Supervisor Carmen Chu Wary of Parking Meter Extension Proposal

It shouldn’t be too surprising to those who have followed the debate on extending parking meter hours that Supervisor Carmen Chu is not a big fan. A tipster forwarded us an email from Chu’s office sent out last night to constituents encouraging them to show up at today’s MTA Board meeting and give their opinion about the MTA extended meter hours study.

Chu’s opinion, as stated in the email: "I believe that the MTA must be more surgical in their approach. Not only should the MTA take a look at circulation/congestion on a neighborhood by neighborhood level, but they must also take a look and assess how the economy has impacted different areas before implementing any changes."

I don’t know if the MTA’s proposal could have been more surgical in Chu’s district, where the agency proposed extending meter hours on limited commercial streets such as Taraval, Noriega, and Irving (click here for the map). On Noriega, for instance, extended metering would only occur on three blocks near 19th Avenue and a few more near Sunset. This is a far cry from the blanket 8 pm extension that had been proposed originally in the MTA budget compromise in May and is certainly better than the Oakland situation.

We’ve also heard that Chinatown merchants will be out in force at the meeting to oppose any changes and will request an explanation of the methodology behind the MTA’s study in their area.

Though Livable City tells us they are trying to organize merchants from a couple of the commercial districts in the study area, it’s possible the meeting is going to be swamped with angry business owners who fear the effects of increased meter hours, even if it would make it easier for their customers to park nearby.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors meeting is today 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.  Here’s more info on who to contact to voice your support for the parking study. You can also send feedback to extendedhours@sfmta.com.

Read the complete Chu email after the jump.

From: Katy Tang [mailto:Katy (dot) Tang (at) sfgov (dot) org] On Behalf Of Carmen Chu
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 6:09 PM
To: Chustaff
Subject: Parking meter hours expansion proposal — your input needed

Good Evening,

Many
residents in the District have called or have written to our office
recently about proposals to expand parking meter hours in various
neighborhoods throughout San Francisco.  Most of the comments we have
received have shown a lack of support for proposals to extend meter
hours into the evenings or on Sundays.  Whether you agree or disagree
with the proposal, I wanted to make sure you aware of an opportunity to
weigh in on the issue.

The MTA Board of Directors will be hearing staff report on proposals for expanding meter hours this Tuesday (tomorrow), October 20th at 2pm in City Hall.
Please know that implementation of any parking meter policies is under
the jurisdiction of the MTA Board of Directors and would not come
before the Board of Supervisors.  If you would like to voice your
concerns, you can come testify on this issue in person or you can also write the MTA Board of Directors by email at MTABoard@SFMTA.com.
The MTA Board can also be reached by phone at 415-701-4505.  Board
members include: Tom Nolan, James McCray, Cameron Beach, Shirley Breyer
Black, Malcolm Heinicke, Jerry Lee, and Bruce Oka.

I
highly encourage you to voice your thoughts on this issue, particularly
at this juncture before any decisions are made. While changes in meter
policy may be desirable in some areas, I believe that the MTA must be
more surgical in their approach.  Not only should the MTA take a look
at circulation/congestion on a neighborhood by neighborhood level, but
they must also take a look and assess how the economy has impacted
different areas before implementing any changes.  In the neighborhood
commercial areas that I represent, I hear from many merchants how
increased meter hours could hurt their businesses.  It would be
important to let the MTA Board of Directors know how a meter expansion
will personally impact you or your business.

Thank you for your time,

Carmen Chu
SF Board of Supervisors
District 4
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl.
SF, CA 94102
(415) 554-7460
www.sfgov.org/chu

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