10 Reasons to Love San Francisco Parking Control Officers

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Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Two Parking Control Officers side by side smiling in an office setting and while sitting in a parking enforcement vehicle.

SMILE, we're ready for our close ups! Learn more about the day in the life of a Parking Control Officer (PCO).

It isn't easy being a parking control officer (PCO) in San Francisco. None of us likes to get a parking ticket, and we sometimes wrongly take out our frustrations on the PCOs who are simply doing their job to keep San Francisco moving.

To help you avoid veering off into negativity during your next encounter with an SFMTA Parking Control Officer, we’re providing you with this list of reasons you should actually love PCOs. Keep your favorite reason in mind next time you see a PCO on the street. Instead of getting angry with them, you might even consider appreciating them for dedicating themselves to this tough job rain or shine.

Top 10 reasons to love San Francisco Parking Control Officers: 

  1. They keep the intersections in the Financial District clear — and pedestrians safe — when commuters are desperately trying to get to the Bay Bridge at the end of the workday. 

  1. They respond to your complaints when someone’s car is blocking your driveway or there’s a vehicle that’s been parked on your street for so long that it might be abandoned. 

  1. They make sure disabled parking spots are available for people with disabilities — and aren’t being taken up by people who shouldn’t be using those spots. 

  1. They direct traffic during major sports events, including the Warriors and Giants games, so fans can get to the game on time. 

  1. They also direct traffic during major events like the Pride parade. On those days, they sometimes work 12-hour shifts to make sure the show goes on. 

  1. They respond in moments of crisis – like during the pandemic when they helped direct traffic in and out of COVID-19 testing and vaccination centers. 

  1. They make sure San Francisco firefighters can get to the fire hydrant when there’s a fire, which means making sure cars aren’t blocking the hydrant. 

  1. They support citywide efforts like the Healthy Streets Operation Center so city workers involved in addressing homelessness and unhealthy street behavior can do their jobs safely. 

  1. They stop people from double parking in the middle of the street, especially on retail corridors, which slows down Muni, creates traffic and can endanger pedestrians and people who bike, scoot, use a wheelchair or skateboard. 

  1. They’re happy to give you directions if you need them. 

There are many other things PCOs do to keep San Franciscans and city visitors safe and able to move around the city. So, let’s celebrate them instead of hating on them! And don’t forget, taking out your anger workers who provide you with a service is not okay. Ever. If you get a ticket you disagree with, contest the citation: Contest a Citation | SFMTA 

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