San Francisco mothers accused of cheating system to get parking permits for nannies 

With their efforts to secure special permits for their nannies rebuffed, San Francisco mothers may be working around city regulations to ensure that their childcare providers are able to park on residential streets, according to an accusation by a transit official.

For the past six months, a group of mothers has been urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to grant exemptions that would allow out-of-town nannies a chance to qualify for The City’s residential parking program. Last month, the SFMTA set a list of parameters for the program — including a stipulation that parents must secure signatures from at least half of the residents on their block to get a permit — that left parents fuming.

The program is being re-evaluated and will come back up for discussion in April.

In the interim, mothers are giving advice on how to skirt current residential parking restrictions to find ways to get their nannies permits, said Cheryl Brinkman, a member of the SFMTA’s Board of Directors.

She said that the Golden Gate Mothers Group, an organization of San Francisco parents, has posted online discussions about ways to obtain the permits, which are ­supposed to be only for residents in qualified areas.

Brinkman, who made the announcement at the SFMTA’s Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, said that fellow member Jerry Lee notified her of the efforts to evade the agency’s rules. Lee was absent from Tuesday’s SFMTA meeting.

Brinkman didn’t have specific examples of how the group was giving advice on how to cheat the system, but she said the issue raises concerns that the residential parking program could easily be defrauded if it’s extended to cover out-of-town child care workers.

“Somewhere on their website, it tells you how to get an RPP for your nanny, right now,” said Brinkman. “It is a workaround.”

Roxanne Stachon, a member of the Golden Gate Mothers Group and leading advocate for the nanny exemption, said there are online message boards for members only at the organization’s website, and one of the mothers may have offered some sort of advice on the topic.

The organization has not taken any official stance on the issue, and there is no concerted effort from the group to undermine SFMTA regulations, she said.

“There could have been some summary on the residential parking program up there, but I have a feeling it would have been really outdated,” said Stachon. “Any information is simply from a message board, and there is nothing official. I do think this just reinforces the clear need that parents have for residential parking permits.”

Under The City’s residential parking program, locals can pay $98 a year for unlimited street parking in their neighborhood, while other motorists must move their car every two hours or risk a citation. The SFMTA is reviewing a proposal that would allow out-of-town child care workers to qualify for these neighborhood permits.

Under guidance from the SFMTA Board, any potential permitting program would require that parents get 50 percent support from neighbors on the street, and only caretakers of children under age 7 would qualify.

Parking barrage

27 Neighborhoods in The City with residential parking program
80,000 Residential permits
441,541 Parking spaces, paid and unpaid, in San Francisco
$98 Cost to purchase residential parking permit
4 Permits allowed per household

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Will Reisman

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