Residents slam proposal for more parking meters

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Many attendees held signs reading, "Stop Parking Meter Installation."
Steven T. Jones

Nothing makes people more angry than when the city tries to take away their free street parking. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was reminded of that fact at a City Hall hearing this morning when residents and business owners unleashed a storm of angry criticism over a proposal to install new parking meters in Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Mission Bay, and parts of the Mission District.

The plans for this pilot program, which were released on Dec. 20, are intended to address the increased demand for parking in the “Mission Bay Parkshed” from development now underway in the area, as well as concerns about increased demand for street spaces once the parking lot at Folsom and 17th Street is converted into a park.

As with previous SFMTA proposals for extended parking meter hours – which were also met with angry criticism – the idea is to encourage increased use of transit and to free up more street parking space for business customers by discouraging local residents from taking up street parking spots for extended periods of time.

But even people who support that idea in concept say that the SFMTA plans are badly designed and don't take into account the conditions on the ground, largely because they say planners did an abysmal job of outreach and gathering community input before creating the plans.

“I'm urging a cooling off period,” said Tony Kelly, president of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association. He wants to see more active parking management of that neighborhood, but said planners need to better consult local residents. “We've earned that right in our neighborhood and you have not earned our trust.”

And that was among the more mild criticisms at this sometimes raucous hearing, where there were standing room only crowds in the main hearing room and an overflow room showing the hearing on television. Officials were accused of hostility to working families, incompetence, arrogance, and with trying to drive businesses out of town.

“Are you insane?” asked one commenter, while another asked, “How do you look at yourself in the mirror?” Several business owners said they would leave the city in the plans were implemented, and one said half of his employees were driven to tears over the proposals. “I don't hear anyone asking for meters,” said one commenter. “I don't hear anyone saying this is good.”

But there are those who say the city shouldn't be expected to supply free parking to residents who choose to own cars, particularly given the SFMTA's tight budget situation and the role that drivers searching for limited street parking spaces play in increasing traffic congestion in the city, thus slowing down Muni.

“On behalf of Livable City (and as a Mission District resident), I want to express our support for the expansion of SFpark meters into the Mission Bay, 12th and Folsom, and 17th and Folsom neighborhoods,” Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich wrote in a recent letter to the SFMTA. “Each of these areas is seeing intensified activity – new residents, new businesses, and new restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues – and each is badly in need of intelligent parking management. The expansion of metered spaces will provide the parking turnover that neighborhood-serving businesses need. SFpark metering and pricing will also reduce cruising for parking in these neighborhoods.”

But the opinions expressed at the hearing were almost uniformly critical, saying the plans actually call for meters on streets that are mostly residential and that they need more work. We'll have more detailed analysis of the proposals and related issues in upcoming issues of the Guardian.

Comments

We make decisions about where to live, often committing large amounts of money, based at least partly on the availability of parking. Particularly for those without a garage, it can be a terrible hardship to have to feed meters until late into the night, or very early in the morning, just for the pirvilege of parking outside your home.

I can see the logic of rationing parking by price in commercial area's like downtown. But it's when meters are installed in residential area's that people feel rightly aggrieved.

And you want us to use transit? My wife refuses to take a bus as she says it is often scary and unsafe, and always filthy and unreliable. And every time I take it, there is at least one scary bum yelling and smelling.

So fix Muni first, and then and only then we'll talk about more parking meters.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

Yes, I believe that the public transport should be fixed first before they start to install new meters. Saying that they want to encourage the use of transit is a nicer way of saying “we just want your parking money”.

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Posted by betaald parkeren schiphol on Jun. 19, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

Anyone catch the Retirement Board now (voted Tuesday) wants $80 million more a year out of the general fund for pensions IN ADDITION to the approx $100 million increase we are seeing next fiscal year. Funny how SFBG never reports that stuff.

This is what I love about Progressives - tax and fee the poor to death to feed their union masters.

New parking meters and extended hours is tip of the iceberg- City employees will not stop taking from you.

