SFMTA Unveils Proposal to Curb Cruising for Parking in the NE Mission

The SFMTA's proposed parking management plan for the northeast Mission, which will be presented at a meeting on Thursday, is now posted ##http://www.sfmta.com/cms/phome/NEMission-data.htm##on the agency's website##.

A draft of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s hotly-debated plans to install parking meters and expand permit zones in the northeast Mission has been posted online ahead of a community meeting on Thursday, where agency officials will present it to residents.

Following months of data collection, planning, and community meetings, the SFMTA’s map shows where the agency thinks meters and permits would be appropriate to ensure that enough parking spaces remain available to prevent drivers from needlessly circling the block.

According to the documents, all meters would start at a rate of 50 cents per hour and accept multiple forms of payment. Many would have no time limits. Some blocks would have residential parking permit restrictions, and all residents in the project’s area would be eligible to buy a permit. Since the meters won’t be part of the SFPark program, the SFMTA Board of Directors will consider a proposal tomorrow that would lower the current floor for non-SFPark meter rates outside of downtown from $1.00/hour to $0.25/hour.

Mario Tanev, who started the group sfMORE in support of the SFMTA’s efforts to price parking according to demand, wrote in a blog post that “so far it looks like a very balanced proposal.”

The plans do not include the provision proposed by Potrero Hill Boosters Association President Tony Kelly, who wrote in a Chronicle op-ed last week that RPP holders should be able to park at meters in the area for free.

The SFMTA responded to Kelly’s proposal on an FAQ sheet [PDF]:

Allowing RPP-stickered vehicles to park at meters without paying would undermine the purpose and benefit to having meters, which is to provide some parking availability in commercial and mixed use areas. Meters are used in commercial and mixed use areas, and on-street parking in those areas needs to be available for deliveries, customers, and clients (rather than for storing cars for area residents). As in other parts of the city, when parking meters stop operating residents will be able to use those spaces at no cost. To address resident concerns, the proposal does significantly expand the amount of RPP in the area (on residential blocks) as well as expand eligibility so that even the few residents that live on a commercial or mixed use block that has meters (instead of RPP) can still obtain a RPP permit for the area.

Tanev called the statement “a reasonable response,” though he suggested that the SFMTA consider tightening its regular 2-hour limit on RPP blocks for non-permit holders to ensure the parking spaces aren’t used by short-term visitors. “What may end up happening is that shoppers who can’t find parking on Mission will circle around trying to park at the RPP zone for free, if they can stay within the 2-hour limit,” he wrote. “At the very least they should propose an RPP zone that does not allow ANY short term parking.”

The questions that remain are whether anti-meter opposition at Thursday’s meeting will remain just as fierce as it has been over the past year, and whether the SFMTA will move forward with implementing its plans to cut excess car traffic in the neighborhood in a steadfast manner.

Residents can submit comments on the SFMTA website and attend the community meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the John O’Connell High School Auditorium at 2355 Folsom Street.

  • reality check

    So if you live in the area, own a car, and don’t have a garage, you have to get an RPP permit and pay a meter everyday that you leave your car? If so, there’s more incentive to use your car everyday. One might as well drive it to work if they’re going to have to pay for parking everyday anyway.

  • Under this proposal, if you live in the area with a car and get an RPP permit, you can park in the RPP permit areas (pink on the map) for just the annual $104 cost of the permit. If you don’t want to get an RPP permit you can park in the blue areas and pay the meters during meter hours.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I hear the word “reasonable” I reach for my revolver.

  • guest

    I’m surprised how many people only care about their routine and their own personal pocketbook without any consideration for what happens to the neighborhood. Using prime locations for vehicle storage rather than permitting visitors and shoppers to come in, defies merchants the very parking they continually crave.

    I guess it goes to show that parking really isn’t all that merchants think it is, but at the same time the ever present traffic does not bode well for transit or other road users like bikes and peds. Metering really should be part of the SFpark program and should be expanded citywide in commercial areas.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how many of the same people livid over the “subsidy” of public transit expect the city to purchase free storage space for their private cars.

  • From what I can tell, though parking in this area has gotten progressively more difficult over the past decade as density has increased, what has prompted this plan at this time is the turning of the large parking lot on 17th and Folsom into a park. Pretty much everyone wanted the park except the major employers in the area (and ODC nearby who relied on it for parking for events.) Me, I think the park is more important than parking and will improve the neighborhood tremendously, but the result is multiple demands on scarce curb space, and intense pressure on the city to deal with it.

    Because drivers have received free parking up until now, they are unconscious of receiving any subsidy and simply feel entitled to it, like they do the air they breathe. From their point of view they are now being asked to pay just in order to live–because they can’t imagine living without their car. This is the failure of imagination that truly needs to be addressed.

    The ones willing to pay for a garage so they don’t have to circle the block half an hour to find parking already have. The others would rather spend their time than their money, though, ironically, if they were willing to spend that time biking or taking transit and get rid of their car altogether, they would have so much more money to spend. The added irony is that anyone who can’t afford to park off the street now will likely be unable to afford a car at all within three years, and they are making their future worse by not making their neighborhood as amenable to biking, walking, transit and carshare as they possibly can while the city has some money to spend.

    As density grows, there just isn’t room for both people and their cars in this city. And this would be true even if every car in San Francisco could park off-street. In the NE quadrant particularly, there just isn’t enough street lane space for more than a small number of private cars to move around at any one time. Now there are quite a few highly wealthy people in San Francisco that I expect will always have private cars available to them. But for the rest of us who are not Getty’s, we need to re-imagine what city life means in terms of where we go and how we get there.

    For San Francisco to prosper, it needs to wean most of its citizens off the car-based way of life they are very much addicted to. That those addicted to their car (who literally cannot imagine their life without their car) fight this is not surprising. But the need for this will only intensify, not go away.

  • David

    I have lived in the mission for 15 years. Unless you live in this neighborhood, pay outrageous rent for a shit hole apartment and have experience parking in this neighborhood, your comments are worthless. I do not have problems parking. it may be more difficult than other places but we make due. We do not need the mta’s help. Everything problem and solution they are proposing seems to contradict the actual reality of the situation. What they are actually doing is catering to the new wave of gentrification and hoping to create parking for restaurant goers. Parking meters do not belong in residential neighborhoods. This city has a habit of making things better for visitors by making it worse for residents.
    P.s.
    Since the meters take credit cards, how much money is visa making off these meters. Who is running this city anyway?

  • 94103er

    I just love how all those opposed to this parking plan get on here with the same old tired cranky arguments but never, at any time, specify *which streets* are ‘residential,’ in their minds.

    So, really, you’re trying to tell us the street in front of businesses on Harrison near 15th don’t need parking meters? Or any other of these major blocks on the map provided? All these businesses are figments of our imagination? Sorry businesses, screw you and your tax revenue. We want the Mission to stay blighted and desolate, chock-a-block with shit hole apartments. Go away.

    p.s. I’ve been in the Mission for almost 13 years. I’ve been smart enough to pay for garage space. Big whoop.

    p.p.s. Visa, running the city? Really? Facepalm.

  • The meters end at 6pm. They are not for restaurant goers, they are for the employees of large companies who own lots of real estate in the area. I am very glad these employees will now have to pay to park. Many of them will choose not to drive anymore.

    An RPP permit will cost you 28 cents a day. The city is not making money off you.

  • mikesonn

    “I have lived in the mission for 15 years. Unless you live in this neighborhood, pay outrageous rent for a shit hole apartment”

    If you’ve been in the mission for 15 years, you don’t pay outrageous rent. Fact.

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