Somewhat inexplicably, D2 Supervisor Mark Farrell has suddenly come out as “strongly opposed” to the expansion of parking meters. At a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, he called for a hearing to scrutinize the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s parking meter expansion plans, apparently concerned about new meters that will create parking turnover in his district, even though, as Bay City News confirmed, the agency says it has no such plans.
“If the SFMTA plans to expand parking meters into our truly residential areas, I do have serious concerns about what the implementation looks like and the rationale behind those decisions, and I believe that the policy discussion regarding any proposed parking meter expansion plans should start here in City Hall,” said Farrell. “Specifically, I’m requesting information on the statistics driving this expansion, the revenues anticipated from these expansions, the policy rationale for the expansions, as well as an update on future plans to go into different neighborhoods throughout our city. This hearing, I hope, will begin to start the public dialogue about these proposed plans.”
On top of the lack of evidence of plans to expand parking meters in District 2 neighborhoods like the Marina, Pacific Heights, and Seacliff, Farrell’s sudden focus on parking meters is strange for a few reasons. The timing, for one, is odd given that the SFMTA abandoned its scheduled approval of parking meter expansions in the eastern neighborhoods a year ago, and is now working through a far slower and more detailed public process in each of those three neighborhoods. So there’s nothing particularly new to raise concerns around parking meters, except for the implementation of Sunday enforcement last month, which he didn’t protest when it came up for approval by the board as part of the SFMTA’s budget, even as Supervisor Scott Wiener did.