I also love the rationale that they only do this for the "green" benefit of forcing people out of their cars when in fact, the City runs a disastrous Muni system and City employees have little motivation to fix it.

And yes, the general fund dips heavily into the SFMTA through City department billings for "third party" services.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

Agree completely. It would be one thing if Muni were a good transportation system, but it isn't. The simple fact is that driving is *ALWAYS* faster in S.F. And infinitely more pleasant.

Choice 1) Spend 45 minutes going across town on the bus while being harangued by some homeless person begging for change

Choice 2) Spend 15 minutes driving across town listening to the music of your choice, then maybe 5 minutes looking for parking.

Choice 2 wins every time.

Posted by Scott on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

Your comment is partially true, but you forgot to add that you should expect to pay for parking if you're going to dump your car in the neighborhood while you're visiting.

The idea of "free parking" in a dense, congested city is just plain silly. Who travels to New York City, Paris, London, Tokyo or San Francisco and expects to get around by car? No one I know. In many cities of the world it costs hundreds of dollars a month just for the privilege to leave your car on the street. When it comes to its love for the automobile, San Francisco is more like Detroit than some forward thinking modern city that it often pretends to be.

Land isn't "free" here - not even close - and parking spaces and the increased car travel that is induced by parking spaces decreases the space for pedestrians, bike riders and bus travel, which is a real cost to the 65% of residents who seem to get by just fine without using their car to get everywhere.

And you forgot to mention that while taking the bus you can read, look at the beautiful views along the way, people watch, or closely observe the magnificant city called San Francisco spilling out along the sidewalks during the bus ride. If you walk or ride a bike (not available for everyone but for some), you can get an even closer city experience and some exercise along the way.

The Mission, Market St, North Beach and many other popular places for eating, drinking and recreation are well-served by transit. Encouraging cars with free parking is bad public policy and makes people who walk, use the bus or bike pay the consequences with slower traffic movement, increased congestion, and more auto accidents and serious injuries.

The SFMTA is about 15 years behind the times when it comes to parking policies, but it looks like it's finally trying to move into the 21st century.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

The cities you mention all have much better public transit. San Francisco doesnt even come close to the population density or size of the cities you cite. This isn't moving into the 21st century, it is putting another tax on already over taxed residents. You are taking a very narrow view of the problems generated by MTA's plan.

Posted by Jim Wilkins on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

Great post

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

The public transit in SF really is not as bad as people think. Most of the time the buses are timely and I get to where I am going. What cities are you comparing out transit system to?

When you slow down surrounding streets with traffic calming..everything slows down including public transit.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2012 @ 4:47 am

We are not asking for free parking. We've asked for residential permits like most other (yet, more affluent) neighborhoods in San Francisco but we are being refused. We've asked for the SFMTA to enforce their existing codes that would solve the "high demand" parking issues. At the hearing today we offered a variety of solutions & compromises, including a hybrid permit that would support the mixed-use and PDR aspects of our neighborhood. (PDR as defined by the SF Planning Commission "Production, distribution, and repair (PDR) businesses and workers prepare our food and print our books; produce the sounds and images for our movies; take people to the airport; arrange flowers and set theatrical stages; build houses and offices; pick up our mail and garbage. PDR businesses are responsible for many of the crucial foundations of our City but they tend to be invisible to those not directly involved." http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=1638 )
Many people spoke of how a vehicle is necessary for their work, including day-laborers, PDR businesses, artists, contractors and single parents that drop their kids off at school. I understand that it may be very hard to believe from certain perspectives and lifestyles, but these people have no choice. Even car share doesn't work for everyone, unfortunately. Also at the hearing, many Caltrain commuters spoke up about how the unreliability of MUNI, and the lack of safe bike routes forces them to drive to the Caltrain station involved in this plan (which they are taking in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, etc..) However, with no Caltrain lot, and the added expense of paying a meter all day per this plan, they will just drive to work rather than taking public transit.
We all want to do our part to reduce driving and use public transportation/walk/bike more. Unfortunately, the way that this plan is laid out it will actually cause MORE driving by
-former Caltrain users choosing to drive instead
-residents who normally public trans/bike/walk to work will now drive in order to avoid paying the meters in front of their house.
-increased circling and "killing time" driving on behalf of residents waiting for the commuters to leave (usually between 4:30-6pm)
-increase in ease of commuter parking in NE Mission(all-day meters at $0.25/hour) will turn the neighborhood into the cheapest commuter parking lot in the city. We already have a problem with Financial District commuters (according to SFMTA data), why encourage it at the expense of the residents and businesses of the neighborhood?

