New Restrictions Prohibit Overnight Parking for Non-Small Vehicles Around Holly Park


Neighbor Karoline noticed some new signs, and a change in the parking regime, around Holly Park:

I was wondering if anyone has noticed or already written about the new parking restrictions around Holly Park?

As a 6 year Bernalwood resident and a driver of an over sized Sprinter van (which is my daily driver), this came as quite a shock when I was about to park for the night on Tuesday. I don’t always use the park, but it sure is a nice option in a pinch.

These signs are on both the inner and outer circles of Holly Park Circle. Do you have any info as to when this was implemented?

PHOTO: Neighbor Karoline

40 thoughts on “New Restrictions Prohibit Overnight Parking for Non-Small Vehicles Around Holly Park

  1. Clearly trying to keep away the campers. 7×22 feet is pretty big for any vehicle that’s not work related (e.g., full-size truck or full-size van).

  2. There have been lots of people camping out on our streets lately. On Franconia, we have nightly visitors who sleep in vans and RVs.

      • If it preserves legitimate usage for people who live in the neighborhood, yes. The camping is less than ideal, but this blanket policy is overkill. I don’t care if people park RVs at Holly Park.

      • It is relevant. If you don’t live near Holly Park or use the park, you don’t have any skin in the game, which makes it easy for you to say “I don’t care if people park RVs at Holly Park” because it does’ affect you.

        The fact you DENY its relevance is more telling than my question.

      • What does affect me and everyone else is the neighborhood’s transformation into an upper-middle class enclave hostile to those who don’t fit the mold.


      • You’re avoiding the issue. NO ONE wants people storing their RVs around Holly Park, much less CAMPING in Bernal Heights.

        “What does affect me and everyone else is the neighborhood’s transformation into an upper-middle class enclave hostile to those who don’t fit the mold.”

        Most Bernalese are itching for the less desirable elements to be displaced. The fact is, over the past 20 years, Bernal has become an attractive place to live because of a higher quality of resident.

      • How about some numbers? Real facts, not anecdata.

        • How many people were camping at Holly Park?
        • How many large vehicles were parked at Holly Park nightly?
        • How many crimes were committed by people who are camping at Holly Park?
        • How many extra minutes did people spend looking for parking because large vehicles are taking up more space than the average car?
        • How many dollars of property value have been lost due to these abominations?
        • How many large vehicles parked at Holly Park were not associated with someone who lives in Bernal?

        I would be pleasantly surprised if you or anyone else could provide this information. Without it, though, this is gut-feel NIMBYism.

      • Also, “no one” means no one who owns an RV. But there are several people in Bernal who own RVs. I’m sure they are happy to know that they are no one.

  3. There are already ordinances prohibiting sleeping in vehicles, do we really need more parking restrictions on top of that? The sign states a max length OR height, which means that a simple family conversion van with even a partial high top would be in violation, which seems more than a little excessive. Clearly, yes, this is trying to keep away the campers, but it negatively impacts many neighbors who drive larger vehicles, whether for work or recreation. Our Sprinter will now live on even smaller and more crowded streets in Bernal…

    • I’m guessing here… To enforce the no sleeping in vehicles prohibition, someone has to patrol the cars on foot to see in or a citizen has to walk by and report it. Limiting the size of vehicles can be monitored more efficiently just by driving by.

  4. People have no right to park their refrigerators on the street and they have no right to park their vehicles on the street. Street parking is a courtesy extended to people. Some cities such as San Marino, Studio City, etc., do not allow street parking at all.

    What I think is a hoot is that I used to sleep in my Econoline van as I traversed the country vacationing. The Econoline isn’t tall enough to be banned!

  5. Perhaps send these questions regarding the new regulation in your neighborhood to SFMTA (or Campos…)? They might be able to confirm the reason(s) behind the regulation (just to avoid sleeping+camping, or other concerns?). I’m likely putting too much faith in the process, but I could see with enough of a push that SFMTA might be able to take into account these new concerns of local residents. I imagine there’s a middle ground that is possible (bureaucratic morass aside). Perhaps amend the large vehicle reg with a residential permit exception? (or something else that won’t elicit even more gnashing of teeth)?

  6. Unfortunately Karoline, you have been caught up in regulations designed to discourage vehicle camping in certain areas of the city. Holy Park had several nearly full time campers, so it seems it made the list for the newly-designated large vehicle ban.

    Overnight camping may already be illegal, but from an enforcement perspective it is more difficult to enforce. An officer can’t enter into a vehicle without a search warrant, and in any case that is probably a low priority for peace officers.

    And you don’t want a Department of Parking and Traffic employee trying to ascertain if someone is inside. Could result in a confrontation they are not really qualified to engage in. Easier if they can simply cite the vehicle for parking in a banned location.

    • Making it easier for cops and DPT is not really high up on my list of civic concerns. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons to park a large vehicle overnight on Holly Park Circle, and it’s actually one of the few places in the neighborhood where doing so minimizes the effect on other people.

      There are a variety of (questionable) parking laws already on the books which force turnover. Between the 72-hour limit and street cleaning, all of these vehicles have to move regularly.

