Enraged Parking Note Becomes Threaded Argument as Bocana Street Neighbor Squares Off Against Wool Street Neighbor


It’s been a dramatic week for streetparking in Bernal Heights, but the drama isn’t finished yet.

Over on Bocana, a parking note situation earlier in the week (d)evolved into a threaded blog-style argument between an angry Bernal neighbor and another Bernal neighbor who owns the parked vehicle in question.

Bernalwood has been in touch with the vehicle owner, who tells us:

I live on Wool just below Eugenia. I parked on Bocana just above Eugenia. I parked there on Sunday at around 11:00 a.m., after taking my dog for a run at a park. I returned home to find no parking within a one block radius of my house. I almost never have to park even as far as Bocana, but everything was all parked in. I thought my only problem was going to be remembering where I parked!

This was on my windshield on Tuesday morning. Bocana neighbors are hair trigger, I guess! The best part is the last sentence.

True, the comment about how “you don’t even live on this block” seems rather rich.

But that was not the end of the matter. Car Owner from Wool used some whitespace on the original note to respond in kind, writing:

Wow, seriously? I parked here from 11:30 am on Sunday through 8 am on Tuesday — not even 48 hours. On Sunday there were no spots near my house, so I parked here. These parking spots belong to everyone, even people who don’t live on the block. Please reserve your nastiness for people who are actually doing something wrong.

— Your neighbor on Wool Street


Oh, but that was not the end of the matter either.

Finding but a small patch of whitespace remaining at the very very bottom of the note, the Angry Bocanan added an angry counter-response:

Wool isn’t Bocana & so you don’t live on this block & you must be out of your meds,  unless you can time travel, you were parked here on Saturday. Get your facts straight.


Snap! That’s the state of play in the Great Bocana Parking War of 2013.

Fellow Citizens of Bernalwood, what say ye to the plaintiff, The Angry Bocanan?

And what say ye to the defendant, The Car Owner from Wool?

Kick your feet up and open a fresh bag of Doritos, because the Bernalwood People’s Parking Court is now in session.

167 thoughts on “Enraged Parking Note Becomes Threaded Argument as Bocana Street Neighbor Squares Off Against Wool Street Neighbor

  1. I think with all the construction etc (don’t get me started on the new bump outs) parking has gotten a bit more difficult. Let’s try to keep our tempers in check and think about neighborhood parking stickers.

    • I don’t know if my neighbors would agree, but I’d love having neighborhood stickers on Precita with 2 hour parking for everyone else. Weekdays, as residents head off to work, folks who work on Mission or St Lukes are hovering around waiting to snatch up the parking spaces. While I feel for the people just trying to find cheap parking while they go to work, the result is there’s almost no time when you can find parking near our house.

      • stay tuned about the neighborhood stickers for Precita etc, I think we may get a petition going

      • That seems reasonable to me for any streets within a block or two of commercially zoned areas and major transit stops. Now that Precita Park has a couple of good eateries seems especially good idea there.

      • All those in favor of permit parking, I am starting a petition for our neighborhood Shotwell/Mirabel. It has become a dumping ground for long-term parking and “park and ride”. I hate that it has come to this, but our sleepy neighborhood has become easy parking for those that DO have permit parking restrictions and it surely has reduced our quality of life. We need 250 signatures in a 1 mile + area and I am thinking of Folsom, Precita, Shotwell, Mirabel, Montezuma, Coso, Stoneman area. The Mirabel/Shotwell block is very involved, but I would love to hear from those on the other streets who are interested in engaging your neighbors. Thanks, Beth

    • I don’t know what street you live on, but I am starting the petition process in Shotwell/Mirabel neighborhood to get permit parking. The long term parkers and people who “park and ride” in our neighborhood (since we don’t have permit parking) has made parking near impossible. Let me know what street you are on, we need to get 250 signatures in a minimum of a mile radius. Thanks

      • I am unfortunately on the fence with getting “The City” involved. I feel that we have a great community that can self regulate this parking situation. It has been my experience getting the folks at city hall involved, as with anything, can sometimes be a negative. There is such a thing as the law of unintended consequences. For example when will they begin to install meters up and down the hill, it maybe extreme to think but so is charging for parking on Saturday and Sunday or until 8pm in some streets in town. What I have seen and seems reasonable is owners of cars who live in Bernalwood and park for an extended period of time leave a note with a phone # “call/text me before you call to tow.”

      • Beth: Is there a place to sign this petition online? If there is, could you post it here so those of us that are interested in signing can avoid posting our email addresses?


      • HI Josh, I sure wish that we could do this online, but unfortunately we need to get signatures. Is there an app for that??? Tell me what block you are on and when we come around to get signatures I will make sure we hit your block. Thanks for the support, Beth

    • Permits are expensive. the price increases are random. they do not guarantee parking. Your friends get tickets on the one occasion they visit. It increases the SFMTA staff that I am not convinced is truly beneficial to anyone since they never seem to be accountable to anyone. You all need to have lived in a truly congested part of the city and sought parking for 1.5 hours before complaining.

      • If you do a petition, can you please include residents nearby on Mission St (say the 3000-3300 blocks? I cannot park my car on “my” street overnight, and often park it on Precita or Mirabel. I feel like I am part of your neighborhood and know many people there. And I move my car now every 48 hours (after someone “kindly” had it towed for my accidentally parking it on Mirabel for 50 hours). I would happily get a residential sticker if it is allotted to me. By the way, does anyone find it ironic that residents who don’t drive often (i.e., every 48 hours) are punished because of it? Many times, I only use my car to move it from one parking spot to the other. I don’t have the money to pay for a garage. So, if any of you friendly neighbors would like to help a girl not pollute the environment and have a place where I can park it longer term free of cost, please let me know. I love your (“my”) neighborhood.

