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How steep does a road have to be to qualify for a ticket for not having your tires turned in towards the curb?

Hey, Matt:

A friend of mine got a ticket on Third Avenue, between Juniper and Ivy [downtown], for not having her tires turned in toward the curb. She was legally parked at a meter, had her emergency brake on, and the car was in gear, so it wasn't endangering other cars. I don't think that part of Third Avenue even qualifies as a hill, so what's the deal? How steep does a road have to be to qualify for a ticket like that? I don't think I've ever heard of anybody getting a ticket for not having their tires turned toward the curb!

-- Toni, North Park

I feel your pain. I applaud the outrage-by-proxy -- sticking up for a friend who's been wronged. That said, I hope your friend just paid the ticket and is now a habitual wheel-crimper. According to parking enforcement, the San Diego muni code adopted state guidelines, which say that a 3% grade is a hill. That's a 3-foot elevation change every 100 feet. Not much of an incline, but enough to send your parked motor home careening down the slope. That section of Third is a hill, by state definition.

Parking enforcement doesn't have a list of streets that qualify as hills. Experienced meterpersons know them when they see them. Some parking police are sticklers for this violation, some are more lenient. Whoever tickets the Bankers Hill/Middletown area probably spends lots of time looking for uncrimped wheels, since there aren't many level streets around there. On some streets, you'll find reminder signs about wheel-crimping. I'm told those only go up when there have been a large number of crimper tickets written in the area. If a ticket is challenged in court, the city's engineering department will drag out its maps and confirm the degree of slope.

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Hey, Matt:

A friend of mine got a ticket on Third Avenue, between Juniper and Ivy [downtown], for not having her tires turned in toward the curb. She was legally parked at a meter, had her emergency brake on, and the car was in gear, so it wasn't endangering other cars. I don't think that part of Third Avenue even qualifies as a hill, so what's the deal? How steep does a road have to be to qualify for a ticket like that? I don't think I've ever heard of anybody getting a ticket for not having their tires turned toward the curb!

-- Toni, North Park

I feel your pain. I applaud the outrage-by-proxy -- sticking up for a friend who's been wronged. That said, I hope your friend just paid the ticket and is now a habitual wheel-crimper. According to parking enforcement, the San Diego muni code adopted state guidelines, which say that a 3% grade is a hill. That's a 3-foot elevation change every 100 feet. Not much of an incline, but enough to send your parked motor home careening down the slope. That section of Third is a hill, by state definition.

Parking enforcement doesn't have a list of streets that qualify as hills. Experienced meterpersons know them when they see them. Some parking police are sticklers for this violation, some are more lenient. Whoever tickets the Bankers Hill/Middletown area probably spends lots of time looking for uncrimped wheels, since there aren't many level streets around there. On some streets, you'll find reminder signs about wheel-crimping. I'm told those only go up when there have been a large number of crimper tickets written in the area. If a ticket is challenged in court, the city's engineering department will drag out its maps and confirm the degree of slope.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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