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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ain't That the Mayor's SUV Blocking Two Handicapped Access Ramps and Crosswalks?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge One ticket for blocking a handicapped curb ramp? $250. Two tickets? $500. Being mayor and dumping your SUV wherever you like? Priceless
  • One ticket for blocking a handicapped curb ramp? $250. Two tickets? $500. Being mayor and dumping your SUV wherever you like? Priceless

Yesterday we wrote about how Mayor Gavin Newsom's taxpayer-funded Chevy Tahoe Hybrid gets awful mileage, is only marginally more efficient than a regular Tahoe, and costs scads more. We also noted that a would-be neighbor of the mayor's was rankled by the mayor's tendency, like those featured in Los Angeles police chase videos, to just leave his vehicle wherever.

The would-be neighbor is still irate, and he sent along this and other photos of the mayor's wheels. Ever the overachiever, Newsom has managed to block not one but two handicapped access ramps and crosswalks. And, just to  make the notion of  being "green" that much more ridiculous, it appears the mayor's driver is idling the SUV during Newsom's absence. To the city's credit, however, it appears the SUV is not parked on top of an actual handicapped person.

Judson True, the spokesman for the Municipal Transportation Authority, said the mayor's hybrid SUV has no record of receiving any tickets. Of course, if it did, that would mean a Parking Control Officer would have had to not only ticket the mayor, but hand the ticket to the police officer who drives his vehicle.

City disability advocate Bob Planthold wondered why the mayor and his staff couldn't simply create a dedicated white or green parking zone outside of Newsom's apartment that would solve this whole problem. "This shows they don't care about process. They just want to exert power and influence," says Planthold, a polio survivor who walks with the aid of crutches and braces.  

True notes that the mayor is not any more entitled to park illegally than you or I -- but adds that PCOs are not in the habit of ticketing cars with drivers sitting in them (fair enough; but they don't seem to be in the habit of ticketing the mayor, regardless). True has not yet answered one last SF Weekly's query: When one blocks not one but two curb ramps -- as the mayor has done -- can you get two $250 tickets and not just one?

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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.


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