Posted by I attended today's hearing on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

Well, you really don't understand the affected area nor the real situation.

First, we residents do not expect free parking. We are willing to pay the annual resident parking fee, like those afforded to the Marina and other (upscale) neighborhoods. Unfortunately, as planned, there are only about a dozen (13 to be exact) resident spots to serve approximately 200 residences within a one block radius.

This area is not congested nights or weekends - visitors to the popular 16th & Valencia Street corridor are loath to go this far east of Mission - it looks too scary. And, indeed it can be, as several of my neighbors have been mugged over the years. I have been on unsafe bus rides in which all the women in the bus have had to flee, or in which I have had to choose whether to get off or walk the lonely streets.

Personally, I was an avid bike commuter for many years (long before it became fashionable or popular), but I am no longer able to ride my bike at all after a severe bike accident left me partially disabled. Whenever possible, my neighbors and I do take public transportation, walk or bike. It is an easy neighborhood to go downtown (1/2 hour walking, 3 minutes by BART), but there are times when a car is a necessary evil.

Sadly, outsiders have discovered that our neighborhood has such great access to BART, etc. and park here during the day while they go downtown. But, unfortunately, the employees of many of the local businesses (UCSF being the biggest offender) don't understand what we residents already do -- this is a great place for commuting to/from.

Not that we are a uniform group by any means, but I would guess that most of us who chose to live in this unusual neighborhood are conscientious about our footprint.

Posted by Sweaterhead on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

What every selfish, self centered so called Progressive or Conservative Moderate, dog walking, bicycling, naked man in a restaruant forgets to mention that they are not the only people in this city.
Yes, I like riding my bike, walking my dog, and going out to eat(fully clothed) when time permits. I bet most of you don't have kids or older parents to shuttle around town. Must be nice to have all the free time to over think.
Muni does not allow for that.
They only know reactive planning, not proper planning.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 9:09 am

I am offended by your strawman argument: It's not got any clothes on.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 10:39 am

I find your offense to be far more offensive.

Posted by Ganeie on Feb. 07, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

Bravo

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2012 @ 4:44 am

I dare you not to agree with him.

"

Nothing makes people more angry than when the city tries to take away their free street parking.

But there are those who say the city shouldn't be expected to supply free parking to residents who choose to own cars, particularly given the SFMTA's tight budget situation and the role that drivers searching for limited street parking spaces play in increasing traffic congestion in the city, thus slowing down Muni.

"

I like the quote from Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich, after a trip by his web page I see that what he wants is for everyone to live like him, that would make the city much more livable, for him.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

The Libertarian God Milton Friedman said all parking spots on the street should be for sale. Free parking is a give-away to drivers, nothing more.

I agree. Why should you take your free parking for granted?

Posted by BorisH on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

No one should take anything for granted. If you think that no one in our neighborhood should park their car on the streets for free, then what the hell on the planet make you think it is okay for those live in Marina, Richmond and North Beach and anywhere else in the city can park on their street all day long for free?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 12:04 am

So if you love Milton Friedman and Libertarian politics why not go live in a red state where they believe in eliminating all public services and making everything pay-as-you-go. Streets are paid for by taxpayers who also pay for their upkeep. and who own them. You do have a choice about where you want to live and what sorts of governmental policies you like. So...see you in Texas

Posted by Jim Wilkins on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 11:34 am

Radulovich says "“Each of these areas is seeing intensified activity – new residents, new businesses, and new restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues – and each is badly in need of intelligent parking management. The expansion of metered spaces will provide the parking turnover that neighborhood-serving businesses need. SFpark metering and pricing will also reduce cruising for parking in these neighborhoods.”"

