John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Only New York City has comparatively expensive tickets for parking at an expired meter.
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