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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunday Meter Enforcement Bothers Churches -- But Synagogues Feed Meters on Saturday

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge Render unto the Department of Parking and Traffic what is the Department of Parking and Traffic's
  • Render unto the Department of Parking and Traffic what is the Department of Parking and Traffic's

Today, the Examiner noted that despite the complaints of church groups and congregants, the city's plan to expand parking meter enforcement to Sunday will commence on Jan. 6. It may be the day of rest, but parking control officers will be hard at work.

Sunday enforcement is an idea that has been kicking around for years -- despite erstwhile Mayor Gavin Newsom's unsubtle declarations that it was a concept he found about as favorable as teetotaling weekends with Chris Daly.

And while churchgoers can be forgiven for displeasure with having to pay

for parking or move their vehicles during service hours, that's long

been the case for members of religions that congregate on days other

than Sunday.

At Oakland's Temple Sinai, attendees at Saturday

services were regularly reminded, from the pulpit, to race out and feed

the meter.

This was a problem that was largely abated by the city of Oakland installing four-hour metered spots near the synagogue. Until then, joked former Sinai Rabbi Steve Chester, reminding folks to break out the quarters had become "the ritual. ... It broke the solemnity, but you had to ask people to do that on Shabbat."

Has Saturday meter enforcement prompted San Francisco's temple-going Jews to sprint from services with small change in hand? Not as much as you'd think. A quick survey of the city's Reform and Conservative congregations reveals that most all are located in areas featuring street parking or parking lots.

Orthodox Jews shouldn't ostensibly be driving or handling money on Saturday -- and querying about meter enforcement would, one rabbi tells us, bring about a "don't ask, don't tell" situation. So we didn't ask.

San Francisco's pending Sunday meter enforcement may not be, to borrow a phrase that was far more common in past generations, "good for the Jews." But it appears to not be so bad, either. 

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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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