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San Francisco's parking meter charges and fines have more than doubled in the past fifteen years, making the city one of the most expensive places to park within the USA.

The findings, outlined in a new survey released by the Board of Supervisors' legislative analyst, comes as the Municipal Transportation Agency is extending the number of metered curbside spaces. The report, requested by Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, compared San Francisco with other major cities and discovered that only Chicago and Los Angeles charge more to park at a town center parking meter, and that San Francisco charges the highest rate outside of the downtown core. In addition, San Francisco equalled only New York City within the highest meter violation fine, the report found.


"We're just nickel-and-diming individuals to death," Alioto-Pier said Wednesday.

San Francisco costs $2 to $3.50 per hour in order to park at a meter, with the downtown area costing the most and neighborhood business districts the lowest. The penalty for parking at an expired meter is $55 in neighborhood business areas and $65 in the down-town area.

San Francisco put up parking meter charges in 2003, 2005 and 2009. The last time before that was in 1992. Meter infringement fees have risen five times since 1995.

Parking meter revenue made $38 million within the fiscal 12 months that finished June 30. Earnings from expired parking meter penalties earned almost $29 million more, according to the San Francisco MTA. The money helps fund the Muni transportation system.
Sizing up charges

The report by Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey Rose surveyed meter charges and fines in Boston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Chicago, New York City and Portland, Ore.

Chicago had the greatest hourly meter rate at $4.25 downtown. The median charge for the cities was $1.25 an hour.

Parking meter violations ranged from $20 in New Orleans to $65 within the down-town cores of New York City and San Francisco.

There are about 25,600 metered spaces in San Francisco. Last month, the MTA's governing board approved a package to add a total of 1,340 parking meters in ten neighborhoods.

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