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Fed up with fines, San Francisco tech couple invents app to avoid parking tickets

A man and a woman pose with their arms around each other for a photo.
Pablo Felgueres and his girlfriend, MaryLouise Howell, created the Street Cleaning Parking app. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

A San Francisco tech couple fed up with parking tickets when they forget to move their car on street sweeping days has invented an app to help drivers avoid citations.

Pablo Felgueres and MaryLouise Howell have been hit with parking tickets every month since buying their car seven months ago. The couple say they’ve had at least 10 parking tickets, costing them around $900.

Users tell the app where they’ve parked, and then the app reminds them to move their vehicle before they’re at risk of a citation. The alerts come 45 minutes and 10 minutes before the time expires.

The app does not have functionality for parking meters, loading zones or other areas where motorists are at risk for parking tickets.

A person holds a phone with a map open on its screen.
Pablo Felgueres uses the Street Cleaning Parking app on his phone. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

Felgueres and Howell have tentatively named the app “Street Cleaning Parking.” He worked as technical staff for AI-powered search engine Perplexity AI until last month. Howell is a product designer at a San Francisco-based tech start-up.

The couple say living in NoPa makes it hard to keep track of street parking restrictions, because residents without a garage often have to park on different streets after each trip, each with their own cleaning schedule. It’s easy—and costly—to make mistakes, Felgueres said.

A man holds two parking tickets.
The tech couple created the app, currently in its trial phase, after being fed up with accumulating at least 10 parking tickets. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

“We built this for ourselves,” Felgueres said. “I did the coding. She did the [user experience].”

READ MORE: Drivers Owe San Francisco $200M in Unpaid Parking Tickets

They built the app last weekend using open city data, including the schedule for street cleaning on every street in the city.

Felgueres first showed off the app on Reddit, where the post got 1,500 upvotes. Since then, 200 San Franciscans have signed up to beta-test the app. 

He hopes to have it available for download on Apple’s App Store next week. Currently, the app is for iPhones only, with no plans to expand it to Android phones, Felgueres said.

A man holds a phone with an app's page on the App Store open.
Pablo Felgueres shows off the Street Cleaning Parking app on his phone as seen from the App Store on Monday. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

Felgueres plans to have a free tier and a paid tier costing $3 to $5 a month with added features such as integrating Google Calendar, the ability to set custom time notifications and the ability to notify others of available street parking locations.

Felgueres has created a website where users can find more information about the app and an email form to notify people when it officially releases. 

woman and man embrace by brick wall
Marylouise Howell and Pablo Felgueres created the app using city data sources. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

Moving beyond San Francisco may be in the cards, too. Others have asked him to consider expanding the app to other cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal.

“I think it could be a problem [people in] other cities have,” Felgueres said. “I’m excited to see where it goes.”

To become a beta tester and try out the new app, download the “Testflight” app from the App Store and click here to get the pre-release version. The beta has a cap of 1,000 users.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it has collected more than $262 million in parking tickets since 2021, which funds general operations.

“We at the SFMTA want to help everyone in San Francisco park legally to avoid a ticket, here are several tips on How to Park Legally in San Francisco,” an agency spokesperson said.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at

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