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SF Parking

A study on San Francisco Parking Tickets

Parking Tickets Revenue by Neighborhood

Figure1: Map of SF Parking Ticket Distribution and Revenue by Neighborhood

Using open data, we first ranked the different neighborhoods by parking tickets revenue. SoMa, Inner Richmond, and Mission are leading the chart with $11M, 10.5M, and $9.5M.

Using our proprietary data on the number of street parking spots, we deducted the average number of parking tickets per spot in each neighborhood.Table1: SF Parking Ticket Revenue by Neighborhood, Average Revenue and Number of Parking Tickets per Spot.

The yearly revenue from parking fines in SoMa is the highest, producing over $11,383,000 in fines. Inner Richmond and Mission are following with respectively $10,515,000 and $9,455,000.

Even if SoMa comes first in the chart for the highest revenue, Financial District and Downtown are leading when it comes to the average number of parking tickets issued per spot available. These two locations average 10 to 11 parking tickets per spot every year, meaning the chance of getting ticketed for a given spot is 50% higher. The parking ticket revenue per spot is also the highest, over $1,100/year.

Financial District’s yearly parking ticket revenue per spot is over $1,131, the highest in the city followed by Downtown with $1,114 and Inner Richmond with $767.

A Detailed View by Block

We then used our data to get a more detailed view of the distribution of parking tickets by block:Table2: Statistics for Most Ticketed Blocks 

If you’re parking downtown, Mission St. gets the most tickets with more than 11,500 tickets issued in the SoMa area between 1st St. and 7th St. The most common ticket here is Street Cleaning, so beware in this area this happens Monday through Sunday from 2 AM to 6 AM. Check the SpotAngels Map to get more insights on Street Cleaning/Tow Away hours for SF.

1st St. is another area with a high number of parking tickets issued standing at 5,669 if we add the blocks between Market & Mission and Folsom & Harrison.

Townsend St. between 4th and 5th gets close to this number with 4,380 parking tickets per year. It is also the most ticketed block in the city.


Parking Ticket Prices

The average ticket in the city is $97.4, the highest in the country (NYC comes 2nd with an average price just over $71 per ticket, according to NYC Open Data.)

Downtown is leading the chart for the most expensive tickets, averaging a booming $108 average price per ticket. Next up we find South of Market, Inner Richmond and FiDi all standing at $106.

If we compare this data to NYC it’s interesting to notice that the most expensive average ticket price is $82 (in Upper East Side), which is 25% cheaper than the most expensive average SF parking ticket price ($108, in Downtown).

The neighborhood with the cheapest parking tickets in our chart is Outer Richmond at $92, which is still way higher than the NYC average parking ticket ($71).

Table3: Average Ticket Price by Neighborhood

Most Issued Tickets

The open data shows that the highly trafficked areas with complex regulations are most likely the cause of the high incidence of parking tickets.

Street cleaning is overall the most issued ticket, representing 43% of all parking tickets issued. The City of San Francisco issued almost 540,000 street cleaning tickets for a value of $36,718,640.

Meter Violations represent 17% of the total. The price of meter violations fluctuate between $68 and $78 depending on the area, with downtown being the most expensive one. The yearly revenue is $15,325,386.

The third most issued ticket is Residential Overtime Parking, with a share of 10% of the total and a revenue of $10,131,108.

Table4: Most Issued Parking Tickets statistic table

Data from our app shows similar proportions as above. The SpotAngels app sends notifications to drivers to avoid parking tickets. Last year it saved drivers from 13,000 parking tickets of which 46% were Street Cleaning, 22% Meter Violations, and 18% Residential Parking for a total value of over 1 million dollars.

Since inception, SpotAngels saved drivers more than 2 million dollars in parking tickets.

The Awards

The 3 Worst Spots to Park in SF

Figure2: The 3 Most Ticketed Blocks

300 Townsend St.

The most common violation for 300 Townsend St. is parking on a Bus Zone. This parking ticket is priced at $288 and the most ticketed time is Thursday at 8 AM.

500 Mission St. – 1st & 2nd St.

Beware of street cleaning on Mission Street on Tuesday at 2 AM. Almost 4,000 tickets are issued with a value of nearly $300,000/year.

If you park there remember to set an alarm or get the SpotAngels app for automated reminders!

400 1st St.

Beware not to block the intersection when parking on 1st St. between Folsom and Harrison. This is the most common parking ticket, mostly issued on Friday afternoon at 5 PM. This ticket is priced at $106.


The Worst Parking Neighborhood to Park: Financial District

·      Highest number of parking tickets per year per available spot

·      Second highest average price per ticket

·      First five most ticketed blocks within its limit

The Financial District is officially the worst area to park in San Francisco. The high incidence of car-related crimes makes it even worse.


The Best Parking Neighborhood to Park: Twin Peaks

With a low number of parking spots and a low average price of a parking ticket, Twin Peaks’ parking spots get less than 1 ticket a year.



SpotAngels is a free app available on the App Store and the Play Store that was featured by Apple as the parking “hero we’ve needed but never had” and by Google as “Waze for Parking”. It shows you open spots from the community, helps you find free and cheap parking and sends you reminders before street cleaning.

Reminders for Street Cleaning with the SpotAngels app
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