Someone Finally Figured Out How to Fix Parking Forever. Blame Canada!

Who’s taking your parking space now? Delaware and Canada!

Car owners in Hayes Valley will not stand by as “their” parking spaces are usurped by safe streets measures and “foreign” car-share “corporations” from places like “Delaware” and “Canada.”

That’s according a couple of bizarre anonymous flyers spotted recently around the neighborhood that appear to take aim at the arrival of on-street car-share parking spaces and plans to make crosswalks safer with daylighting and sidewalk bulb-outs.

On the subject of car-share spaces — each of which, by the way, helps people let go of owning a private car — one barely-coherent flyer has this to say:

STREET PARKING BELONGS TO HAYES VALLEY RESIDENTS NOT TO FOREIGN (CANADA– GETAROUND—ZIPCAR HERTZ A DELWARE CORPORATION EXEMPT FROM PARKING TICKETS

At the risk of taking this all too seriously, a quick Google search reveals that Getaround, which lets people rent their cars to their neighbors, is based in San Francisco, though its vice president of marketing was born in Canada (A-HA!). ZipCar is based in Boston, and owned by New Jersey-based Avis, not Florida-based Hertz — but we digress.

No word yet on whether the car owners who take up the other 99 percent of Hayes Valley’s curb spaces are 100 percent native San Franciscans with a legitimate birthright to free parking.

As for the flyer opposing the SFMTA’s plans to daylight up to 30 parking spots to improve visibility between drivers and pedestrians:

JUST SAY NO! No removal of any parking spaces in HAYES VALLEY

Parking belongs to the citizens -businesses–taxpayers & voters!

Major Person(s) responsible for proposed 30 parking spaces removal ricardo.olea@sfmta.co

Taxpayers and voters do foot the bill for on-street car parking, whether or not they use it. As it happens, many also prefer not to get injured because a parked car obscured a motorist’s line of sight.

All-caps flyers ranting about parking have a storied tradition in San Francisco, but they don’t appear to resonate with many people. At an SFMTA Board meeting in May, only three people protested seven daylighting spaces, according to Hoodline.

Photo: Charlie Dunlap
Photo: Charlie Dunlap
  • davistrain

    Reminds me of the Southern California surfers and their “LOCALS ONLY” declarations back about 40 years ago, trying to make surfers from inland communities feel unwelcome.

  • mx

    Wait, native San Franciscans are entitled to free parking? Why was I not informed about this valuable subsidy? I mean I don’t have a car, but if I’m entitled to control of public space by birthright, I’ll darn well use it.

  • baklazhan

    I don’t know how much it would help, but it seems to me that one way these objections could be sidestepped is if local residents, to whom the parking supposedly belongs, were able to grant their unused privileges to carshare companies or parklets or bikelanes or whatever, whether as a donation or for some fee. That, at least, should (probably won’t, but should) shut down this particular line of argument.

  • Mesozoic Polk

    We all owe a hearty thank you to the determined parking freeloaders of Hayes Valley. Thank you for fighting this selfish fight on behalf of us all! Never back down, even if it seems like the right thing to do and everyone else around you has sheepishly disappeared.

    P.S. We know you’re ENRAGED about how UNJUST this first world country can be (SO AM I!!!!), but a #protip: Microsoft Word spellcheck works best if you don’t type in all caps.

    Signing off for now, to catch my flight to “Delware.” Till next time!

  • Jeffrey Baker

    If it “belongs” to the people of Hayes Valley, I’m sure they can produce their paid property tax stubs.

  • This is the kind of pure arrogance that makes me want to rip out street parking completely and put in bike lanes everywhere.

  • StrixNoctis .

    I’m also a native, and I don’t understand how anyone could think they have a special right to the parking spaces on public property just for being a native or longtime resident of this city.

    However, it used to be that the street parking space in front of one’s property was used for temporary parking for vehicles of visitors, delivery services, and taxi services to park while unloading & loading local passengers. These days people use all street parking spaces like they are their permanent parking spaces when they should actually have permanent parking spaces in garages and lots.

    People who can’t afford private parking spaces for their vehicles shouldn’t own vehicles as providing a reliable parking spot for each vehicle is part of the responsibility & cost of owning a vehicle.

  • StrixNoctis .

    The new bike lanes would still be used as parking spaces just as are the bike lanes that currently exist elsewhere in this city.

  • thielges

    I wouldn’t get too worked up. Looks like the work of a solo nutto.

  • laughtiger

    Actually many of the “local” tech giants are incorporated in Delaware (and/or Canada apparently) because it is a tax haven. I have no idea if these car-sharing companies do that too, but I wouldn’t be surprised

    Regardless of the street parking issue, it is valid to hold corporate toes to the fire for such unneighborly shenanigans. Maybe if the car-sharing entities in question were locally formed coops instead of Avis subsidiaries?