  2. Talk about off one’s meds, the Angry Bocanan needs to get back on some.
    Vitriol. Powered by Anonymity.

  3. Isn’t there some convention in parking note arguments that the first person to refer to “meds” automatically loses? Sorta like mentioning Nazis?

  4. Obviously the note originator has never lived in cole valley, the haight or any of the other more difficult parking neighborhoods. G-d forbid that they might have to park a block away from their house because someone took “their” spot.
    Until you’ve circled your neighborhood for 30 or more minutes looking for parking, you don’t have a right to complain about difficult parking. Bernal is about as easy as it comes.
    I sympathize with people trying to get cars that are dumped for weeks on end off the street but clearly someone should be able to park a weekend and a few days during the week in the same spot. Even if its not on their street.

  5. I live in the immediate vicinity, too, and between construction and the vacation parkers (hey, let’s just leave our car on the street in Bernal for 2 weeks while we’re on vacation and hope a cheaper cab to the airport!) it has gotten a little harder to park lately, but this Bocana neighbor is off the hook. Ridiculous. Between “you don’t even live on this block” — since when is that a crime? — to “you must be out of meds” — out of line in pretty much any situation, except *maybe* between friends — flat out inappropriate and unneighborly. Meanwhile, I’m dying to know who this is, and it’s the talk of the block! Because that’s how we roll in Bernal Heights.

  6. I find in favor of the Wool Street resident. We are all feeling the pain resulting from Cortland construction which seems to have ever receding end dates. I live on Cortland near Mission and commonly have to park 3-6 blocks from the house these days. Assuming a “right” to park on your own block has no place in my reality.

    Although I believe that we should all obey the rules, I personally would not even think of reporting a car exceeding the 72 hour limit until it had been in the same place for at least a week. Why? Because as SF residents, we should travel by foot, bike, public transportation, ZipCar, Lyft, etc whenever possible and that should be encouraged.

    I’m sure this is a tad idealistic, but what about limiting ourselves to one street-parked car per household? If we need multiple cars, we would hopefully purchase parking spaces for the excess vehicles. If we need to live with more cars than that, we might consider other tranquil Bay Area communities where parking is plentiful.

    If we choose to live here let’s all think of each other and work together.

    • >what about limiting ourselves to one street-parked car per household?
      The planning code sort-of does this. The special use section for Bernal (section 242) requires that additions over 400 sq.ft. and all new builds provide parking inside the building. The number of spaces depends on the square footage of the house. The idea being that bigger house = more residents = more cars = more parking required. Around our way the newer houses have good multi-space garage parking which they use, which frees up street spaces (for cars that dont get moved for months 😉

  7. Brian – agreed with above. Also, 3-6 blocks is a good day for me! I live on Godeus, the little alley by Ichi Sushi, and have frequently found myself on Bocana and Elsie if I return at an odd hour…

    • Uh oh, Albert. Better watch out! You might be the Bocana flipper outer’s next tirade target. And if she/he only KNEW how far you’d come to ruin her/his life!

    • I’m with you. Though I think there’s only one so far on Cortland. Or have I missed something?

      • parklets activate the sidewalk and create community engagement. why don’t you get rid of your car?

    • @seth I don’t drive, I walk or take Muni/Bart. They don’t engage with me at all, instead they do the opposite by putting up a wooden wall between customers and passerby on the sidewalk.

      • not to mention that the “parklet” down near Sandbox Bakery is ugly – are there no aesthetic standards?

    • nine times out of ten parklets are empty! why? no one wants to sit on an uncomfortable chair inches away from traffic exhaust. Closing an entire intersection would signifcantly reduce traffic and make a usable community space, but we all know that in SF such a space would immediately fill with homeless, drifters with pit bulls, protestors and naked fat men. Somehow, parking spaces don’t seem so bad.

  8. Lets get ride of bike lanes, sidewalks and property all together!!! Imagine the abundance of parking then!! I propose this: Pave bernal(top to bottom) in a beautiful asphalt black, strip it, and we can all park for miles and miles.Boom

  9. On the day of our wedding, we awoke to a car parked in our driveway. We had to have it towed; and since then, some of our neighbors no longer talk to us. That was 8 years ago.

  10. I’m kind of annoyed with Bocana person. Their exclamation marks look like arrows. Why do they keep wanting me to look below even when they’ve reached the end of their tirade? Between the crazy entitled rage and the pretentious punctuation, I’m siding with the car owner.

    • Haha…I was thinking the same thing. When an exclamation mark looks like an arrow I take the note about as seriously as if they’d put hearts over the letter ‘i’

  11. Do any neighbors have any advice on what to do if you street park and do go on vacation? I don’t know of many great options that are cheaper than a daily rate park but last less than a month. I’m going to be gone for a week, and thought about leaving a note on my dash, but I’m afraid of people like Angry Bocana Person

      • BART has free weekend parking, and it cost like $3 a day or something to park in Millbrae or San Bruno.

        You have to sign up / pre-pay on line, but its a great option.

        I have seen the No Parking / Tow Away signs go up overnight, and there is no way I would risk leaving my car on the street if I knew I was going to be gone for more than 24 – 36 hours.

    • Have a friend check your car and move it every few days. Return the favor for him/her when he/she is on vacation.

  12. Let it be stated that the 200 block of Bocana is a VERY NICE block. We don’t do that, must be something in the air up one block!

  13. Albert, we have some that park in their driveways. As long as your car is registered at that address, you may legally park/block your own driveway. Others leave their keys with neighbors who are kind enough to keep tabs and move their cars for them.

    • A couple of weeks ago a neighbor on Norwich got a ticket for parking in her own driveway. Many Bernal properties show little distinction between sidewalk and driveway spaces: it looks like the City found her “blocking the sidewalk” and effectively fundraised $150. I suspect one could park in front of the driveway if the car doesn’t block the “sidewalk”….

