Surprise! Religionist con-men think their indoctrination sessions deserve your continuous subsidy.

Sunday meter proposal draws ire of San Francisco churches

A proposal to expand parking meter enforcement to Sundays has drawn the ire of local churches and other places of worship.

"Quite honestly, it would be too much to ask these members to pay for parking every week," said Pappas. "I think it would have a tremendous impact on attendance at services."

"San Francisco prides itself on being an inclusive, diverse city," said Brown. "But this measure is suggesting that people of faith are not welcome here."

Tags: , ,

8 Responses:

  1. Lun Esex says:

    ... the meters would be a financial hardship for churchgoers. Many of The City’s churches also act as social service sites and food pantries, meaning they’re catering to members who are low-income or strapped for money.

    A) You live in San Francisco.
    B) You are "low-income or strapped for money."
    C) You own and drive a car around San Francisco instead of using public transit.
    D) All of the above.


    Or even worse:

    E) You are "low-income or strapped for money" and don't actually live in San Francisco, but you drive in on Sundays just to go to church.

    Shall I mention the number of cars allowed to double park and park in center left turn lanes without getting tickets all over the city so their owners can attend church services? And that this doesn't just happen on Sundays but on other days, as well? (See for example: Valencia Street between 22nd and 25th on Friday nights. And probably at other times, and other places.)

    Hey, let's make a deal! Instead of expanding parking meter enforcement to Sundays, SF's DPT gets to issue parking tickets to all cars that are double parked or parked in left turn lanes around churches, on any day, at any time! Just a couple of those parking tickets would probably make up the revenue not gained from the parking meters around a church being non-operational during service hours on Sundays.

    • Landa says:

      Seriously? Parking in a left turn lane near a church doesn't get you a ticket in SF?
      Any church? Or just those the local police precinct likes?

      • Lun Esex says:

        Every Friday night I see the parked cars of churchgoers filling the left turn lanes on two to three blocks of Valencia St in SF, around here:,+San+Francisco,+CA

        I never see a parking ticket on any of them around 7:00pm to 10:00pm when the church services end. If you're parked there after 10:00pm, though, you will get a parking ticket. City officials are just turning a blind eye.

        I similarly see the double-parked cars of attendees of a church on Divisadero filling the street around here on Sundays:,+San+Francisco,+CA

        I'm not sure, but I think that Divisadero church has a parking attendant hanging around who'll move a car in case a local resident needs to get in or out of their driveway.

        I've seen and heard about similar instances of streets filled with cars that were double parked or parked in left turn lanes for people to attend church services in other parts of SF.

        Here are more stories and a video:

        Does SF Allow "Illegal" Church Parking? SFMTA, SFPD Don't Seem To Agree
        Parking Leeway for Churchgoers Poses Danger for Cyclists
        The Bay Citizen: Church Double Parking & Bikes (video)

        According to that first article, an SF MTA spokesperson stated:

        "San Francisco's parking enforcement efforts are usually complaint driven on Sundays, so if there are no complaints, the City does not seek out double parking cases to issue citations. In cases where there are complaints, the City does issue citations and sometimes tow offending vehicles."

        I suspect that one of the bigger fears of SF churches about parking meters being active on Sundays is actually that it would mean that instead of most parking control officers having Sunday off, they would instead be driving the carts around to enforce the meters. While they're doing that they would be obliged to put tickets on the hundreds and hundreds of cars they drive past that are illegally double parked on Sundays, as well.

        So, right now the SFPD and the DPT are basically acting like Sgt. Schultz around churches on Sundays: "I see nothing... NOTHING!"

        As I implied in my previous post, San Francisco is really leaving a lot more money on the table by not ticketing illegally parked cars on Sundays than they are by not making the meters active and collecting the quarters out of them.

  2. "I think it would have a tremendous impact on attendance at services."

    If your attendees are only coming for the free parking you have bigger problems.

  3. So, wait a second... do synagogues get free parking near them on Friday evenings? Similarly, are there free/unmetered parking spaces near mosques when they're having services?

    If not, then why is Christianity getting special treatment?

    • Lun Esex says:

      You're forgetting the streets around households when people gather there to hold pagan rites. :)

      Ooh, and the streets around Scientology offices!

      "Onwards, christian sol-diers...!"

  4. MattyJ says:

    Forget the churches, what about me? I like free parking on Sunday. I ride a motorcycle so it's not really that bad but free stuff is fun.

  5. DFB says:

    I was hoping this one was the name of a band.