  • Sprague

    I don’t see how they’re being “unneighborly.” Geraround and ZipCar are providing their vehicles to neighbors (for a fee). This is a service that benefits Hayes Valley residents (even the many Hayes Valley residents who own cars – since it enables people to live in the neighborhood without feeling compelled to own a car – thereby reducing congestion, pollution, etc.).

  • lunartree

    Plus when those cars aren’t in use they have a dedicated lot that the company pays to use. So in reality they reduce parking usage not increase.

  • mx

    Everybody incorporates in Delaware. It’s more of a qwirk of US law than something to be all upset about. To do business in California, a Delaware corporation still has to register with CA and pay tax on its California income.

  • Two of the three car-share companies participating in the on-street parking program are already from SF: Getaround (as noted above) and City CarShare, which is a nonprofit exclusive to the Bay Area.

  • laughtiger

    Thanks, those two are instructive examples. City CarShare, the non-profit based in the Bay Area, is incorporated in California (according to wysk.com).

    Getaround, in contrast, is incorporated in Delaware. For legal and tax purposes, it is not “from SF,” but is rather a “Delaware Corporation” with some employees in SF.

  • laughtiger

    I’m not talking about the street parking issue, but taking issue with Mr Bialick’s dismissal of the “Delaware Corporation” criticism. A tangent, I know.

  • laughtiger

    Not everybody, you can go on sites like wysk.com and find out who is incorporated where. It does say something about corporate ethics and sense of connection to place.

  • jonobate

    Yes, it’s a tangent because clearly the person who posted this flyer is more concerned with parking availability than he is with corporate ethics. If corporate ethics was his motivation, we might expect him to post flyers outside the local branch of Delaware incorporated Bank of America rather than attack the relative minnows of Zipcar and Getaround. Including the corporate angle on the flyer is just a way to give NIMBYism a progressive veneer, like so much else in this city.

  • Rain__or__Shine

    To continue the tangent, “Over 50% of publicly traded corporations in the United States and 60% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in the [Delaware].” according to Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware_General_Corporation_Law]

    I think state of incorporation is basically irrelevant to the conversation.

  • Jimbo

    i personally agree that car share should not have acess to public parking spaces. the companies should have to pay to ahve acess to a private parking garage.

  • Jimbo

    disagree. most companies dont incoprporate in delaware, but the ones who skirt taxes, do

  • Jimbo

    i dont agree with freee parking for renters, but homeowners should all ahve access to free street parking due to the exorbitant taxes we pay

  • davistrain

    Many years ago, the old Southern Pacific Co had a “corporate domicile” (I think that’s the term) in Kentucky, because that state had laws that were more favorable than other states for running a railroad, even though the SP had not one foot of track there. The outpost office with its small staff was called “The Old Kentucky Home”.

  • Graham Mattingly

    What a nasty piece of class stratification, Jimbo. Parking for the rich only.

  • Alex Brideau III

    Homeowners are entitled to free parking on their property, not the adjacent street. But now that you mention it, typically landlords pass on their property tax responsibility to their tenants as part of the rent, so renters pay property taxes too, albeit indirectly.

  • Tic, tic, tic. Listen. What you’re hearing is time running out. The age of the private car is ending.

  • Jim

    Considering that car share companies pay more per month for each parking spot than a car owner using the same spots will in a year, I’m more than fine that the public space is being utilized in a much more productive and cost-efficient manner.

  • Jim

    Unless you’re going to provide some data for every car share spot in the city, you’re practically saying that any car regardless of ownership is an inefficient and unproductive use of street space.

  • The small startup I moved to SF working for was a Delaware corp, my current small startup is a Delaware corp, the first startup I worked for in Iowa was a Delaware corp…looks like the tiny design firm in Atlanta was incorporated in GA. Probably most of the larger companies I’ve worked for and the shuttered ones I can’t look up were Delaware corps as well.

    That part in the flier was the key to me that the author didn’t have even the slightest exposure to the business world.

  • This is a good place for a sheet of [citation needed] stickers.

  • lunartree

    How do you get that out of my statement? I’m saying that car share programs occupy less parking since they only occupy street parking when in use.

    However, street parking space is a valuable shared commodity in our communities. I’m not saying parking shouldn’t exist, but everyone should be conscious of what it’s worth when voting for policies. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s no such thing as free parking.

  • Jim

    I apologize, I didn’t realize the context of your comment. I do agree with your point.

  • laughtiger

    Clearly, from the attention this tangent is getting, it is not irrelevant. Seems to have hit a nerve…

  • jonobate

    It’s hit a nerve because San Franciscans supporting a reactionary policy because someone gave it a fuzzy “progressive” coating is the story of the slow death of this city.

  • I’m pretty sure “Delware” is somewhere in the Cayman Islands.

  • Yes, tenants pay property tax as part of rent, and what’s more we don’t get to deduct it. Arguing otherwise is just a weak attempt at creative accounting.

  • More rain gardens to protect the bike lanes, then.

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