      • If, God-willing you get old enough, you might find yourself in a situation where you NEED the sidewalk to walk or maneuver your wheelchair. Then you’d appreciate the desire of the city to clear the sidewalks from obstructions.

      • There’s a difference between parallel parking on the street and blocking your own driveway and parking across the sidewalk. The latter deserves a ticket.

      • absolutely, how annoying, especially on a busy street, to have to walk into the street just to walk up the block. Sidewalks are for people, not cars, not bikes, people. Feel free to paralell park in front of your driveway if there is room, however.

  14. Yeah, I’ll probably just have a housemate keep tabs on my car. Unfortunately we have short driveways on Godeus, and it’s a no parking street.

  15. none of us can pass judgment until the most important detail is resolved: can the defendant, in fact, travel through time? if so, this resolves a pretty fundamental disconnect and the plaintiff might actually have a case.

    also, i’m confused about this timeline. defendant sees note on car at 8am tuesday, responds to note… and leaves car there? for long enough for plaintiff to respond again? at what point did the car leave the space? i find in favor of the defendant on the matter of justice, but it’s an opinion qualified by questions about their troll-feeding behavior, and complicity in passive-aggression.

    • Defendant moved car. She posted her response, lovingly and with great respect, on the nearest tree!

      • i find in favor of the defendant! *BANG*

        we should start stapling whole new pieces of paper underneath it and keep this conversation going, creating a literal paper trail.

  16. It seems Bocana is on a short fuse. If he or she is counting the hours until the 72 hour limit, that’s already a bit much. By all means, once it goes over the limit go to the city website and have them come out and mark the car. I am all for enforcing the law regarding abandoned vehicles, but it is not against the law to park on a different block and it is none of their business where the car owner lives. Take a chill pill, Bocana. After all, someone on Wool Street is still your Bernal neighbor. Jeez.

    • Agree. Bocana neighbor needs a time out. Pick your battles people, the city can only subsidize the storage of so many personal vehicles, and it’s first come, first serve. Not worth bursting a forehead-vein over.

  17. Everybody should take a deep breath, count to at least 10 and give a few thoughts to the world outside Bernal Heights, there is one and its problems could use our attention . Think Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc etc etc.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Parking is the least of our problems. We should all be nicer and accommodating to each other.

  18. Wow! I think a consult with a social scientist rather than parking stickers are in order. As a native who grew up in a neighborhood where parking was impossible, all of the residents who found a spot within 2 blocks of their home thought it was a good day. The only time I have ever heard that the spot in front of the home belongs to that home was in a boring suburban community.
    Imagine my surprise when I moved to bernal and a neighbor yelled ” whose car is this? It has been here for days!” It was one day. Thanks for the warm welcome.

    • I am a native of SF and have lived on Shotwell for 35 years. The situation has gotten out of hand because we have no permit parking and are seen as a free parking zone for the rest of the city. I wish it weren’t so but I do believe the time has come to get rid of people who store their cars here for long term parking and use the streets as “park and ride” so that those of us that do live here have a fighting chance of getting a parking spot within a block or two.I also wish people who have a garage would use them for their cars!!! By the way I also wish for world peace, but one thing at a time…….

  19. What’s the predominant housing type in Bernal? Single family homes with garages right? Looking around at all neighborhoods, the garage’s main purpose, a place to park your car, has been lost. The garage was not meant to be your extra storage or illegal second unit. If people who have garages starting using them we wouldn’t have a parking issue in most neighborhoods. Having moved here about four years ago, I’m still dumbfounded why in a city where so many have the luxury of a garage so few people use them.

    • The city compels people to build/maintain garages, but that doesn’t mean that the homeowner agrees it is the best use of that extraordinarily expensive square footage. And as long as there’s free street parking, that calculus is unlikely to change.

      Also, most of those garages hold one car, just about as much parking as is forfeited by the curb cut for that garage…

    • THANK YOU! The plague of people complaining about lack of street parking while having extra couches and boxes full of crap stuffed into perfectly good, private and otherwise-always-available parking spots in SF is totally baffling.

    • I stopped parking in my garage because my driveway was blocked everyday. It was very stressful, not being able to leave when I needed to, or put my car away.
      Now that I’ve been subject to two hit and runs while parked on the street, am am back in the garage.
      I only have this problem because I live by a school, but I wanted you to know one reason why someone would do that….

    • I could NOT agree more!! beyond frustrating…. I feel like telling them “hey listen, if you refuse to use your garage, leave the door unlocked cause I will be happy to!!”
      Parking literally gives me anxiety and I can’t stand seeing my neighbors taking up 4 spots for 2 cars cause they don’t have consideration that others also have to park…. & they have a driveway and garage and still choose to park on the street and take away spots from the rest of us who can only park on the street……drives me crazy!! (enough to write a note even!!) LOL

      • ANOTHER TAKE on the situation: Just because someone doesn’t have a garage does not give them any more right to parking on the street than someone who has a garage and fills it with non-car items. The fact is that if people drive cars they should be prepared to find *some* place to put them and not get worked up if their neighbors do the same.

    • For a fee, you can actually have the city regulate parking for things like this. When we moved in to our house we had the city block parking on our entire block for the day the moving van came. Worked perfectly!

      • I took Tim’s approach when we moved to Cortland near Mission in Feb. When I arrived at the beginning of the move day I discovered that the sign we paid for had been torn down and tossed in the lot behind Zante’s. I retrieved it and taped it back up. When I returned on an hour later it’d been torn down again. Cars were parked in the 2 spaces we’d reserved when the moving company arrived. They couldn’t unload our stuff without a parking place–would’ve blocked the 24 Divisadero for one thing. So the movers sat around for an hour while I rang doorbells trying to find the owner of one of the cars and avoid having them towed. That didn’t work. Someone finally returned and moved one of the cars. We had to pay the movers overtime as a result of the delay.

