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Team 10: Some Point Loma residents fight back against city Parking Enforcement

Posted: 7:14 PM, Aug 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-10 02:37:12Z

SAN DIEGO - Some Point Loma residents are fighting back after they say an overzealous parking enforcement officer has gone too far.

Marica Berneger has been parking cars in front of her Point Loma home for 19 years, so she was surprised one morning in May when she found a ticket on her windshield -- and she wasn't alone.

"People were ticketed all up and down the street," Berneger told Team 10.

She showed Team 10 the $56 ticket for not crimping her wheels on a grade of more than 3 percent. Most of her neighbors received the same ticket.

After all of these years on this quiet street, many are asking questions.

"Never a problem; no one crimps their wheels unless they're down the hill or up the hill, because you can see there's more of a grade in both directions. But here … pretty flat," Berneger said.

Why would city Traffic Control -- which is usually seen writing tickets downtown -- decide to visit Berneger's sleepy neighborhood?

"They've had tickets for not being close enough to the curb," she said.

Berneger has been hearing from other neighbors who are complaining about getting tickets for parking right in front of their homes.

Berneger decided to fight, and she heard about an app called Veloroutes.org that measures the road grade.

"And it came out with zero grade … zero percent," she said of her street.

Berneger took the printout to the hearing officer, who uses the same app, and she won.

Berneger has this advice for her neighbors: "If you gather your facts, and they're on your side, you'll win."

Now, even though there is a zero grade in front of her house, the wheels of Berneger's van are always crimped toward the curb.

Team 10 learned two other residents are appealing tickets for parking more than 18 inches from the curb that is on a street they say doesn't have curbs.