C'mon, Mayors, learn to drive! Ed Lee is the second Bay Area boss to get caught up in a minor automotive scandal in recent weeks. Oakland mayor Jean Quan made headlines a few weeks ago after she was involved in a crash (and may not have given her insurance information). Now San Francisco mayor Ed Lee is in a car kerfuffle of his own.
Last week, Streetsblog SF ran a photo of the mayor's silver Chevy Volt parked illegally in front of La Corneta Taqueria in Glen Park [Ed: Get the carnitas burrito]. The car was parked a red-curbed space reserved for Muni. Who does Ed Lee think he is? A google bus?
Mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey responded to the incident, passing the blame to the mayor's driver, a member of the San Francisco Police Department: "The mayor was dropped off and he expected that the vehicle would have been parked in a legal parking space. The incident was reported to the Chief of Police who let the mayor’s office know that the officer who parked in the bus stop will be admonished [...] The mayor believes this is unacceptable and steps have been taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again."
"Doesn't happen again" in this case appears to be a code for "won't happen again in the same week." Last night, a new photo surfaced on Twitter of the mayor's plug-in car parked illegally in front of a parklet near the Devil's Tooth bakery on Noriega Street. After idling for the mayor, the driver then moved the car into the crosswalk.
So, what have we learned? Most of all, Mayor Lee appears to enjoy a wide range of San Francisco's carbohydrates. (The leading bet in our office pool is that the next storefront Lee gets caught illegally parking in front of will be Arizmendi. But we'll hit peak thinkpiece if he pulls onto the curb near The Mill to get some $4 toast.) But also, Lee, like many politicians, seems to have a loose relationship with parking laws.
Maybe there's a solution here. Perhaps Lee (or at least his driver) should think about downloading some kind of mobile app that alerts him when nearby users are leaving their parking spaces. Seems like he could use that kind of thing.