Eastern Neighborhoods Mission Area plan says: "In residential areas, curbside parking should be managed to favor residents, while allocating any additional spaces for short-term visitors to the area."

The problem is that the Planning Department and MTA do not acknowledge that the Capp, Shotwell, Minna, Adair and Natoma are well established residential neighborhoods where incomes are below the city's median and where folks have to have cars for out-bound commutes. These parking policies only address the needs of the "job creators."

I've got no dog in this hunt, but don't want to see the MTA steamrolling my neighbors. It is curious why the MTA would antagonize residents, what with their stated desire to seek new revenues which will most likely end up on the ballot. That vote will require 2/3 and all that it takes to keep them from hitting that high bar is the most minor organized opposition.

With both Planning and MTA, they're short on the carrots and long on the sticks.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

These plans are just couched in high minded rhetoric, while the real reason is to raise money.

All of these arguments by the city and it's enablers are red herrings, they just want to coerce people into behaving a certain way. Something that drives them crazy when done to them.

People behave in ways that they consider in their self interest, its the job of Tim Redmond, Radulovich and the MTA to coerce these people to behave correctly.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

It is the job of the MTA to prove to residents that it can resist demands by corrupt politicians to be the City's ATM.

I could care less about how meters impact in-bound motorists. They can just as easily drive to BART and get to the neighborhood without need to park.

I am concerned about the impacts of meters on residents who are forced to be out-bound commuters because regional rapid transit does not exist.

None of our visitors have ever had to search for parking for more than 5 minutes in the 10 years that we've lived here.

The problem with this paternalist approach is that it further alienates support for improving Muni, rather asks people to trust the MTA to take meter revenues up front and not use them for purposes other than transit.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

I've lived in both neighborhoods where meters were virtually everywhere and where blocks and blocks of "free" parking were nearby. As car drivers living in a dense, cosmopolitan city, most of us learn to easily adjust. It's one of the many trade-offs for living in a dense urban environment compared to living in suburbia.

The Mission used to have one of the lowest car ownership ratios in the entire city so I'm sure many people who live there won't even notice a difference when hundreds of new meters are added in the neighborhood.

But perhaps the city can allow current residents to buy a monthly pass to park their oil-dripping hunk of metal in the street. Assuming the meters will cost $3 an hour, and assuming the meters operate from 9am to 9pm, it will cost $36 a day to feed the meters. For 6 days of parking a week and 4.2 weeks per month, that's a total of about $850 a month. Offer the current residents a 20% discount and let them buy a monthly parking pass for $700 a month. Problem solved.

Many residents may do like I did 10 years ago when I got tired of the weekly street cleaning tickets, the lack of available parking in my neighborhood, and the numerous parking tickets when I overstayed the meters. I sold my car, got a job closer to where I lived, and maximized the use of my monthly bus pass. I started renting cars when I needed to take a trip, signed up for car share, and still saved lots of money by using less gas and cancelling my car insurance.

Change can be tough initially, but sometimes it turns out it's the best thing that ever happened to us.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

This comment is correct in spirit, but completely wrong in practice. $700/month is a completely absurd regressive tax most likely to affect lower-income families who cannot afford private or garage parking. Do you really think it's reasonable to impose a new $8400 yearly tax on the residents that will be affected by the parking changes?

There already exists a vehicle for obtaining resident parking, in the form of residential parking zoning at $96 per year. For the many neighborhoods in the proposal that are overwhelmingly residential, the city should expand the residential parking zoning to accommodate existing residents, and carefully consider the impact to businesses that have relied on street parking for their employees for decades.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

Almost every new resident in the Mission (and San Francisco generally) is a high tech worker or someone working for acompnay that caters to the high tech industries, most bringing home at least $80-150,000 per year. Who else can afford $2,500 a month for a rat infested studio apartment on Fair Oaks or Capp Street? Not "the poor," that's for sure.

