Sunday, May 18, 2014

San Francisco: The city as predator

A reader provides one reason among many to vote against both City Hall's hike in the vehicle license fee and its transportation bond in November:


When a vehicle gets towed due to DPT violations, AutoReturn takes the vehicle to the storage lot at 450 7th St. and Harrison.

The towing fee is $472, and you get a DPT citation on top of that.

For example, if you were not paying attention, it is 3:05 PM and you parked in a "Tow Away No Stopping Zone" from 3 pm - 6 pm zone.

And SFMTA proposes fare, fee, and fine increases for Fiscal 2015-2016.

The above document gives details and the breakdown of fees: MTA charges a $254 administrative fee and AutoReturn Tow fee is $208.75.

Total for car tow: $462.75, not including the DPT citation.

The same page: "SFMTA’s towing and storage administrative fees partially recover the cost of SFMTA’s towing and storage administrative oversight at this time."

What does "administrative oversight" mean? DPT officer gives a citation, calls AutoReturn and watches the car getting towed. AutoReturn takes the vehicle to the storage lot. They release the vehicle only after you pay the towing fee of $462.75. Then you have 30 days to pay DPT for the citation.

AutoReturn does all the work for $208. While MTA collects $254 per tow for no work at all.

MTA is a welfare organization. They need a cost of living adjustment to increase their towing fees by $9, from $254 to $263 starting July 2014.

When a car gets towed in Houston, San Diego, and Chicago the towing fee is between $100 and $150. These cities don't have a bloated MTA that is hungry for money.

Rob's comment:
San Francisco has the most expensive parking tickets in the country. Our streets are in terrible condition. There are more than 5,000 employees in the Muni bureaucracy. In November we can vote against City Hall's latest money grab and for restoring some balance to the city's transportation system.

The latest figures from the city show that City Hall is already bringing in $247,349,190 a year from parking tickets, traffic tickets, red light cameras, gas taxes, vehicle license fees, parking meters, and the many city-owned parking lots. And there's the $84 million a year in sales taxes that the SFCTA rakes in to maintain city streets. It's not enough for City Hall, and it never will be.

Bike guy Ed Reiskin heads Muni for $294,000

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At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason to oppose those bonds is to burn MUNI to the ground. The city has proven to be useless at running a transit system. Let it die, then sell off and privatize the MUNI Metro underground lines and maybe the 1 and 38, the only profitable lines in the city, and let the unprofitable lines be nothing more than a memory of money wasted.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For example, if you were not paying attention, it is 3:05 PM and you parked in a "Tow Away No Stopping Zone" from 3 pm - 6 pm zone.

This is called "Darwinism". People who do not pay attention in life suffer all sorts of nefarious consequences, but this is not because the world is a bad place, it's simply because they are abject failures. PAY ATTENTION AND FOLLOW THE RULES. Same goes for those cyclists who run stop signs. RULES are important for a civil society.

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous James said...

There's an easy way to avoid parking tickets - don't get parking tickets.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Why are San Francisco's traffic tickets the most expensive in the country? Why is City Hall again asking for more money for our streets and transportation system? The answer: to feed a growing bureaucracy---the MTA now has more than 5,000 employees---not to make it easier for people to move on our streets.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Also the practices of the planning department use a ton of signage, lines on the street, color codes that you won't find anywhere else in the country. We can't make operating a motor vehicle more and more difficult by changing things every year and then call the drivers idiots for not keeping up with the myriad of changes. If you make something more difficult, of course people are going to screw up. That doesn't make them stupid.

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous James said...

Always the sympathetic hand to the beleaguered car owner - *single clap.

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are San Francisco's traffic tickets the most expensive in the country?

Step 1: Install a fine as deterrence.
Step 2: Ask - Did the fine deter the bad behavior?
Step 3 - If the answer is no, raise the fine until the cretins get in line.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Right. And then City Hall uses all that money to maintain the city's growing, parasitic bureaucracy, including more than 5000 people in the MTA itself. Nevertheless, City Hall claims it needs billions more for our poorly-financed Muni system, which is why voters will be asked again in November to okay another bond measure.


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