Advocates Call for Turnout at MTA Board Meeting on Parking Study
At the MTA Board meeting this Tuesday, MTA staff will present the findings of the pathbreaking parking study [Summary PDF] [Full Study PDF] released earlier this week. It's the only official discussion of the study scheduled for now, and advocates for transit and parking reform will need to attend in force to show the MTA Board there's strong support for the recommendations.
The study's recommendations could bring in badly needed revenue and reduce future transit service cuts, while creating more parking turnover and making it much easier to find a parking spot on evenings and Sundays.
Walk SF Executive Director Manish Champsee said he's notifying members about the meeting, and hopes advocates will show up. "I suspect there will be a lot of people on the anti-side," said Champsee. "It's definitely important that as many people as possible who favor extending meter hours get out there and show their support."
The SFBC's Andy Thornley said his organization will be notifying members as well, in its regular Tuesday morning email update, and contacting some members directly before then. "Organizationally, we are actively working to build support and bring that support to the Board," Thornley said.
In addition, SFBC has sent a letter [PDF] to the MTA Board "urging that they support the report and adapt the findings as soon as possible," said Thornley.
As Streetsblog reported earlier this week, MTA Board Chairman Tom Nolan said the agency faces a dire financial situation with the budget deficit, which he estimated at $30 million. Without new sources of revenue, said Champsee, the budget may be balanced once again mostly at riders' expense.
As part of a compromise with the Board of Supervisors, who ultimately approved the MTA's budget earlier this year despite some supervisors' concerns about the impact on transit riders, the MTA agreed to conduct a study on increasing parking enforcement hours. "The original budget closed the gap on the backs of riders over the backs of drivers by a virtue of 4 to 1," said Champsee. "It's important that it doesn't get even more skewed."
The Mayor opposes the study's recommendations, and many merchant groups are not yet swayed in their favor. Without vocal support from advocates, the changes may never be fully or even partially implemented, despite the exhaustiveness of the study. The meeting will also offer a chance to comment on the recommendations and suggest refinements, while demonstrating that there's strong demand for Shoupian parking management reform.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors meeting. Tuesday, October 20th at 2 p.m. San Francisco City Hall, room 400. The parking study presentation is item 14 on the agenda. The meeting will be broadcast online on SFGTV2. See Andy Thornley's comment below for suggestions on who to contact with your thoughts on the parking study. You can also send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.