SFMTA to Hold Hearing for Additional 1310 Parking Meters

Parkign_meter_photo_small.jpgPhoto: Thomas Hawk.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has scheduled an administrative hearing later this month so it can move forward with the installation of 1310 new single-space parking meters that accept credit cards, while extending time limits at those meter locations to four hours. The meters are expected to net the agency approximately $1 million annually, some of which will go to fund Muni.

The June 18th hearing is part of the public process for adding additional meters, which the agency routinely does each year. According to SFMTA documents, the agency adds approximately 400- 500 new meters on average each year.

Some of the 1310 proposed new meters are in SFPark pilot areas, some are not, and the SFMTA insisted the installation of the meters be separate from the innovative parking management trial.

"The locations proposed for new meters were prioritized based on several
key factors, including where there already are existing time limits and
blocks that that are immediately adjacent or within existing metered
areas, in part to reduce circling for free parking in certain areas," said SFMTA spokesperson Murray Bond. Bond called the overlap with SFPark areas coincidental.

The new meters are also not part of the controversial proposal to extend parking meter hours on Sundays in select commercial districts, a move that the SFMTA will not likely consider until September at the earliest.

While these new meters are not part of the SFPark pilot, they do share a new technology associated with every SFPark meter: They will accept credit cards, a convenience the agency hopes will ease frustration with meters, reduce parking citations and improve payment options.

"We add parking meters year in, year out," said Bond, which he argued improved conditions for drivers and transit riders.

After the hearing, the SFMTA Board of Directors will presumably assent to adding the meters, which would be installed by January 2011. In the process of approving the 2010-11 SFMTA budget, the board accepted the proposal to add an additional 5,400 meters in the near future, which would bring the city’s total meter count to over 30,000.

Though this is significant, a recent parking census found there are more than 440,000 public parking spaces in San Francisco, so the metered spaces are still a small fraction of the total.

The majority of the newly metered spaces are proposed for areas that currently have time limits of one, two or four hours. According to the SFMTA, time limits are difficult to enforce, so the meter installation will help to better manage parking demand in those areas.

Meter rates will match existing rates in proximate meter zones where that is applicable. In areas where there are no current meters, the rates will start at $1 per hour and will be adjusted based on demand. These include parts of SoMa, Civic
Center, Cathedral Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Mission, according to the SFMTA’s documents.

"Parking management in San Francisco requires many different customer
convenience and engineering strategies," SFMTA CEO Nat Ford said in a
statement. "We want to make parking easier and more
flexible in order to reduce traffic congestion, emissions and to help
business districts thrive."

Fishermans_Wharf_expansion_small.jpgClick to enlarge map of proposed new meters near Fisherman’s Wharf. Image: SFMTA.
Eastern_Soma_Meter_Expansion_small.jpgClick to enlarge map of proposed new meters in SOMA. Image: SFMTA.

Civic_Center_meter_expansion_small.jpgClick to enlarge map of proposed new meters in Civic Center. Image: SFMTA.
Meter_extension_Inner_Mission_small.jpgClick to enlarge map of proposed new meters in Inner Mission. Image: SFMTA.
  • Moley

    I am happy that the SFMTA has chosen to expand the geographical area of metered parking rather than extend the hours of the existing meters.

    Of course, meters only work if the demand is there. And I hope they will take due account of folks who live in the affected areas, perhaps allowing exemption for those with residential permits.

    But insofar as this represents a compromise between eviscerating Muni and declaring a “War on Motorists” then it is to be commended. I support their initiative.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    The city is already sitting on several blocks of SoMa where meters are authorized but not installed, and this has been true for years. If SFMTA installs meters day in and day out, where are the new ones? For example, where is any new meter installed during 2010? I like to think I’m a pretty careful observer and I haven’t noticed any meter work being done since the Port of SF’s new meters on the Embarcadero and the big brouhaha a few years ago where they put those stupid pipes over the meter stands.

    Aside: why is the city’s GIS system such a piece of junk? The SoMa map above includes a couple of streets that have been demapped, demolished, and developed upon. I would say this map is accurate circa 1995.

  • Good to see SFGate took a middle of the road approach.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=65259

  • Sam

    Does anyone know where to send an email of support for these changes?

  • @Jeffrey W. Baker

    ‘Year in and year out’ does seem to imply that a lot are going in, perhaps more than actually are. But I some were indeed installed on Brannan earlier this year:

    http://pedestrianist.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-parking-meters-on-brannan.html

    It looks like they’re already visibly as blue dots on the map above.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    Thanks Josh. I stand gladly corrected. I guess I never got over my bitterness from when they removed meters on Clementina to establish an RPP area.

  • Sean

    Does anyone know if the adaptive metering applies only to auto spots or if motorcycle spots will be included as well OR if the SFMTA ever reviews meter increases to determine if there was a net revenue gain?

    When I don’t bike to work I take my scooter and last Spring I’d park in one of two (often taken) spots near South Park. Because they were constantly full I eventually wrote into the city traffic engineer responsible for adding spots and requested more. Within a few months the 2 spots had been converted into 7 spots. Most of the time the majority were taken — that is, until the city upped the rate from $0.20/hr to $.70/hr.

    The spots are now rarely taken (and even then for a short time only) and actually have a higher daily rate than many of the nearby parking lots. I bring up this anecdote because I’d venture a guess that the city is making less money as a result of the increase in this instance.

  • @Sam, I’d write the SFMTA board.

  • I thought the point of the multi-spot meters was that they were cheaper than installing individual meters that accept credit cards; wouldn’t that make them a better choice whenever we install new meters, SFPark or no?

    Or are these old meters the city already owns being redeployed after being replaced in the pilot areas?

  • @Sean –

    There’s a great testament to the benefits of metering. However, if there’s so much demand, I’d rather see more motorcycle parking spots in place of car parking since they’re so much more space efficient… (and in a perfect world the motorcycles would all be quiet, too haha)

  • maaaty

    The only thing I’d like to know from a story like this is whether these meters are compatible with my U-Lock. Else they’re just another form of roadside detritus.

    Okay, okay, I do rather enjoy watching befuddled parkers trying to figure out which form of payment might be working on a particular day.

  • Sprague

    Hopefully the SFMTA will also deploy more meters in the vicinity of AT&T Park and, then, finally do what other cities (like San Jose) do by operating them late into the evening. I see no reason why the City should provide free parking to Giants fans who prefer to drive (especially since off-street lots charge a good amount for a comparable service).

  • Parking meters has been launched which will be helpful in  parking the vehicles.The parking management has made the chart that where Additional meter to be installed. 

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