After 25 Years of Parking in Usual Spot, San Francisco Couple Find Infuriating Surprise Next to Their Car

A San Francisco couple are seeing red after their car was ticketed right after a red no-parking zone was painted on the curb where the vehicle was parked.

Desiree and Jeff Jolly live in the city’s Russian Hill neighborhood and have relied on one place to park in an area where parking spots are outnumbered by cars, according to KABC-TV.

“Well, yeah, anytime it’s open, I’ve been parking here for 25 years,” Jeff said.

Then came a surprise this month, courtesy of the city’s government.

“We came out and we were walking up from the store, and I noticed the ticket on my car,” Desiree said.

The ticket specified a $180 fine for parking in a red zone. One catch: There had been no red zone there when she parked, or any other time the couple can remember in the past 25 years.

“If it was warranted, I don’t have a problem with it, but this seems unfair to me,” Desiree said, according to KABC.

She said the car preceded the stripe.

“The red stripe is there, where it wasn’t before, and they had the nerve to just to go around my tire,” she said, showing where a painter skipped several inches to avoid painting the right front tire.

“I saw that, and I even have painter friends who say what a bad job that was. They missed a spot,” said Jeff Jolly, a painter.

Erica Kato of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority offered a defense for the city. She said a red zone existed there at one point in time, and she sent an image of the curb with barely visible bits of red on it.

Then a news crew looked up Google Maps street-view images from 2016 and 2021 and found nothing but gray curb staring back.

A citations clerk will decide over the next 60 days if the couple has to pay, but to Desiree Jolly, it’s a hassle she doesn’t need.

“I’m going through chemotherapy right now, so it’s like I’m worried about other things and now I have to worry about this,” she said, per KABC.

The couple say this issue, along with the recent theft of a catalytic converter from Jeff’s car, means they might have reached their limit with problems in San Francisco.

“We do want to leave because of all of this stuff that goes on in the city,” Jeff said, adding that the couple plans to move to France at some point.

Jeff and Desiree aren’t alone in battling the city over parking.

KGO-TV said Ed and Judy Craine were told they faced a fine of $1,542 — plus $250 a day — for parking on a car pad in the driveway of their home on one of San Francisco’s steep hills. They had been doing so for 36 years.

“To all of a sudden be told you can’t use something that we had used for years, it’s startling,” Ed said. “We got this email saying we can’t park in the pad anymore. I said, ‘What? That’s crazy.’


City officials said the couple was reported anonymously.

“I recognize that the property owner is frustrated. … But the planning code doesn’t allow for the city to grandfather illegal uses on account of their having flown below the radar for a length of time,” Planning Chief Dan Sider said.

The fine was dropped after the couple stopped using the car pad.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.