      • And this is what I have seen an entire block almost get towed for, literally with 24 hours of notice. The signs went up Monday, and they were (hand) written in such a way that it looked like “No Parking Tuesday and Wednesday 7am to 5pm”. What the sign REALLY said was “No Parking from Tuesday at 7 am until Wednesday at 5 PM”. Well, come Tuesday night at 6 PM, everyone was parked in front of the signs, and SFMTA was out starting to tow cars. They were nice about it and knocking on the doors where the car was registered to, and as soon as everyone figured out what was going on we were letting our neighbors know. Still at least 2 cars were towed that day.


        PS, Those signs usually say “No parking within 200 FT of this sign.: That’s 8 lots worth of parking spots being blocked.

      • It costs several hundred dollars to get those signs placed whtn you need them for where you are leaving tobwhere you are going. Gkad younthink it is chump change.

  20. Jesus H. Christ! Don’t you people have anything better to stress about? Like homelessness, like war, like the demise of the middle class. Party # 1: be grateful you have a home! Party # 2: be grateful you have a car…..how about the next endless war? Now there’s something you should be complaining about. Oy Vey.

    • OMG I guess I have struck a nerve, I am just trying to find a solution to an obvious problem. For the record I am 61 years old, SF native, Bernal resident for 35 years. I realize there are bigger problems in the world. I volunteer, donate, campaign, recycle, help out my neighbors. I have raised a family, work and help both of my elderly parents daily so I know about problems. That doesn’t negate the parking problem that affects quality of life. Just trying to figure out a possible solution.

  21. I can’t imagine what we’d do without permit parking over here on the other side of the Bernal Cut in Glen Park. Of course this is because of BART, but it really does keep the motor vehicle turnover going.
    As for me, I do complain when there’s not a bike rack or convenient spot to leave the dog right in front of the store I’m going into. 🙂

  22. I also MUST add, in defense of those of us who flagrantly don’t use our garages, that our garage is TINY and almost doesn’t fit our car in it. Our laundry machines are on one side, our trash cans at one end and if the car is there, you have to turn sideways and make yourself very thin (and carry the trash or laundry bags on your head) to get around the car. So we end up opting to park on the street, since it so easy, and with only two (2!) closets in the whole house, we are grateful for the storage space in the garage.

  23. When I lived in Bernal and was involved with a neighborhood association there, the subject of parking permits came up. The consensus was that people didn’t want to get the city involved and they didn’t want to spend the money for permits.

    The other day something very rich happened. I do computer tech support for people with small businesses. Much of that requires me to visit people’s homes/home offices. I was sitting in my car writing up notes when a woman impatiently drove up beside me and inquired, “Are you going to move OR WHAT?” “Beg pardon?” “You have been sitting in your car for 20 minutes and I want to know what you’re going to do!” It was about 5 minutes, not 20, and regardless, I could sit in that car all day if I needed to do so, and it’s none of her concern.

    I told her that I still had things to write up and wasn’t going to leave any time soon. She drove off calling me “ASSHOLE!”

    Just for that I got out of my car and had a sandwich at Progressive Grounds.

  24. For those who seek permit-only parking on your street, I have one question:

    How much are you willing to pay for that permit?

    Okay, two questions:

    If you aren’t willing to pay for it, what entitles you to park there?

    • I am willing to pay $100 a year. Cause that’s the yearly fee. I’d probably pay up to $250 or so per MONTH (3k per year) but after that I would start looking for covered or indoor parking.

      If the city would let me “reserve” the curb space in front of my house? (No Garage on this 1906 building), that is worth 5-6k per year.

      • How much more are we willing to pay the city for NOT enforcing! I lived in Russian hill for 15 years… Stickers did not prevent my having to park blocks from my apt. DPT is random and inconsistent at best. You r only paying for more wages and pensions and mean spirited meter people

  25. When people leave their car in front of my house And hop into a Super Shuttle to the airport with luggage, I have no hesitation and call Abandoned Vehicles. Everyone is entitled to park on the street for 72 hours. But my neighborhood is not park and ride. That being said, getting City Hall involved ( permits) is opening Pandora’s box.

    • But the FACT of the matter is that even if people use your street as park & ride, THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DO SO, as long as they move their car at least once every 72 hours. The parking spaces on your street ARE NOT YOUR PROPERTY; they belong to the community at large.

      What gets me is that you folks KNEW that Bernal Heights was a village with tiny streets and a parking problem BEFORE you moved there. So, get over it already. That’s like moving next to an airport and then complaining about the noise of jets taking off. SHEESH!!

  26. But leaving a car for a week or two is not legal and pretty rude. Now if my neighbor, who parks on the street, asks to keep an eye on the car, sure why not. Like I said, ANYONE can park for 72 hours, three whole days. And by the time you call DPT (48 more hours) and remember nothing happens on Saturday or Sunday, well, a car can sit for well over a week no problem.

  27. First of all, nobody here is suggesting that there aren’t bigger problems in the world. But this little issue obviously touches a nerve for many of us in Bernal, and if you don’t want to read about it, you are free to move along.

    Having lived on both sides of the bay, and in the Bay Area for nearly 35 years, I am here to report (or second) that our part of Bernal Heights (between Cortland and the hill) is one of the easiest places around to park. As the original post-er said, it’s unusual that she had to go a little over a block away to find a spot.

    What’s really troubling to me is the level of anger boiling over here — both from the Bocana neighbor who picked this fight and many of the people posting here. What is happening to our little burg?

  28. You know, something bad might be happening on that bit o’ Bocana. Just witness the seemingly systematic trashing of that cute VW for a while. I’m glad to see it’s back but I’m not sure I’d park there.
    I like to think I play by the rules. I like to think that most people play by the rules, too. So when somebody takes unfair advantage or has an unrealistic sense of entitlement it rubs me the wrong way. The best thing would be for everyone to take a step back, relax. Parking disputes have an almost uncanny potential to escalate. Rapidly. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. I really don’t want anyone to get hurt. Please, everyone, calm down. Thanks

  29. I think everyone is overlooking the largest problem we have in Bernal parking which is Holly Park. There are too many people living in campers and contsruction companies leaving their work vehicles. My concern is that there is a elementary school on the park. I would love to have neighborhood parking for this area.

