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Old Oct 2, 11, 4:37 pm   #1
 
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Parking in San Francisco

Can someone please explain to me how the parking system works in San Francisco?

I would like to know when are meter parking is free? Some say 7 pm some say 6 pm, I'm confused.

Curb parking when stated 2 hours only from 9 am to 6 pm, so that means when parking from 6 pm to 9 am for unlimited time is ok?
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Old Oct 2, 11, 5:03 pm   #2
 
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There is no general rule, you have to read the signs. Typically meters have hours of operation posted on them, and other places will have limited hours during posted times. What happens at other times depends on what else is posted. If nothing else it's probably unlimited parking but be careful. There are lots of places that become towaway zones during commute hours and places that do not allow overnight parking. But any rule that applies will be on a sign nearby, generally.
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Old Oct 2, 11, 5:16 pm   #3
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You need to be very careful. You must read the meters (if it is a metered street) and read the signs. Some areas are metered only Mon-Sat, some are 7 days, hours may vary. Some neighborhoods have 2 hour parking (un-metered) until 8 or so. You may occasionally find inconsistencies in signage. Pay attention to the least favorable one. Beware of metered loading zones (yellow curb). You cannot use them during meter hours without commercial plates. You can use them at all other hours, unlimited, except for the tow/street cleaning, etc., restrictions. Make sure you pay attention to what day of the week it is - i.e., if you are going out on a Sunday night and you find an excellent spot. but there is street cleaning, i.e, Mon/Wed/Fri 12:00 to 3:00 AM, you better be out of the space by midnight.

The best advice I can give is to make a small offering to the parking gods. There is often no rhyme or reason to getting a good parking space. Sometimes the parking gods will shine brightly upon you, and other times, they are angered for some reason.
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Old Oct 2, 11, 6:35 pm   #4
 
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Thx for the info.

I would love to know how would they know that you are parked in an un-metered spot for 2 hours or more (if the sign says 2 hours only)? I'm staying in North Beach and I can swear that a car is parked in one of those for days now.
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Old Oct 2, 11, 9:49 pm   #5
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Danielle Steele, the author had 15 or 16 cars parked outside her residence for days with no problems.

Or it may be a local who does move his /her car but can park all day because they have a residential sticker.

If you want to to park overnight - BE VERY CAREFUL and read signs that may refer to street cleaning, loading zones etc. that will make you have to move the car.
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Old Oct 3, 11, 12:54 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
You need to be very careful. You must read the meters (if it is a metered street) and read the signs. Some areas are metered only Mon-Sat, some are 7 days, hours may vary. Some neighborhoods have 2 hour parking (un-metered) until 8 or so. You may occasionally find inconsistencies in signage. Pay attention to the least favorable one. Beware of metered loading zones (yellow curb). You cannot use them during meter hours without commercial plates. You can use them at all other hours, unlimited, except for the tow/street cleaning, etc., restrictions. Make sure you pay attention to what day of the week it is - i.e., if you are going out on a Sunday night and you find an excellent spot. but there is street cleaning, i.e, Mon/Wed/Fri 12:00 to 3:00 AM, you better be out of the space by midnight.

The best advice I can give is to make a small offering to the parking gods. There is often no rhyme or reason to getting a good parking space. Sometimes the parking gods will shine brightly upon you, and other times, they are angered for some reason.
I love the inconsistent signs. I used to live on a block with a two hour parking sign at one end of the block only, and nothing at the other. It was a long block (in the Sunset) and there were always tons of cars with tickets on weekdays.

Parking is pretty obnoxious here. There are plenty of garages, but they are not cheap.
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Old Oct 3, 11, 6:55 am   #7
 
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Use public transport as much as you can. The trams and buses run quite often and the network is well organized.
I spent a week in SFO in August and ended up leaving my rental car at the hotel for most of the time.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 10:13 am   #8
 
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Ok, I've been looking around while walking these past few days and I notcied something about the meter parking, most of them have a sign of something like this (No Parking from Wed to Fri between 9 am to 12 pm) or at least something similar to that. But here's my issue, alot of ppl told me that meter parking is free around downtown after 6 pm and around the wharf after 7 pm, now that is not written anywhere, and I have parked in the past after 6 pm without feeding the meter so I know that is true but why is it not written anywhere?

Last edited by LovetoTravel83; Oct 8, 11 at 10:19 am.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 10:23 am   #9
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
... so I know that is true but why is it not written anywhere?
Some things just aren't written so you have to accept them, although you are right to question why.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 11:08 am   #10
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one of the reasons there isn't more written

Parking and meter rules go by block and by district so there's really no way to write out every rule and regulation without having a phone book sized tome.

For downtown - the meter itself will tell you the hours of operation. MANY meters stop at 6 PM but not everywhere. There's also no parking 4-6 in some areas, steet cleaning in others.

Fisherman's Wharf - some meters (on actual Port property ) run till 11 PM, some till just 7 PM. Again look at the meter and the surrounding signage.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 11:12 am   #11
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Additional information / FAQ for SAn Francisco parking can be found at the link below:

http://www.sfgov.org/site/frame.asp?...enf/13441.html


Listing of commute streets, morning and evening:

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/uploadedfil...-Away_6_06.pdf
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Old Oct 9, 11, 2:13 am   #12
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+1 to read the signs

Also, if parking on a hill you MUST turn your wheels, or else expect a ticket.

Parking in SFO in general is ALWAYS a pain, the ticket dragons are strict and everywhere.
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Old Oct 9, 11, 9:35 am   #13
 
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Totally agree with reading the signs but still some of it is not complete. Last night while parking in downtown, there were no signs that ready (after 6 it's free) or anything like that, if I didn't know about that then I would've paid.

On another parking spot around North Beach, parked on one of those 2 hours only unmetered parking (MON-SAT 8 am to 9 pm) for 4 hours (4 pm to 8 pm), no ticket no nothing.
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Old Oct 9, 11, 12:47 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
Totally agree with reading the signs but still some of it is not complete. Last night while parking in downtown, there were no signs that ready (after 6 it's free) or anything like that, if I didn't know about that then I would've paid.

On another parking spot around North Beach, parked on one of those 2 hours only unmetered parking (MON-SAT 8 am to 9 pm) for 4 hours (4 pm to 8 pm), no ticket no nothing.
What makes it so complicated is that no sign will ever say "free after 6." Instead, there will be two to eight different signs telling you when it is not OK to park. Anything outside those prohibitions should be fair game.
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Old Oct 9, 11, 1:03 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
Thx for the info.

I would love to know how would they know that you are parked in an un-metered spot for 2 hours or more (if the sign says 2 hours only)? I'm staying in North Beach and I can swear that a car is parked in one of those for days now.
In north beach, residents can apply for Red parking sticker with letter A and the exp. year clearly marked (each neighborhood has its own color and letter). If you have one of those stickers, you can park as long as you wished except on street cleaning days.

If the meter maids don't see a Resident sticker on your car, your tire will be marked with chalk, and within 2 hours from the first mark and your car is still in the same spot, you'll get a ticket.
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