Guerrero between 18th & 19th streets at 6:27 p.m. on Saturday, September 13, 2014. Photo by Elizabeth Zitrin

At least one Liberty Hill resident is unhappy. Elizabeth Zitrin sent this letter to Ed Reiskin, from the SFMTA and Supervisor Scott Wiener. She added a link to the church’s website.

If you would like to add your unhappiness, please comment or send Reiskin an email at and Wiener an email at

Dear Scott and Ed,

This picture was taken looking south on Guerrero between 18th & 19th Streets at 6:27 pm on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

This ongoing illegal parking by protected private churches who guard their privilege, and are protected by you and SFMTA, continues to create traffic hazards.

There is, as you well know, no application process for this privileged parking in a public roadway, no permit, no accountability, no person in the government or agencies of CCSF who claims to provide this special service and protection, no enforcement by SFMTA and years of absolutely no help from you for you constituents.

I ask you again to stop this dangerous and illegal occupation of active public roadways by private religious organizations.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Zitrin

Liberty Hill

Join the Conversation


  1. So that church’s pastor says he got a call from the lord to take back San Francisco for the lord? Personally I think church goers should pay to park to like everyone else. Or use public trans, we have a lot of it here in the Mission.

  2. Let them park on South Van Ness ave. This will help slow the speed down from 50 mph to 25 mph on SVN.

    Most of the people who park in these zones walk over to Valencia to shop and eat. They are not in church.

  3. Church and community event parking has been a tradition and a neighborhood courtesy in SF and many cities for decades and as you can see from the photo, there are church members monitoring the spaces, I would imagine specifically to keep park goers from parking there. If you want to see illegal park going parking, look on Dolores during non-service hours instead.

    I’m on the church’s block and I support this and our other neighborhood church congregations’ informal parking, as well as for other community services such as the boys and girls club up the street for meetings, etc.

    It’s the right thing to do and I think it’s great to have active community gatherings in our neighborhood.

  4. dave – your evidence on that? I live within a block of at least 3 of these churches. I see plenty of the people parking there (blocking one lane of traffic with the cars, the other lane of traffic pulling in and out of those spots) heading into the churches. Ancecdotal, but I sincerely doubt most people are not going to church.

  5. I thought about this when I got a parking ticket on Yom Kippur. This is a greater public taking than all the tech buses.

    1. and what does yom kippur have to do with the subject matter. is it that you want us to know that you are a jew or what? i’m not getting it.

  6. I wish I had so little to worry about that I had the time or energy to complain about this. Tough titty, Liz. Suck it up.

    1. Heather obviously doesn’t drive a car and doesn’t give a rats ass for those of us who do. The churches seem to be exempt from the Vehicle Code.

  7. absolutely, this practice should be stopped immediately. why are they driving to church anyways? This is a public transit *hub*

  8. This is a divide and conquer tactic by the SFMTA. If you don’t like they are handling traffic and parking, privatizing public parking spaces, forcing more vehicles to double park, slowing traffic and creating gridlock, tell the city authorities you have had enough! Vote NO on A and B (no money without accountability) and YES on L: Restore Transportation Balance:

  9. Good luck with this, Liz. The Mayor is in the pocket of the churches. Why else do you think Sunday parking meters are going away? Why do you think those meters didn’t start until noon? Churches get what they want. They get to show videos of fake dismembered babies once a year in Union Square during the pro-life march.

  10. Since the city is not going to enforce the parking laws, everyone should feel free to park in these areas. It is unfair to give certain groups special treatment. So if your worship is playing with your kids at Dolores Park Playground, or your sacrament is an egg brunch with your friends, go ahead and use these spaces, too. If a church parking monitor complains, just explain that you are afforded equal protection and treatment under the constitution.

  11. This neighborhood is NAMED the Mission District, not the Secular Humanism District. Ditto for this blog. I’m an atheist and I am learning to accept that neighborhoods will change over time and I totally support the city’s car diet, but these comments remind just how much San Francisco has changed so that community is less important than individual desire and lifestyle choices. There are churches of all deminations that benefit, including a synagogue. I don’t believe in God, but I still believe in and respect the important role that religious organizations can play in stable communities. One lane usually slows down traffic quite a bit, and I’m wondering if there’s really greater numbers of accidents on Sunday mornings because of the parked cars. That said, I’m all for congregants having placards and cars getting ticketed if they don’t display one.

  12. The Mission when I was a boy was a working class neighborhood and anyone can see by all the churches all over the Mission, that there were a lot of church-goers. I remember when the Western Addition too was full of churches every Sunday morning full of black people in their fine clothes singing gospel. l live on Liberty Hill too and I have no problems with all the cars belonging to people attending church. I do have a problem with the annual Hunky Jesus contest, making fun of Catholics, in a public park. But apparently that does not bother Elizabith Zitrin. Give me the church goers any day. Ed and Scott, if you are reading this, as a resident of Liberty Hill, I see no problem with these cars. I ask that you focus your efforts on the many real problems this city is having these days!

  13. I just want to echo Elizabeth’s frustration (and add that this is a major auto/pedestrian/cyclist safety hazard on Dolores St as well), and thank her for taking the initiative of (re)informing our leaders. What else can we do about this issue? I can’t count the number of times I have almost gotten into an accident due to the blind spots and blocked intersections created by these illegally parked cars. On Dolores, the turnarounds are usually completely blocked. Aside from emergencies and the like, I don’t think it matters who is parking for what purpose, this is clearly a safety hazard and a flagrant violation of the traffic code.

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