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San Francisco Street Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know  

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Forgot to move your car for San Francisco street cleaning?! That’s a whopping $85 down the drain in parking tickets! A couple more parking violations like those, and you’ll owe the city quite a sum that could have gone into a monthly garage space instead. Happens to the best of us – even if you’ve been driving around the city forever. So, here’s a little refresher on street cleaning SF rules and more.  

The street cleaning SF program is managed by the San Francisco Public Works. About 90% of the city streets are cleaned with mechanical sweepers. According to the official estimate, 25K tons of trash is cleared from the streets every year. The mechanical sweepers play a vital role in preventing pollutants from entering the Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  

SF street cleaning schedule for commercial areas is once a week. If not weekly, the sweeper trucks pass by at least twice a month in residential areas. Overnight street sweeping is common in commercial neighborhoods. Residential street cleaning is scheduled between the early morning and the afternoon.   

How to check the San Francisco street cleaning schedule?  

If you park on the street frequently, look for the parking sign and take note of the street cleaning hours and days mentioned. It’s best to set a reminder so that you do not forget to move your car for the sweeper trucks. The overnight SF street cleaning schedules cause the most trouble. Getting back to your car the next morning and seeing a parking ticket is not the best way to start the day. But this is usually a problem for those who park in commercial neighborhoods. In residential areas, waking up a bit early or staying alert till afternoon on street cleaning day can help avoid the expense.   

Read: Where to find the best overnight parking in San Francisco

No Parking with SF street cleaning hours signage

Check out the SF Street Sweeping Schedule for the whole year. Right now, the 2021 schedule is available on the SF Public Works website. But it will be updated soon for the next year. You can also check out an SF street cleaning map like this to figure out hours and restrictions anywhere in the city.   

Usually, there aren’t any changes to the scheduled street cleaning hours. However, if you are worried about temporary restrictions, it is advised to check the posted signs every time you park. Keep up with the city’s parking, public works, and other authorities on social media to make sure you never miss an update.   

Can I park on a street after cleaning is completed?  

If the street cleaning is completed before the ‘No-parking’ limit ends, can you park on the street legally? An interview with the officials confirms it – yes, you can park after the sweeper truck finishes its job, even if the restriction is technically in effect. But here’s the catch; how do you know that the street cleaning is complete?  

The whole street cleaning process usually has at least two steps.  

  1. A parking officer scans the streets to cite cars that haven’t been moved for the cleaning.  
  1. The street sweeper follows with big brushes and the vacuum to remove the dirt.  

Street cleaner and four parking attendant vehicles in San Francisco

There are two additional steps in commercial areas before the enforcement officer’s role. First, it is a broom support worker’s task to remove any large debris like pieces of wood that cannot be vacuumed off. Next, the street flusher vehicles shoot water to loosen the grime. If you are sure that all these steps in the SF street cleaning process are completed, go ahead a park your car by the curb right after the sweeper passes.   

How to avoid a ticket?  

The simple answer is to stay aware of the street cleaning hours and move your car to let the sweeping trucks pass. As of June 2021, the fine for violating the San Francisco street cleaning restriction is $85. So, it is definitely not a rule you want to break.   

New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day are the only SF Street Cleaning holidays. On all other parking holidays, while other restrictions are suspended, street cleaning is done as scheduled.   

If you are unsure of the street cleaning hours, consider leaving your car in a secure parking lot instead of risking a hefty fine. It will cost you much lesser than a parking ticket for an SF street cleaning violation. Off-street parking is the better choice if you are looking for overnight parking anywhere near commercial areas. You’ll find affordable parking in San Francisco and get extra discounts at top-rated garages on apps and websites like Way.com 

Read: Visitors’ guide to affordable parking in San Francisco 

Affordable parking in downtown San Francisco Click here to book

Read more blogs on affordable airport parking, the best insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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