      • one can argue that the large vehicles actually can increase crime since things can go on behind them that are invisible to people driving by. I personally don’t think it’s safe to have these parked around a park at night. It encourages bad behavior. we have a staircase leading up from our street to the next street – because there’s a wall there people hide along the stairs. lots of underage drinking, throwing trash around, etc. hardly the end of the world but not something to encourage nonetheless.

        my street’s also one where a lot of RVs and campers park. There’s a lot of illegal dumping as well, probably because these large cars provide cover for these sorts of things.

  7. Judge Crater’s reply is spot on. And I totally support the addition of these signs to our neighborhood. I live just off of Holly Park Circle and too many people were taking advantage of the fact that we do not require parking stickers in Bernal. Often times, I witnessed people parking their commercial truck, RV or bus following a bi-weekly street cleaning and they wouldn’t move it again until the next cleaning. In my opinion and the opinion of many of my neighbors, the city approved a reasonable initiative to prevent people from abusing the system.

  8. Living on Elsie right next to the park for 6 years, the campers have been one of my bigger concerns for our little micro-hood. My principal concern has been proximity of Juniper Serra elementary school so close to individuals living out of their campers. While I would never want to judge anyone, golden rule, as a parent my concern for sending my children to JS was the plethora of campers living on Holly Park. Once again, I am not saying people living in campers are not good people; however, I would love to see JS evolve bc the cards are already stacked against them with the assisted housing next door.

    Obliviously, the topic do people living in campers or on the streets is a much larger social issue for San Francisco to deal with given our long history of moving the poor and races to different parts of the Bay Area to suit the needs of respective neighborhoods.

  9. I’m curious. All the previous comments referred to “campers”. Are these tourists? Urban adventurers? Or are these homeless people? I suspect the latter. In which case I’d like to see something done to help alleviate the increasing number of homeless people in our city.

    • That’s noble of you. Do you realize how much the city spends per homeless person per year? Enough for a down payment on a house.

      This ordinance is for people shoe store their RVs on city streets.

      • Aha. So “campers” literally means recreation vehicles! Belonging to people who live in homes in the neighborhood and not to people who live IN them… because they have to? I don’t spend a lot of time around Holly Park. I had no idea we had so many RV enthusiasts.

        Some might think it’s noble. Then again, some might think it’s asking our city to address the real problem in a real way. Do you know how much the city spends per homeless person? Do you (or do any of us) know how many homeless there are? Does amount spent = problem solved? I work in the Tenderloin. I ask myself these questions almost every day. Has SF lost all its soul or are we still a cutting edge city with a progressive spirit?

      • The city has a huge homelessness industrial complex, and it funds organizations that *foster* homelessness as a “human right.”

        I’m sure you can find the details in a google search. I don’t want to know. 😉

        The underlying problem with homelessness is that it’s a national problem that can’t be solved on a local level, it needs leadership from the federal government, but the feds don’t really care about homelessness since it’s basically a local problem..

    • While in theory I agree that people down on their luck deserve our support, the fact is that the issue of homelessness is a national problem. I believe our programs do help people out but at the same time, we’re a city of a little over 800k people tackling the issue of homelessness essentially on our own. To add insult to injury, we’re rewarded by getting more than our fair share of quality of life issues.

  10. I have lived near Ocean Beach since 1995, and we’d always had people living in RVs prior to the parking ban. The problem had gotten much worse in recent years. They emptied their sewage tanks in the streets (where it ended up in the ocean) and left lots of garbage along Lincoln and the Great Highway. The police couldn’t do much about it because the residents refused to answer their doors.

  11. Street parking is a shared public resource, with a reasonable amount allotted per person. If someone chooses to need more than that amount — by collecting a bunch of “vintage” cars, or keeping really large campers/trailers, or a truck used for a business, etc., shouldn’t they be obligated to pay for off-street parking? I don’t feel strongly about the signs in this particular instance, although I think that’s a reasonable principle to have underpinning our street parking rules, and city policies, generally. Three Minis or Smart Cars could park in one 22 ft. spot.

    • Not quite. You can’t even fit two Minis (assuming you’re referring to the currently available car) in 22 ft. Neither will three Smarts fit in that space.

      This is an arbitrary and indirect attempt to regulate behavior that might be associated with certain types of vehicles. But there are legitimate uses of these vehicles, and they have to park somewhere. It’s convenient to push the costs of off-street parking on owners of these vehicles because they are a minority of the vehicles. But the reality is that everyone street-parking in a non-metered space is freeloading. Getting up in arms because some other joker is freeloading more than you are is laughable.

      • For example, there are at least three Sprinter van conversions in Bernal. With the high roof, those are taller than 8′, but shorter than 22′. Any tradesperson who has the high-roof Sprinter would also be caught out by this new rule. I guess your neighbor the plumber can just go f*** off, huh? No need for those kind of people in Bernal.

  12. It should be No Parking all day around the various parks in Bernal Heights, especially along Bernal Heights Blvd. Too much trash left behind by these so call ‘campers’. L.A. has it right with Permit Parking Only in residential neighborhoods. It certainly cuts down on crime, plus pretty much bans oversized vehicles as well as commercial trucks & vans being parked, which is a problem throughout Bernal Heights. BH needs to have permit parking as well as cameras in problem areas.

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