Valencia Street Parking
October 18, 2006 9:41 PM   Subscribe

In San Francisco, CA, on Valencia Street, in the Mission, I've noticed that many people park in the turn lane. Is this legal?

There is almost always free parking in the turn lane, but I've always been to chicken to park there. Do these folks have a pass? Are they just taking a chance? I see people do it during the day and the night, so I'm starting to think it's legit.
posted by mto to Law & Government (13 answers total)

on Sundays, these people get a pass from the meter maids -- basically, tickets are unenforced. The idea is that there isn't enough parking for church services in the mish on sundays, and so the compromise was that you wouldn't get a ticket for parking in the suicide on Sundays.

I haven't really noticed people parking there other days of the week.

I've never had balls enough to park there on sundays, however, and I wouldn't want to try, personally.

Here is some verification of what I've heard. Search for "middle lane parking".

There's also some decent info about parking garages there -- if it is the weekend during the day (when parking is absolute HELLLLLL), I'll park in that garage on 21st, which is conveniently located next to the awesome Jay's cheesesteaks. If I don't feel like paying, I'll actually park below Folsom or so and walk up. Personally, I don't really find it worth it trying to dick around with street parking on a weekend.

Sometimes you can also find spaces up the hill across Cesar, too, fwiw.

so, to summarize:

1. no pass.
2. it's church parking, and supposedly only "permitted" on sundays.
3. if you put your blinkers on, you are apparently allowed to park anywhere, as long as it's "just for a sec". *

* no really.
posted by fishfucker at 9:48 PM on October 18, 2006

Best answer: Actually, here's the relevant excerpt, since it's short enough:
Middle Lane Parking - In theory it is legal to park in the middle lane of Valencia St. during the day on Sundays only. Otherwise, you are liable to be towed. You are also likely to be towed if you block someone's driveway or park on 18th St. during the posted "No Parking" hours.
This page says:
# Middle Lane of Valencia: Double Parking is OK for (un)Loading or participation in Church/Funeral Ceremonies and big events like CARNAVAL However cars are regularly towed in the evening without warning particularly between 16th & 17th. Ask your friendly merchant before you park here for more than a quick stop
posted by fishfucker at 9:51 PM on October 18, 2006

I have seen them tow from the turn lane on Fri & Sat nights.
posted by troyer at 9:53 PM on October 18, 2006

Best answer: I used to see it happen all the time at night whenever I'd eat on Valencia. I heard the Mission locals say that every once in a while, a zillion tow trucks would show up and clear the middle lane, but most times people were safe.
posted by mathowie at 9:53 PM on October 18, 2006

Best answer: I see people do it during the day and the night, so I'm starting to think it's legit.

It's illegal and always has been.

I've seen cars towed away but the enforcement is uneven. And on Sundays everyone gets a free pass but I dont believe that is an official policy just an unofficial one.
posted by vacapinta at 9:59 PM on October 18, 2006

Yeah, I've gotten different stories on that too and have seen people parked the middle lane on plenty of non-Sunday afternoons. My mom did it once and was told (by whom, I do not know) that it was fine. I've done it for quick stops at Ritual but never feel good about it.

I also see people parked on Dolores in between the median strips, basically clogging up the space between one median strip and the next. Hard to describe but if the street is running left to right on this page, the Xs are the median, and the Os are the cars, this is the plan view:




So what was once a relatively wide opening in the median, which was used for left turns, has now been filled up with cars parked perpendicular to the direction of the street. That can't possibly be legitimate parking either.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:36 PM on October 18, 2006

Ahem. Meet-up a-comin' -- November 9, 2006, in San Francisco, around 7:00 or maybe 8:00 ish pm. Watch MetaTalk.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:20 PM on October 18, 2006

I did it once. It was a weekend, come to think of it. No incident.
posted by scarabic at 11:26 PM on October 18, 2006

I moved here during the last days of dot-bombness . . . used to always be cars parked in the middle lane, any day/night, if I recall correctly. During the slump, the volume of cars dwindled significantly. Now it seems to be on the rise again. Maybe the phenomena ebbs & flow with the economy . . . ?
posted by treepour at 11:26 PM on October 18, 2006

if you put your blinkers on, you are apparently allowed to park anywhere, as long as it's "just for a sec".

In Traffic School, the instructor said you could park anywhere for fifteen minutes with blinkers on, but I think this was just double-parking situations.
posted by Rash at 9:18 AM on October 19, 2006

Just a heads up... If you do park there, be very aware when opening your door as many cyclists use that middle lane as a bike lane because the pavement to the side of valencia is so bad.
posted by atom128 at 9:34 AM on October 19, 2006

I find the practice of traffic cops looking the other way outrageous in this situation because they only do it during church services. They should also do it during peak nightlife hours if they're going to do it at all. Why should the law be bent only for church goers? Ggrrr! Don't get me started!
posted by Lockjaw at 9:54 AM on October 19, 2006

Why should the law be bent only for church goers?

maybe because they're politically well connected, while most kids who go to nightclubs don't even fucking vote.

I can't count how many of my friends don't think it's worthwhile to vote, or how many arguments I've had with otherwise intelligent people that think the best way to send a message is by abstaining from voting. That's what makes *me* mad.

but yeah, I hear you. I wouldn't park there anyways -- getting towed in the city is not fun at all. Once your car is on the truck, you're looking at $300 minimum, if you can get to the impound lot within 4 hours.
posted by fishfucker at 10:19 AM on October 19, 2006

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