Move Your Car Every 72 Hours


One of the joys of living and working in San Francisco is the low frequency with which I must use a car to get around. The busses track a fairly accessible lattice across the city. Muni trains, when they are working, are clean and fast. And the city itself is such a manageable size that walking between any two points in the city is at most a matter of a few hours. I ride my bike as much as I can, which means that my car sits on the street, sometimes several consecutive days.

It seems that last week I pressed up against the limits of the law in this regard: the City of San Francisco requires that you drive your street-parked vehicle once every 72 hours (Art. 3 Sec 37a: read it for fun and education). Saturday morning I found a large pink cardstock notice under my windshield wiper:


I hadn’t moved my car in two weeks. Covered in a patina of dust and road grime and missing a single fog lamp (stolen sometime between Thursday and Saturday), it must have looked like an abandoned vehicle. Indeed, I had almost forgotten where I’d parked it.

The lost fog lamp sucks, of course. But considering the gas I’m not buying, I think I’m still ahead. I did resolve to take better care of my car. When I lived in LA it got washed every other week and mostly stayed parked beneath a car port or in a garage at work, gleaming shiny black. Now it’s just out on the curb, at the mercy of the elements and assholes with tools.

9 Comments so far

  1. anna (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    There are some places you can leave your car, actually. heh heh heh. I’ll tell you offline. Some of my friends drive it toa friend’s or relatives outside of the city, for vacations. others have complicated relationships iwth housemates so that they “move” the car occasionally (read: take it on a joyride and don’t fill up the tank!). I used to just lend it to friends. Though when those parkign tickets start coming in the mail, I did regret that method.

  2. Todd X (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    When I lived here the first time, I had a car. I, too, was unaware of the evil 72 hour rule and ended up having my car towed. Not good.

    Before coming back this time, I sold my car. As my friends and I say, a car in SF is just something else to be broken into. Good luck!

  3. cd (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

    wow – what neighborhood was this in? i routinely left my car parked for the whole sweeper-schedule week, pulling it up on the sidewalk long enough to let the sweeper pass, and then planking it right back for another week.

    sounds like a selective enforcement kinda code section. a bit crap, as well.

  4. DavidK (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

    There are several areas near me which have street sweeping once a month. So far i’ve gotten away with these extended parking stints. But now I’m worried about theft and general state of the vehicle. So, more trips to Trader Joe’s for me.

  5. Elizabeth (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    In Russian Hill if you get hit with one of those pink 72 hour notes it ususally means a neighbor ratted you out. Same with blocked driveway tickets.

  6. KWillets (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

    DPT never does any 72-hour enforcement on its own; that would involve work. It’s probably the most corrupt agency in the city, or maybe second after SFHA.

  7. sandheep (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 1:37 pm

    yeah, i spoke with the DPT when this happened to my motorcycle. they only come out to slap one of those on your windshield if someone (e.g. your prick neighbor) reports it. the DPT notes your odometer when they give you the warning–just drive around the block and park it back in the same place…that’ll piss off your prick neighbor nice and good.

  8. KWillets (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    I believe you’re supposed to move it a block or more.

    Unfortunately, parking, like any other form of welfare, spawns corruption. Our babysitter couldn’t park her vehicle on my block without being hassled by crackdealers who “own” some of the spaces.

    Leave it to DPT to make the environment worse and expose us to retaliation at the same time.

  9. anna (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

    I parked my beat up subaru stationwagon in a nice neighborhood, ashbury heights, thinking it would be safer there than the Mission. Wrong: folks there get even more pissed off. My tired were slashed, I got one of those whitewashed orange notices on my windshield which, by the way, if the point was to get me to move my car, completely preventing me from moving my car. Open letter to wealthy people who do this to beatup cars: People who are poor and down and out have a hard time scrounging the money to hire a tow truck to remove “eyesore”.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.