether to enforce or dismiss the ticket, which the couple has contested.
“If it was warranted, I don’t have a problem with it, but this seems unfair to me,” Desiree Jolly told KGO.
San Francisco issues about 1.5m parking and transit citations each year, earning about $90m in revenue, according to the SFMTA. The city told SFGate last year that its citations are more expensive than other cities because of the high cost of living in the region and its focus on public transit.
“Because San Francisco is a Transit-First city, and to encourage non-vehicle modes, the SFMTA set its vehicle fines higher than other cities that depend on cars as the primary form of transportation,” a spokesperson told the outlet.