Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, February 6, 2009

Disability Advocate: Hire Me and I'll Make San Francisco $600K a Year

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Bob Planthold thinks he could earn the city a fortune
  • Bob Planthold thinks he could earn the city a fortune
When most San Franciscans walk by a motorcycle parked on the sidewalk, they probably think nothing of it. But when Bob Planthold comes across one, he sees red. But then he sees gold.

Planthold, a disability and pedestrian advocate -- full-time -- thinks that the motorcycles riddling city streets are a potential cash cow for our destitute city. And he feels he's the man to milk it.

According to the California Vehicle Code section 22500(f), no vehicles, including motorcycles and mopeds, may park "on any portion of a sidewalk." Here in the city, parking on the sidewalk is a $100 violation. Planthold, however, complains that you're more likely to find a $20 bill in the men's room than you are to get ticketed for parking a motorbike on the sidewalk.

But that could change. Planthold, a former city ethics commissioner who walks with braces and crutches after a childhood bout with polio, notes that California has a little-used law allowing cities to hire the disabled to enforce disabled parking access laws. Based upon his survey of the six square blocks around City Hall alone, he feels he could write "$600,000 worth of tickets a year."

Of course, Planthold's zeal for the job probably explains why he'll never get it. His phone call once resulted in a City Hall television reporter's car being towed -- "she's been pissed at me ever since" -- and he remains outspoken about city employees flaunting the disability access laws private citizens are often nailed for (as he noted in this SF Weekly cover story).

"Once every two weeks, I will e-mail in lists of city vehicles I see parked in MUNI bus zones," he fumes. "They think of it as their private parking!"

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"