  30. Parking is really really easy in Bernal compared to most SF neighborhoods. We’re lucky. I can count on one hand the times I haven’t been able to find a spot on my block. It does seem to be getting a bit more crowded lately. I sense that people are wailing at the loss of privilege more than any real inconvenience they’ve experienced.

      • I totally agree –I am just trying to find a solution to an obvious problem. I am not doing this because I feel priviledged but because I believe in fairness and don’t think our neighborhood should be used as a free parking zone. People park here for weeks ( they are not even shy about it, one woman asked my neighbor if this was a safe block because she was going to leave her car here for 2 weeks while she went to NY) Trust me she is not the only one!! Sorry, but I don’t think that’s fair.

  31. What we need is weekly street sweeping. Parking would turn over, and the leaves and assorted crap people discard would be gone.

  32. One is entitled to park where you wish. We all pay taxes for that. When did people start claiming the streets as personal property?
    Turn on the news and thanks your lucky stars that this is a major problem in your life.

  33. We live on Winfield @ Virginia and work late into the PM. When we get home there is never parking and we always have to park 4-5 blocks away either up the hill or down. We don’t complain it’s just how it is. Put on your grown-up pants and deal with it. Otherwise move to the country where you do not have this issue. NO PERMIT PARKING!!

  34. A good start would be to get the city to enforce the laws it already has on the books. We live on the South end of Banks Street where one of our neighbors stores at least 3 different vehicles on the street — one for parts, one fixer upper and a van for storage — and another consumers more than their fair share of parking because they rent out rooms. Often these vehicles sit for more than 72 hours and sometimes are dismantled in the street for extended periods of time. At one point the City called me because we had called in too many complaints. They told me to get used to it because Bernal is considered the wild West when it comes to parking. It’s always been this way and the only way to fix it is to petition for parking permits. I get why no one wants to go down that path. It seems to me that a little stricter enforcement of existing laws might get some people to change their behavior or think twice about sharing the road.

    • Would you rather have the limited number of police be chasing parked cars or chasing muggers who are rife in Bernal Heights? The choice is yours.

  35. That’s a fair point, and of course, I’d rather have a safe place to live. However, consider that one reason muggers might be attracted to Bernal Heights is because there is no enforcement of even basic ordinances. Abandoned vehicles have a way of saying that no one is paying attention.

  36. Wool Street wins by virtue of punctuation. Nice semicolon attempt, Bocana, but the commas following “unless” are incorrect.

  37. I vote for local enforcement by way of a car sticker that says either ‘BernalWood’ or ‘FIRE EXTINGUISHER INSIDE’, or even ‘E54130’. That makes you a mayor in Bernal.

  38. To Jeremy: tsk tsk. First off, the signs are easily identifiable as city parking signs, and you are trying to portray them as somehow not official. Not true. Second, they will not block the street for more than a day. You’re misleading folks. And third, the sign says 100 ft, not 200. I just looked at the one I kept from our move in. And if you can’t accommodate your neighbors as they are moving in, who PAID for the one day of accommodation, you are not much of a neighbor. Do you really need to impede a moving van to get off on the wrong foot with your new neighbors? Not very Bernal of you.

  39. My wife made a great point about parking permits and Maternal Heights: child care support. As soon as we get permit parking, how do we expect child care to help dual working families when they cannot drive and park in our hood.

      • ??? Upper Elsie raised a logistical concern, not a financial one.

        Upper Elsie, my understanding is that families with nannies in permit areas don’t permanently affix their permit to their own cars so that the nanny can use it during the day.

      • My point is that as soon as you have parking permits child care can not park in bernal on a daily basis. Just raising a point. However, yes i can afford to have children and I do. Plus, I own a house a pay over $8000 in property taxes and I do not have a garage and must street park. So I guess, I have a fairly good point of view and perspective. You clearly do not have children or own a house or you would understand. Good luck with the accordion.

      • Nasty Elsie: You’re correct. I would not bring a child into this world unless I was in a long-term stable relationship. The longest relationship with a woman I had, she didn’t want to have kids.

        As for the button accordion, I actually supported myself for 2 years playing it in the BART subway and on the street and at farmers’ markets, etc. Plus I got lots of “rich people’s parties” and gigs at places like the Rite Spot, DNA, etc., and have played for parties as diverse as Apple Computer, Oracle, and Good Vibrations. I’m not sure why anybody would hire a strolling button accordion player to play 2 or 3 hours of music (I surely wouldn’t), but they do. There’s no accounting for taste…

    • you can get a permit for your child care worker, you can also get temporary permits. As I understand it Danielle Steele has 25 permits for her cars and workers in Pacific Height–OMG

  40. Uh, “dual working families” was the key there. Parents who raise kids should have one parent staying home to take care of them. If both have to work and the kids have to be dumped into childcare, something is wrong.

    As to being “grumpy”, actually I’m not grumpy at all. It’s a pleasant day even though I have a head cold. But when I see things posted on open forums that I disagree with, I like to post an alternative point of view, especially when I believe in that point of view.

    It rankles people, especially the liberals, when they see something posted that disagrees with what they felt was a “universal” sentiment. For the record, I’ve been a radical leftist and/or libertarian most of my life, and I like to present alternate views in order that people might think a little more before just accepting the operating paradigm.

    The stay-at-home parent is one such example. Kids need the nurturing of parents. When both parents are working, kids often feel abandoned. I grew up in a poor family, but I knew that my parents were there for me. They didn’t spend money on me; I had hand-me-down toys from my cousins and thrift store clothes. But my parents spent TIME with me, and that was the most important gift of all.

