On the Monday afternoon of last Memorial Day Weekend, something very interesting happened in Hayes Valley.
Meter maids spent all afternoon walking up and down Hayes Street's trendy, shop-lined sidewalks and slipped parking tickets on the windshields of virtually every other car on the street. At one point it looked like at least half of the cars had been ticketed.
What we had there, to quote Cool Hand Luke, was a failure to communicate.
Motorists parking on the street were under the impression that, because it was a holiday, parking was free. Whereas the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was under the impression that meters still run on holidays like Memorial Day.
(Note: In these types of situations, SFMTA always wins.)
Just like on Memorial Day, this July 4 may be a holiday from work for many people. But it won't be a holiday from parking tickets.
SFMTA instituted the policy change eliminating a number of meter holidays in 2010. Now the city only has three free parking days a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
While San Francisco is becoming increasingly stingy on its parking meters, the city will still offer some Independence Day benefits. Wednesday won't see the enforcement of commuter tow-away, residential parking permits or daily street sweeping.