The mobility of space - Page 3

Deconstructing the politics of parking in San Francisco
Cars crowd both sides of Dolores

"Whereas the sustainable transportation movement in San Francisco wants to use the revenue from congestion pricing to fix Muni and discourage driving," he continued.

In his paper on parking policy, Henderson details exactly how parking allocations push up the price of housing — and change the face of ongoing developments.

A typical off-road parking space takes up 350 square feet when room to move in and out is factored in — and that's comparable to many offices and living spaces in San Francisco. The parking alone costs $50,000 to $100,000 to develop — a cost that's passed on to the homebuyer.

But in most neighborhoods, developers can't avoid parking, because of planning laws. "This means that neighborhoods like the iconic North Beach simply could not be built today," Henderson wrote, noting how mandatory parking provisions mean that the lower floors of new buildings are likely to contain parking garages, not storefronts and cafes, and garage entrances take away street parking and limit where street trees can be planted.

"But at least contesting car space is on the table in San Francisco" Henderson said. "That makes it an intriguing bellwether for other places."