I'm betting that many of the "protesters" at the SFMTA meeting were landlords "concerned" their apartments won't be quite so highly valued by their Silicon Valley workers/tenants when they find out they have to pay another $800 a month to park their cars on top of the $2,000 a month for a room in the cockroach infested 6-plex. Sunnyvale and Mountain View apartments may look pretty good as an alternative. Poor landlords. I'm heartbroken for them.

In the 1970s the world had 3 billion people. Now it's 7 billion. More millionaires are being created in China every year than exist in the entire US, who increasingly see SF and west LA as great places to live and park their millions of assets away from the prying eyes of the "communists." We all have to make adjustments to accomodate the increased density caused by migration and new births.

"Free car parking" is an oxymoron and has no place in a cosmopolitan city like San Francisco. There are 98 other towns and cities in the Bay Area that have plenty of "free parking" available. Let the car addicts live there since they add nothing to the city other than increasing the rents for those of us who have learned to live without a car, especially in transit rich neighborhoods like the Mission.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

Is that other people need to change their lives so that you can live in your own little corner of Utopia?

The entitlement of progressives to other people's lives is astonishing. But heaven forbid anyone tell them what to do.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

I'm all for utopia but this moves us further away from it by alienating allies. It also builds momentum against more $ for the MTA and for governance reform.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

Well put matlock.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

Screw the new residents, take care of existing residents.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

I listened to all but 10 minutes of public comment while I pee-ed, and the last 20 minutes while I walked (yes, WALKED) back to the mission for a client appointment. There was not a single high faluting landlord present.
There WAS:
-people who have lived in the neighborhood for decades
-day laborers
-single parents
-small business owners
-PDR business owners
-handicapped
-artists renting studio space
-live/work artists (40 year old communities)
-animal-centered businesses (vet ,aspca, grooming)

The first deserves a resident permit just like any other resident of this city. All the rest have an essential need for a vehicle. Some of us share them & most of us use them as little as possible because we too believe in public transit. But can you take a dying dog on public transit? I've tried to use public transit, even a cab, for my work and I was once left in the rain for HOURS because they refused to haul my artwork. How about 4x8 sheets of plywood along with the kitchen sink that the contractor has to install...ya, that will fly on MUNI!

The people at today's hearing were the guts of the mission, and they are being gentrified the hell out by a soul-less SFMTA.

Posted by I attended today's hearing on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

" "Free car parking" is an oxymoron and has no place in a cosmopolitan city like San Francisco."

Well, you can say the same about other public services, like Healthy SF, subsidized transit, or the "free" use of public parks by people and dogs. Car owners are just easy to pick on because some whose lifestyle don't require them view vehicles as luxuries. Well, guess what? There are many multi-income working class households in the Mission, in which not every member of the family has the option of taking public transit to work or to pick up the kids from grandmas house. Especially in this economy.

And then there are others, who purchased property or started businesses in these neighborhoods primarily because of the parking situation. If meters were always here, these people wouldn't have settled down here. And now MTA wants to install meters, with only a few months' notice. They should at least give people more time to adjust their lifestyle, which can be extremely difficult in this economy (e.g. relocating or finding a new job).

And why aren't the "rich" neighborhoods metered? Some of the residential side-streets in Cow Hollow for example, has worse parking situation than the Mission. It's like a slap in the face to this working class to lower middle class neighborhood.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 1:14 am

You don't really know the Mission. You are trying to social engineer what you don't know.

Posted by F the SFMTA on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

It may be true that many new resident in Mission (or in SF) are high-tech workers. But the majority existing residents are not. God will forgive you to rob the rich but please leave the poor alone.

Fact that many of those from China or elsewhere came with bags of money chose to live in Richmond or Sunset District where they can enjoy free parking, not in the area that MTA tries to put their meters on.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 12:40 am

I am an 11 year resident of the 16th and Folsom area, a car owner without a garage, a renter of a studio apartment and I work in Silicon Valley. So except for your first condition you are talking about me.

Let me say in my defense, that I am not a twenty something hipster programmer with money to burn. I make less than you assume. I worked nights for many years so that I could go to school and get an engineering degree. I now work 12 hour days to make the silicon that allows you to submit your disapproval of my lifestyle choice to live in San Francisco and work in Silicon Valley (and own a car that I cant afford a garage for) on the internet.

