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San Francisco Tops the Nation in Parking Meter Fines

Only New York City has comparatively expensive tickets for parking at an expired meter.

Flickr/sjsharktank

San Francisco is notorious for its mind-boggling real-estate prices. But did you know that it's also a hellishly expensive place to get a parking ticket?

Run out the meter in downtown San Francisco, and you could face a fine of $65. That hammer blow to your wallet is matched only by the fines for expired meters in New York City, according to a new study by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. (The penalty drops slightly to $55 in non-downtown areas.)

The city has famously positioned itself of late to be rather unfriendly to legal parkers as well. Rates per hour of $4.25 represent the third priciest public-parking rates in America, according to the study. In years to come, that rate is likely to soar to $6 per hour.

In making its study, San Francisco compared its own parking situation with that of 40 other major U.S. cities, plus a few suburbs and tourist destinations. Among other findings: At $5 an hour, Chicago and New York have the most expensive parking rates. And scofflaws will suffer little consequence of squatting forever in a space in St. Louis, where the fine for an expired meter is just $10.

For more about this study, head on over to this article in SFGate.

Top image credit: Flickr user sjsharktank

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.