      • What part is “bullshit”? I said many things. Are you just upset because I disagree with an opinion people deem to be politically correct? Is there no room for divergent viewpoints? Or would you rather not have freedom of speech?

      • The part that is bullshit is your wholly unsubstantiated, retrograde denigration of working parents. And your freedom of speech is not in any way constrained by my calling out your bullshit as bullshit. When you say dumb shit, you should expect to have it challenged.

      • David, you moved out of Bernal years ago. Please stop trolling here. Your comments are off topic for the thread, and designed to get a rise out of people.

    • Wait! Homeslice does not live here, have kids, pay property taxes? Glad you left bernal wood. Booom.

    • Lord, how we digress from parking problems. Hey — most parents I know (and I am a parent to a 3 year old) would love to have one stay-at-home parent. But very few people can afford it, practically. Oh and I can guess you don’t have kids.

  41. 1. Most everyone on this list knows about global warming.
    2. When humans are comfortable they rarely change.
    3. I support anything that makes driving an individual car in this public transit rich area of California uncomfortable.

  42. Wow! I’ve been busy for a couple of days and haven’t been following the thread but I thought I’d check in to see what’s up. The little story about a silly parking note has grown, or devolved take your pick, into some sort of rant about global warming, property rights, and the role of parenting in the 21st century. So if I go away and log in in a few days what will have happened? Banks Street will secede and opt to join the Excelsior. A peacekeeping force will be stationed between Bocana and Wool. Holly Park will be the new recruiting ground for The Lords Resistance Army. Now I know why it’s so hard to write fiction.

  43. You know, even if you Bernal folks got permit parking, someone on bocana could still park on Wool. All of Bernal would likely be one zone — that’s how the permitting works. Also, We have permitted parking in my mission neighborhood, and my driveway gets blocked all the time, people still park illegally etc. (And the city is none to quick to tow). You will probably get rid of some of the park and riders though. OH yes, and your friends who visit in cars will get ticketed. I’d think carefully before you go that route

  44. I doubt the person who wrote the note reads this blog, or spends time on the web. Someone should print this blog post and comments and post it on a pole, or fence, along Bocana St.

    • Hahaha. I thought of this, too. And I love the idea of a “park-in” on Bocana, though I don’t want to punish the other neighbors of that lovely block. I think I’ll print and post on the very tree where this saga began, if I can figure out how…

  45. Bocana neighbor is encroaching on public space.

    It is a street. It is a public thing. The City owns the street, not you or me. The City paves it, maintains it and perhaps patrols it. The City sets the rules for the street.

    If the rules are you can park there for up to 72 hours, it doesn’t matter whom you are, you can park there for 72 hours. It doesn’t matter if you live on the block, around the corner, two blocks away or even across town. Simply, you have 72 hours of free parking.

    I say all this with my own complaints about my neighbor’s parking habits. He has turned his 1-car garage into a den. He parks three cars on the street, most often with one across his driveway and one behind, creating a solid wall of car across the street from my garage. He also most often parks his truck in front of my house, and when he’s in the vicinity, he clicks his remote, making it chirp, as if he were getting a dopamine hit every time he hears the chirp. The chirps echo through my house. It is hard for me to get my car in and out of my garage because my street is narrow. I find all this incredibly annoying. I wish he didn’t do these things. However, it is a public street and he can park where he wants. I don’t like what he does, but I’m not on the right side of things if I ask him to stop parking in front of my house. In fact, I’d be suggesting that I own something that is public if I suggest he not park there.

    • are you Lily’s dad on Bessie? I was about to give up because as I was walking Frankie today I saw that all the flyers I posted on Precita, Manchester, Stoneman, Coso were torn down. NICE way to stifle discussion. I spent a lot of money, time and energy on it and I am just trying to figure a way to improve parking in our hood. It has become a nightmare with people storing their cars here with little repurcusssions or thought about where the hell we are supposed to park while they are on vacation!!! We have become a free parking zone for others that have permits so they park here and ride public transportation tying up all the spots. Just doesn’t seem fair and I was just trying to even the field. I have got many positive responses from my neighbors, so I will continue. Join us at MirabelNeighbors-subscribe@yahoo.com for further action. Thanks. Beth

  46. Whoever torn down all the flyers I put up, you are a jerk. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to stifle other people’s opinions. I will not be deterred in trying to engage the neighborhood in a decision about permit parking. Anyone with constructive thoughts, questions or offers to help please join me and my neighbors at MirabelNeighbors-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

  47. We do not need permit parking in Bernal. I’ve lived her for over 30 years and we’ve done fine all these years without it. The last thing we need is limited 2 hour parking. On our block everyone knows each other and we know who parks where. I suggest getting out and meeting and talking to your neighbors.

    • I have lived here 35 years and it has gotten much worse in the past few years. I do know everyone on my block and we are constantly calling on cars that are parked here for days/weeks because they have permit parking where they live and use our streets as free parking. I am just hoping to level the playing field. I do not want 2 hr limit either, 4 hr seems reasonable to me. Trust me this is not some idle cause on my part, I feel it has gotten to be a quality of life issue and I am happy that you do not have a problem on your block.

      • You do realize that this just pushes the “problem” onto other people in the neighborhood, right? If you succeed in getting the Precita corridor designated as a permit-only zone, everyone who lives just outside that zone will absorb the demand for parking you’re complaining about. So, instead of your having to walk a couple of blocks, they will have to walk a couple of blocks.

        Your residence on a given street doesn’t give you any more entitlement to park there than anyone else. Literally *anyone* else. The city has in a place a (short-sighted) process to deal with long-term parkers. Use it. Or PAY FOR A PARKING SPACE.

      • I would love to pay for a garage space. It is because others have permit parking that they use our streets. I don’t deserve a parking space, but neither do the people who store their cars here deserve the limited parking space that we have. Why aren’t they paying for a parking space?