My problem with the proposal to remove parking rights for residents of this area is that it will make it unliveable for me and for the other residents of this neighborhood who are like me; who worked hard to have a business, a job, a life that requires street parking. There were 300 people at the January 13th planning meeting, all residents of the Dogpatch, 12th and Folsom, and 17th and Folsom. And I get the sense they all share my point of view. They, We, uniformly don't want these damn meters. It will hurt business. It will hurt residents.

If you want to really see this area change into a high density 40 story skyscraper builders association paradise then this measure is right on the money. If you like in the 16th and Mission area the way you do now, then fight the SFMTA. Fight parking meters. And join forces with people like me.

Sean McCommons

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 12:16 am

Meant in the third to last sentence "If you like living in the 16th and Mission Area the way you do now..."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 12:20 am

Thanks for covering this incredibly ill-thought out plan. While I am a proponent of expanding the possibilities for the non-car commute, and my family uses bikes and public transportation most of the time, this is the most sloppy, poorly thought out plan imaginable. That was evident at the hearing, with people from all walks of life bashing the MTA's process. Are they really using a massive federal grant to fund this idiotic study that informed and included no one? Dogpatch and Potrero Hill were well represented, as well as residents and businesses in Showplace Square. Half of the people hadn't heard of the plan until last week, and many had prior bad experiences with the MTA. They should stop using public money to fund their junk plans.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

I don't know if anyone also mentioned that many of the proposed meters will be enforced from 9am-11pm everyday including Sunday. Other more congested places in SF have free parking after 6pm and Sundays free. I think for many of the residents affected, the enforcement times are also a hot button issue.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

I don't know if anyone also mentioned that many of the proposed meters will be enforced from 9am-11pm everyday including Sunday. Other more congested places in SF have free parking after 6pm and Sundays free. I think for many of the residents affected, the enforcement times are also a hot button issue.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

While I can empathize with the local residents who are accustomed to "free parking," the fact is there's really no such thing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html

For decades, people who design, build, and pay for public infrastructure have watched as government resources have been bled dry through their subsidies for cars - subsidies for roads, bridges, freeways, interchanges, and - yup, parking. And that's not including all the other subsidies, for oil, for the auto industry, and for wars in the middle east.

The problem is that multiple generations of Americans (including San Franciscans) have come to expect this as a "right," and are of course incensed that someone wants to take this right away from them.

Well, the pyramid scheme is up. There's no more money to subsidize our car culture. While it may seem unfair that this particular neighborhood appears to be the first to bear the brunt of this, the fact is that, over the next few years, all neighborhoods everywhere are going to face the same thing.

Of course, if people want to start arguing that we should all pay much, much higher taxes to support our car addiction, then we could have an honest debate about "free" parking. I don't see that happening.

But regardless of our emotional reaction to this situation, we can no longer afford to lavish tens of billions of dollars each year ($127 billion, according to Professor Shoup) for the luxury of being able to park our cars wherever we like, whenever we like. Sorry, but it's true. The sooner we accept this fact - and there's no debating that it's a fact - the sooner we can adjust to the world as it really is, rather than the world as we wish it to be.

Posted by Reality bites on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

Something like 80% of people own a car and drive. Those people are tax payers, so gearing things towards that 80% isn't a subsidy. unless you think everything the government does is a subsidy. I'm waiting for your post on public schools being a subsidy.

Only in the warped world of the far left is equating something the vast majority of people do called a subsidy. I don't have kids, can you make the same argument around why I shouldn't have to pay taxes to educate other peoples? Please form your argument in some self righteous progressive mantra.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 8:08 am

Whatever side you're on, please recognize that this isn't a progressive vs. anything-but-the-hated-progressives issue. I know this is hard for you, matlock, because your entire purpose is to bash progressives, no matter which side they're on, but try.

On one side you have some progressives, along with the mostly moderate-stacked MTA.

