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'Space jacking’ cheaper than airport parking

Some travelers are taking up street parking for free before they head out to the airport.
Photo credit:
Google Street View

Short weekend vacations and the convenience of ridesharing may have people going through your neighborhood and taking up parking spots in order to avoid parking rates at the airport.

Short-term parking at Lindbergh field can range from $20 to $32 a day depending on which structure you use.

Parking in a neighborhood close to the airport and taking a Lyft or Uber service is considerably cheaper.

A three-mile trip to Lindbergh Field using one of the basic ridesharing services can range from $6 to $9 one-way depending on where you put your vehicle.

Mission Hills is one neighborhood experiencing this “space jacking” and one resident took to the Nextdoor social app to warn residents of the activity.

“For those of you who live in Mission Hills, you should know about a new trend I’ve seen happening,” wrote Joshua Mackenroth of Midtown. “A couple weeks ago I saw a car parked on the street I’ve never seen before and it stayed there almost a week. Nobody knew who it was. Then a neighbor told me she saw when it first parked there. Four [people] got out with luggage and an Uber car pulled up right behind them and whisked them off toward the airport. Considering the cost of Uber over the cost to park at the airport, you get the idea.”

Although it can only be conjecture that the luggage hauling group was headed to the airport, it certainly seems cost-effective to take up a free nearby neighborhood parking space then spring for an Uber or Lyft the rest of the way.

According to the City of San Diego official website, “No vehicle may be parked continuously at one location on any public roadway for more than 72 hours.”

Said one responder to Mackenroth’s posting:

“The same thing happens in Bankers Hill. It’s probably worse the closer you are to the airport. If you report the vehicle they’ll come and check it out and will eventually cite and/or tow it.. If you cannot live with the 72 hour rule the alternatives are probably residents only parking zones, metered parking or posted time limits.” -John Hastle from Midtown

Said another:

“This happens to us off and on and has for years. Very frustrating and no solution in sight. Call the cops after 72 hours you say-haha.” – Elaine Wilson.

The City of San Diego charges an initial fine of $53.50 if someone is found to be violation of the 72-hour rule. If someone ignores that fine they will be charged an additional $41 late fee.

You can report a car that has been in the same spot after three days by calling (619) 531-2000.