      • I remember the part of Noe Valley that got permit parking about 15 years ago. It didn’t change a thing. The parking is still a mess, but now they have to pay for the privilege.

    • Getting out and meeting your neighbors? Oh, that’s so 20th Century. Nobody does THAT anymore. Instead they call the police, take vigilante actions, or sit and whine. Seriously, though, the very best way to (1) create a community, (2) solve problems, and (3) keep the peace) is to get to know your neighbors. Unsure how? Well, stop and chat with them when you see them. Heck, impress the hell out of them and invite them out for lunch!

      • I happen to know all of my neighbors and this is what we have decided to persue. You want permit parking or you don’t – it will be decided by a peitition that you can sign or not. I am awfully glad my neighbors aren’t as snarky as you are.

  48. It would be great to have permit parking from where Bernal Heights starts on the North Slope/Precita Park to where it ends on the South Slope/St Mary’s Park. I would definitely sign a petition for this. It is getting increasingly difficult to park on the street as well as trying to get into one’s own driveway. With street cleaning every other week, plus when there is 5 weeks to the month, parking has become even worse. Some cars stay there for 2-3 weeks at a time. In addition, there are a lot of work trucks as well as scavenger trucks parking all over the place. Dead end streets/cul de sacs have become eyesores with the cars/trucks left in them. My neighbors & I do know each other; however, we are frustrated by the lack of consideration of insiders & outsiders alike who park anywhere they like. So we call DPT &/or the SFPD.

    • Hi Pamela, I am starting with Shotwell/Mirabel, I am looking at Precita Park/Folsom St. south to Virginia St. What street do you live on? It is not an easy task, and trust me I have much more pressing issues to deal with, but I think the time has come for permit parking so I am starting out with a flyer that will go in everyone’s mailbox (since my flyers were ripped off) to alert them and get the conversation going before we go out with petitions. Join us at MirabelNeighbors-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      • Be carefuil when putting a flyer into peoples mailboxes, it is a federal offense. Might be best to place next to the mailbox or at the front door.

  49. Pamela: You wrote: “It is getting increasingly difficult to park on the street as well as trying to get into one’s own driveway. With street cleaning every other week, plus when there is 5 weeks to the month, parking has become even worse. Some cars stay there for 2-3 weeks at a time. In addition, there are a lot of work trucks as well as scavenger trucks parking all over the place. Dead end streets/cul de sacs have become eyesores with the cars/trucks left in them. My neighbors & I do know each other; however, we are frustrated by the lack of consideration of insiders & outsiders alike who park anywhere they like.”

    Okay, having permit parking is not going to change any of that, as long as cars are moved every 72 hours with permits or every 2 hours without permits (Glen Park has 4 hour limits, etc.) Even with permits people are still going to park in front of your house even if they live 2 or 3 blocks away. People sill still park in the cul de sacs, etc. Also, work trucks and scavenger trucks are still going to park in the neighborhood; it’s just that they’ll have to move the trucks every couple hours.

    But what the permit parking does do is bring DPT people around once or twice a day to ticket cars without the stickers and cars that are parked overtime. And it will make a boatload of money for the city, which in turn may be spent on the Muni, bike lanes, etc.

    So, all I’m saying is to be careful what you wish for because once the permit parking is enacted it’s not going to go away. There are many disgruntled people who have seen no change in their neighborhood parking congestion, but now have to pay for it as well…

  50. Hello. Seeing all the headaches we have here in our lovely hood of Bernal Heights, how come we just don’t ZONE our area? I lived in Potrero Hill for years and ZONING did a lot of good. Well, except the yearly fee, but it will clear up the parking headaches we have a on daily basis. What do you think? Cheers!
    Bernal Rob

  51. David Kaye and “bldxyz” have both shared some very wise thoughts. After reading the two and thinking carefully of the consequences, I have come to the conclusion that “no” I will not sign such a petition. I am convinced that permit parking will not solve our congestion problem in our neighborhood.

    In fact, I believe the opposite is true. Once again (and as always), it will only punish the poor since those folks with the higher salaries can afford and will purchase two and three permits and thus will continue to park their motor vehicles as they currently are doing.

    For this reason, I do not wish to be among those to punish the poor. There is enough of that going on as it is in our country. In summary, leave me out. And again, I will “not” sign this petition for parking permits. Sixty plus dollars is far from being a fine-it is a tax! Not interested.

    Thank you David Kaye and “bldxyz” for sharing your carefully thought out logic. You helped me make an “intelligent” decision free from emotional impulse which is what I have come to believe this whole issue of “permit” parking has come to be. A whole lot of frustrated neighbors angry and wishing to punish. This is not the way.

    Peace and love to all.

    • Just so you know I am the one who started the conversation about permit parking and I am a 61 yr. old SF native and happen to live below the poverty line. I am not trying to “punish” anyone, rather trying to clear up the streets of unwanted (long term parkers) and level the playing field for us to be able to park in our neighborhood. Since those with permit parking seek out our streets we are a free parking zone for others. Since congestion has become such an issue, I feel the need to go this route, I wish it weren’t so but I think we need to face the reality of the situation and try to find a solution.

      • The fact that you’re 61, a SF native, and have a low income have NO bearing whatsoever on the matter at hand. The matter is parking congestion. Think of it this way: TODAY you can park anywhere in Bernal for free up to 72 hours. Once the permit system goes into effect, you’ll have to pay money to park more than 2 hours (the permit fee). But congestion will be as bad as it ever was.

        You’re assuming that people park in Bernal Heights and then go elsewhere, such as taking a bus downtown to work. Believe me, few people do this because it’s just not worth waiting for a bus and the hills are steep, so it’s not just a gentle walk. I can understand the park’n’ride situation happening in the Richmond or Sunset districts where there are plenty of buses and a straight shot to downtown. But from Bernal? Don’t kid yourself.