On the other side you have some mods, as well as some progressives like Tony Kelly. For what it's worth, I think Tony Kelly's right. I'm not wild about extended parking meter hours. I think it amounts to the worst kind of regressive taxation, and as such it's going to hit working class people hard. At the very least, neighborhood residents should be given a bigger say.

And while we're at it, maybe we need a little bit more democracy in the MTA itself.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 10:07 am

Actually, the number of SF households without a car was about 30 percent last year -- and it's as high as 50 percent in much of the Mission -- so with about 2.5 people per household, that translates into less than half the people owning cars. But even if your facts weren't wrong, Matlock, your logic would be. There are many societal benefits to having an educated population, but rampant car ownership actually have huge societal costs that the rest of us are already forced to bear. I can accept that we all need freeways and an effective transportation infrastructure to move ourselves and good and services, but I have a hard time seeing why I'm required to provide free parking to motorists at their homes. There are many costs associated with car ownership, including parking, and that should be factored into whether they can really afford to own a car.

Posted by steven on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

If you think that parking is a problem now, just wait until all of those "transit oriented development" upzoned condos are built in this neighborhood proximate to crappy transit with few parking spaces. Anyone who can afford a luxury condo in the Mission will drive a car and they will be figuring out how to park it on the street if they are not lucky enough to have a space.

Developers and the politicians who benefited from this corruption of land use will be long gone when those problems are dumped into the laps of the neighborhoods.

There is no free lunch. Can't have transit oriented development or use policy sticks to get people out of their cars until the local and regional rapid transit systems are reliable. There is no appetite for capital investment to that degree unless there is Brown/Pak level corruption driving it, so we're going to continue to balance the books between developer profit and livable streets zealots on the backs of existing San Francisco residents in moderate income neighborhoods.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 8:20 am

A plan hatched by high-minded academics who do not understand our neighborhood. Dr. Shoup is a theorist. I don't want to be his guinea pig, and neither do our entire communities of hard working people.

There has been no community engagement on this plan. MTA has been arrogant and Orwellian.

Posted by F the SFMTA on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 9:57 am

Shoupian market parking policies can work well along Neighborhood Commercial District strips where it is in the interests of shoppers and merchants alike to have turnover and availability in parking.

The case has not been made as to how market price parking policies benefit residents of and visitors to a residential neighborhood.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 11:46 am

for each unit, and rightly so. The issue here is more people who live in older housing that doesn't come with off-street parking. tHey have no choice but to park on the street so the city should resist any move to gouge them.

Many city services are free but of course we all pay for it anyway. Why should I have to pay twice over? Cars are an essential necessity for most people and it's the city's job to provide street parking just like it is to provide streets. You can't encourage car use and then discourage a place to park.

No on this - a thousand time no

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 8:51 am

No, Eastern Neighborhoods and Market Octavia plans eliminated 1:1 parking minimums and established parking maximums, generally .5:1 directly on transit corridors and .75:1 elsewhere. In many cases, parking is increasable via Conditional Use Authorization.

Most neighbors around the 17th/Folsom park study area are okay with Neighborhood Permit Parking so long as the meters can be overridden by the parking permits as that permits are the norm for residential neighborhoods in SF and priority at the meters is reasonable given the mixed use character surrounding the residential enclaves.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 11:44 am

These plans and ideas are hatched in the rarefied air of academic offices, implemented by soulless apparachicks like Berkeley resident Jay Primus, who has no clue about the character of the neighborhoods in which he is trying to impose his utopian parking vision for his own personal glory.

300 hard working San Franciscans showed up, expressed outrage, and were arrogantly and condescendingly ignored. These are people who have taken hardscrabble gritty neighborhoods formerly dens of open drug dealing and prostitution, and transformed them into liveable communities. Now along comes Mr. Primus and the MTA who think we have parking problems that need to be fitted to his Smart Meter solution.

Many people said they had no problem parking in their neighborhoods. Meters make no sense except as a cash grab for the city, and for Mr. Primus's own vainglory.

Posted by F the SFMTA on Jan. 14, 2012 @ 9:52 am