Pay to park - Page 2

Are residents angry at bureaucratic bungling — or just with the loss of free street parking?


There are myriad ways that the plans are flawed, say their critics: Meters were proposed on some residential streets in initial plans, despite SFMTA policies to the contrary; traffic surveys had too small a sampling and weren't realistic; residential permit districts would be replaced by meters, or meters would be placed where districts might work better; transit service on Potrero Hill is too bad to expect people to use it; live-work spaces were inappropriately treated like retail outlets; and meters near the 22nd Street Caltrain station could actually discourage the use of public transit.

"There's not that much disagreement, but where there is, it's really important," said Tony Kelly, president of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association. "I'm someone who supports parking management, and I'm frustrated that the MTA is so tone deaf with this. We've been through a lot of fake public outreach efforts and this is looking like one of those."

Janet Carpinelli, president of the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, said her members feel like the SFMTA is ramming this through without regard for the needs or input of that neighborhood.

"The real issue is it's a very big inconvenience to the businesses and residents in this neighborhood and it's not really helping anything. It's just a revenue grab by the MTA," she said.

Potrero Hill resident Jim Wilkins was so outraged by the proposal to install meters along Pennsylvania Street outside his home that he started an online petition against the proposals that has so far garnered about 1,300 signatures. "We're forming an organization to resist these proposals," he told us.

Lum was already a member of the 17th Street Coalition, which formed in 2010 to oppose the renewal of a liquor license at the local Gas'n'Shop, but more recently organized opposition to the meter proposal. It attracted Caroligne, and now they've formed a new group, Northeast Mission Neighbors, which held a joint organizing meeting with the Dogpatch and Potrero groups on Jan. 23. They're all determined to delay and modify the SFMTA's proposal, which had been scheduled for adoption by the SFMTA Board of Directors Feb. 7.

Lum said the proposed changes are tough to accept: "I don't think this is about free parking, it's about living and working in a community with certain things and now those things are changing."



The biggest target of critics' ire is Jay Primus, who runs the SFpark program for the SFMTA. He maintains that he's done extensive outreach and gathered community input that has shaped the plans. "These are still proposals and nothing has been approved yet," he told us.

For example, Wilkins told us his campaign continued even after the meters in front of his house were eliminated from the proposal last month. Primus also noted the proposed meters allow for all-day parking at just 25 cents an hour in most places, so it isn't really such an inconvenience or financial hardship. And Primus just announced that the Feb. 7 hearing is being pushed back by at least two weeks to heed more community input.

But most of the opposition to the proposals isn't surprising, and Primus thinks it comes more from the idea of charging for street parking than with the specifics of the proposal.

"Parking is always an emotional and delicate issue in San Francisco, as it is in most cities," Primus said, citing protests against charging for parking going back to when the first meters were installed in 1947. "This has happened at every block that has gotten meters."

But now, there are even more benefits and ease of use with modern meters, which motorists can pay with a credit card or even remotely. Variable pricing is also used to ensure more parking based on demand, although it's being kept at a very low rate in areas where businesses or residents still need all-day parking.


You raise a good point, and it does appear that SFMTA was cherry-picking data. Here's what I relied on for what I wrote:
The figures I quoted compared the old meters and the new, but the data you cite is also correct. I will add a correction to my lead noting that the percentage referred to the difference between old and new meters. But it is also true that revenue from citations has been falling for awhile and the new meters have began to offset that trend.

Posted by steven on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

A very important consideration: If residential areas get parking meters, then residents without driveways or garages will be forced to drive to work to avoid parking tickets.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

All bungling aside, nobody is really paying attention to the fact that people actually LIVE in these neighborhoods, and that they don't have garages, or endless quarters, or people they can hire to move their cars every hour while they work. If the meters charged $2.00 per hour, 9:00am to 6:00pm, they would be paying nearly $110 per week, moving their vehicles every hour, or being forced to park in farther neighborhoods such as mine (26th and Folsom) where I already spend up to an hour searching for parking, and sometimes have to park five to fix blocks from home, which forces me to walk through a housing project in the middle of the night in front of which I have already been robbed TWICE.

This whole thing is just ridiculous. Are they trying to make it impossible to live here? I understand they the city needs money, but they can't keep taking it from places that impact us so negatively. I mean, Mark Zuckerburg is only paying something like $2 million in taxes, when he should be paying $6 billion. I make $13 dollars per hour working 35 hours per week.

Screw this I'm moving to LA. At least you're allowed to have a decent, uninhibited life there if you're not RICH.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 11:14 am

Hey, is anyone here experienced in writing petition letters? If you are, I would like to suggest that you start (or help me start) a petition on The organization has been very effective in the past, most notably in helping to get BofA to drop their proposed $5/month banking fee a months ago.

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

Obviously I'm referring to a petition that would stop meters from going in...

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

The tyranny of private automobile ownership is coming to an end. Deal with it.

Posted by guest on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

So it works out for everyone.

Your sense of entitlement to live in your created Utopia, and other people get to finance it. A win win for all.

Everyone should aspire to live to the standards those that decide whats best for us. It is confusing to know who knows best? Please explain why your entitlement is superior to all others.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

Therefore we're ALL entitled to enjoy the fruits of other people paying for their use. Just like we're entitled to the enjoyment of the fruits of the use of our airspace, airwaves and other public spaces as well.

Everyone doesn't have to "aspire to live to the standards set for us." Everyone has NO CHOICE, when they're utilizing the public space, to adhere to those standards. And if they chose not to adhere to those standards - then there will be consequences.

Posted by guest on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

Don't you deep thinking stoner's listen to Red Barchetta anymore?

The use of public space by unpopular users is bad, the use of public space by popular users is an entitlement.

Time to fence off all parks, sidewalks, parklets, plaza's, intersections, and anywhere else where the citizens may congregate, and then impose some sort of fee. Human being and all their antics are a blight.

It's interesting how establishment and authoritarian the third generation of 60's hippies have become. If the population is too stupid to obey the dictates of those who decree what is a matter of "NO CHOICE," the population need to be coerced into it for their own good.

The new left really is happy face fascism, bonged out authoritarianism.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

Sign the petition to our city leaders to stop this ill conceived plan

Posted by Guest on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 2:32 am

Charging for parking in a public space will always be met with disagreements and opposition. No one likes to pay more, especially on a space that they have been parking for free for a long time. To rub salt to the wound, the SFMTA goes around proclaiming its success in increasing their own revenue. How can you expect residents to be happy about that?

Posted by Melanie on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

I am totally agreed with all the facts given in this post. The most amazing fact that I like the most in this post is the use of high-tech meters and demand-variable pricing to manage on-street parking. Also, I think that residents would angry if they have to pay the parking fee to park their cars.

Posted by cheap tires on Mar. 29, 2013 @ 3:16 am