      • I was responding to the writer who said this is going to punish the poor, of which I am one. Also, the area I live in is used for park and ride. Easy walk to Mission St., St Lukes,Bart etc. when all other streets near there are permit parking.

  52. There is no doubt that the Bernal has changed over the years. And it is certain that change is difficult to many. But one can adapt to it and surrender to the new ways of Bernal. The fact is, there “is” parking. It may not be in front of one’s home as it conveniently so often used to be making it a “small” inconvenience to walk a short distance; but then again, one will soon run out on one more errand opening up new opportunity to park a bit closer on the return. Or even better, right in front of one’s home as it once was.

    I have read every single comment on this topic. Taking an objective temperature of the overall consensus of the neighbors, it is not a popular idea for it has angered more folks as opposed to those who are for the idea of making us pay. I believe it is not the time and perhaps it should just be left alone and as is. Lets not pollute Bernal with toxic litigation that hurt those who are already struggling to stay here.

    Volunteering to a self imposed costly tax on ourselves and our neighbors is hardly a solution to overcrowding. Volunteering to a costly self imposed tax “is” however, a self inflected mortal wound for our working class by making even harder to stay here.

    Pricing people out of their neighborhoods is not only cruel but even worse- it continues to reinforce the gentrification that has already plagued our neighborhood. This stirs up strong emotions that anger many. Is that what we are about? I like to believe it is not.

  53. I hardly think $109 per year is pricing anyone out of anything. Owning a car comes with expenses and everyone knows that. For those that need to park on the street this is a small price to pay for some enforcement of existing rules as well as the ability to report vehicles that have been parked for only a few hours as opposed to being forced to wait 3 days.

    As for the park-n-ride situation, it truly seems to be out of hand. I have seen many cars with permit stickers parked in my particular part of Bernal long enough to collect cobwebs around the tires, which is just ridiculous. Of course we can report these as abandoned but that’s beside the point, being that these are people from other parts of the city using Bernal as their personal free long-term parking lot with little to no repercussions.

    Whether or not permits are the answer to this, something needs to be done to level the playing field for those who actually live here.

  54. Permit parking is only enforced 9am to 6pm. It is not enforced on holidays and weekends; thus the core issue of overpopulation in Bernal is not solved. This is no more than a band aid, a quick fix to a bigger issue. $109 is a tax and for some, regardless of what you may believe, is one more expense for those who are already struggling to stay here.

  55. WOW! Great points on NOT having parking permits. I’ve changed my mind on it. I’ll just continue to leave polite notes and call DPT when I have to. I think communication (with the notes) is the better choice because it makes the neighbors more aware and hopefully they’ll pass along the same kindness to others. Thanks!

  56. Yes, translation? Weekends, holidays, and weekdays after six in the evening (when parking is at its absolute worst since we are all home) “all” of these exact same times that are equivalent to the intervals with the highest amount of congestion that create the most outright highest degree of scarcity for parking would “not” be policed and yet we would “still” be obligated to a yearly “tax” of $106.00 regardless the times for “no service”. The very same times the service is needed “most.”

    Why would “I” voluntarily to pay for something like this? It is a self inflicting mortal wound since there would be not going back as David Kaye has kindly cautioned.

    Bldxyz said it best, “it is a public thing, you and I don’t own the streets.” Maybe we should all just try and do with less. It always seems to work the best. After all, isn’t that why Bernal became so popular? Because we were few, and the few had less? How Ironic it has come to this.

    I think we can work it out.

  57. Come on over to Northeast Bernal! Honestly, up here in the BernalAlps, you can park for weeks and no one cares/tickets. Lots of people have vintage/classic/beater cars that never move off the street. Sure, the walk’s steep, but we’re chill up here.

  58. This is such a discouraging conversation for so many reasons:

    1. The parking situation is really not that bad. I live on the mission side, my mother lives on the Cortland side, and we both agree that we can reliably find parking within 2-3 blocks. If you really can’t walk 2-3 blocks (you physically are not able to walk that far) then you should work with your neighbors to find a solution, whether that’s finding a friendly garage nearby, or installing a blue curb near your house. For everyone else, this is standard city living. I lived previously in the haight– now THAT was a tough parking situation.

    2. The cause of the parking situation (and all those pastry shops and coffee shops and cute stores you love in Bernal) is density. On my street we have about 15 units and about 7 parking spots. The only way our whole street could actually park on our street would be if we only had 1 car per unit (nope), and every house used their garage (actually on our street I think everyone does). Bernal was not designed to be so dense, but because the cost of rent has gone through the roof in San Francisco, every neighborhood in the city is packing-in people wherever they can. This is a good thing for many reasons, but it makes parking difficult. Paying a fee to the city for a permit will not change this fundamental problem. We need better public transit, biking options, pedestrian safety measures, and car sharing systems.

    3. The current strategy punishes people like me, who are trying to eliminate driving in our lives. I only really need to use my car once a week, but I have to keep moving it around to avoid the 72 hour ticket. That’s silly. (We share our garage with the other unit– so sometimes we have to park on the street). Let’s not make it even worse by stepping up enforcement in our neighborhood.

    4. I like having guests. They often stay for more than a few hours. Sometimes they even stay overnight. It’s not very nice to have your guests constantly get tickets.

    5. Calm down. People are not out to take advantage of you and your neighborhood’s free parking. They are mostly just normal, nice people who need to put their cars somewhere. It’s a city street and they pay taxes to the city just like you do.

  59. this tool must not have had lived in SF for very long…what SF resident CONSISTENTLY finds parking on their own block??? finding a spot on your block is a BLESSING here. get over yourself, you dont own the block or specific parking spots. i could understand if this guy was blocking a driveway or something but if the guy has a neighborhood sticker than he has every right to park there…get a garage!

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