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?