Sunday parking in the Mission

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I'm not surprised that merchants in the Mission want to retain free parking on Sundays. Times are tough for neighborhood businesses, and anything that would seem to discourage customers is frightening.

Of course, if the city doesn't expand parking meter hours, it's going to have to make even further cuts in Muni, which could impact the merchants even more.

But the thing that always kills me about this discussion is all the illegal parking that goes on every Sunday all over the Mission. The entire center of Valencia Street is a big parking lot -- and nobody ever gets a ticket. That's because the cops have an unwritten, uncodified, long-standing policy of letting people park in the middle of the street if they're going to church.

If we're going to turn the streets into parking lots, fine: Let's allow people to park there and go to breakfast at a local restaurant, or go shopping at a local store, or go to yoga at a local studio. Ofrelse -- much better, in my mind -- let's start charging the churchgoers for the right to clog up the streets. Then maybe we won't have to extend meter hours.

Nothing against churchgoers, of course. But if they don't want to pay for parking, they can ride the bus to services. It's far more holy to take the bus, anyway.

Now, let's see: Which San Francisco supervisor wants to take on THAT political nightmare?

 

 

 

Comments

The folks who double park on my street to attend the African American church on the corner have to drive to their church in the first place because their families have been gentrified out of the neighborhood, and thus far away from the church that they have attended for multiple generations. I don't begrudge them their double-parking, and my understanding is that the double-parking concession for churches in SF is at least theoretically related to racial displacement.

Posted by Guest ljneighbors on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

ha ha ha

Cornerstone's at 18th and Guerrero from the web page

"GUERRERO MEDIAN PARKING
Available Saturday 7 p.m. when Cornerstone Attendant in Yellow Vest is present & all
Sunday services"

I wonder if this would be conspiracy to park illegally?

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

According to the research I've done on this in the past, the practice way predates the displacement of African Americans from the Western Addition. It's a tradition that goes back well before WWII. Back then, of course, parking wasn't as big an issue as it is today.

Posted by tim on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

There is double parking or in this case, middle of the street parking at churches all over the City. There are 3 on Bush near Fillmore alone. The BOS and the anti-car crowd make it tough enough on drivers already. Its once a week and doesn't hurt anyone. Don't hassle people while they're making peace with The Lord.

Posted by Guest Howard Epstein on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

There is double parking or in this case, middle of the street parking at churches all over the City. There are 3 on Bush near Fillmore alone. The BOS and the anti-car crowd make it tough enough on drivers already. Its once a week and doesn't hurt anyone. Don't hassle people while they're making peace with The Lord.

Posted by Guest Howard Epstein on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

There is double parking or in this case, middle of the street parking at churches all over the City. There are 3 on Bush near Fillmore alone. The BOS and the anti-car crowd make it tough enough on drivers already. Its once a week and doesn't hurt anyone. Don't hassle people while they're making peace with The Lord.

Posted by Guest Howard Epstein on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

I kinda suspect that if these churches were of another persuasion it would be a big deal with some of these posters.

Still, if its OK on Sunday for Jesus to park anywhere he wants, it should be OK on Valencia for hipsters on weekends, and should be OK for delivery trucks on Valencia anytime, that way they don't block the bike lane.

Also when I lived in the Western Addition people parked all over the place on Sundays.

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

I dislike the Sunday parking thing (I'm told some temples get a free pass on the appropriate day too), but I hate even more when religious institutions take up pieces of valuable land that sit empty & unused all week so that they're available to put cars on once a week. I suspect cracking down on the street parking would cause more of them to buy or build parking lots. The last available piece of empty land on 24th Street in Noe Valley was captured by a church to put cars on once a week. It's nice that there's a farmer's market there on Saturday mornings, but would be nicer if the space were devoted to something productive all the time...

Posted by lizatblackrose on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

When I moved here 5 years ago this jesus parking for the biggest real estate tycoons in the city was an eye opener to just how scared of the church the the government is in america.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

There's no excuse for having private motor vehicles in urban areas, period. Shuttle service can be provided for those physically unable to get around otherwise. For everyone else, walk, bike, and take public transit. Of course, we need much better and more public transit, but that will never happen so long as people are allowed to continue destroying the planet with their cars. A nice gasoline tax of about $10/gallon would fix things!

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

The Westboro Baptist Church speaks.

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 12:07 am

There isn't a lot of commuter traffic on Sunday, so if churches want to use the middle of the street for parking, I can live with that -- as long as it's fair. If my friends get their spirituality dose from Sunday morning Yoga, why can't they park in the street, too? If I get mine from eating breakfast with friends, why is that any less valid than going to church?

If we want to close the middle of some streets to traffic on Sundays and use that space for a parking lot (frankly, I'd rather it be used as a car-free park space, but whatever), the churches shouldn't get exclusive use.

But if you try to park in the Valencia median Sunday morning and a cop asks you what you're doing (this has happened to me) and you say you're taking your kids to the Mission branch library, then you get told to move or get a ticket.

That's just bogus.

Posted by Tim Redmond on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

No one cares.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Mar. 01, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

Having lived on Guerrero for years, there is one benefit to allowing cars to park in the traffic lane: it slows traffic WAY down on Guerrero, making our neighborhood a bit safer for pedestrians and a bit more peaceful. I like it. But, exactly like Tim said, everyone should get the opportunity to use the public streets this way - going to yoga, taking kids to the park, library, swimming pool, shopping etc. The public streets belong to all of us. So let's allow the parking, but offer it to everyone. Unless of course the Church goers pay a whole lot of money for the privilege that goes straight to public services...

Posted by Guest tamalyn on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

I am one of the people who park on Dolores every Sunday morning, and have been for over 16 years. This is an interesting discussion and I must admit I didn't know there was a problem for the neighbors with our parking. I assumed our neighbors would be happy we weren't taking spots on the curb which they could use all day, since we are usually gone by 2pm. Also, a lot of the people at my church love the Mission neighborhood. We have invested a lot of our time, prayers, and yes, money into it. We have been serving the schools for many years in various ways. I think we would be willing to have this discussion with the neighbors to find out if and how we are causing a hardship. One possibility is for us to do a better job of carpooling. Our hope is that the neighborhood wouldn't see the churches as anti-mission district, but as people who love the area and have invested their lives to make it a great place to be. By the way, can I put in a plug for Deja vu on 16th street! It is the best pizza place around!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 5:11 pm