Though it is illegal to park large trucks on busy roads for the purpose of advertising, it does not mean everyone abides by the rules.
The number of calls and complaints about oversized commercial trucks parking on busy thoroughfares, including 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard in the Sunset district, has increased in the past few months, according to Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office. The uptick in grievances has led to a possible crackdown on the worst offenders.
“It’s always been an issue,” said Cammy Blackstone, an aide to Chu. “But there are several huge trucks that are always around. Clearly these trucks do not have a job that lasts over a year.”
San Francisco’s transportation code says it is illegal “to park any motor vehicle that is carrying, towing or otherwise displaying a commercial advertising sign on any public street or in any public or private parking lot in the City for the primary purpose of displaying a commercial advertising sign, including any display that does no more than propose a commercial transaction.”
A citation for violating the law is $105, according to the city code.
Blackstone said the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which enforces parking rules, will respond to the trucks based on complaints. Chu’s office hopes that more complaints will come in to bring more attention to the problem.
“You can’t use a public street as your own advertising space,” Blackstone said. “If Joe the plumber really has a job there, this is not intended for him.”
But an increased number of plumbing, tile and grout and other service trucks are parked on Sunset Boulevard, 19th Avenue, and over crossings for U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 280, along with other major thoroughfares, day in and day out. The supervisor’s office is not trying to shut down small businesses doing local work, Blackstone said, but rather hold those responsible for taking up streets for advertising space.
Vehicles are not allowed to be parked for more than 72 hours in the same location.
Shawna McGrew of Friends of the Sunset Playground said she has noticed the trucks parked along Lincoln Way and near a playground.
“But if they park anywhere near the park, the neighborhood is pretty on top of getting them taken care of,” McGrew said. “When [the trucks] get tagged, it’s unsightly and costly to remove.”
Signs of trouble
Owners of commercial vehicles are flouting the rule that ban them from parking trucks that contain advertisements.
What: Commercial trucks with ads that are parked on residential roads
Why: Violates SFMTA transportation code
Where: Major thoroughfares in The City, including 19th Avenue, Sunset Boulevard and Lincoln Way
To report: (415) 553-1200