A Change of Heart on Sunday Parking Meters for Newsom?

mayor.jpgThe Mayor is now apparently willing to consider Sunday metering. Photo by Bryan Goebel.

After months of opposing an extension of parking meter enforcement hours, Mayor Newsom may be finally open to a limited proposal that would help reduce Muni’s staggering budget deficit. The Chronicle’s Heather Knight  and The Appeal’s Chris Roberts report that Newsom is still against extending weekday metering to evenings, but has come around on the idea of Sunday enforcement, which would raise an estimated $2-3 million dollars annually. Knight writes:

The mayor is open to charging drivers to park at meters on Sundays
because he said merchants have told him it helps car turnover near
their shops rather than allowing people to park all day long for free.

That’s also what an MTA study on extended meter hours found, and what we’ve reported extensively. San Francisco lags behind many other cities in this regard. Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, Pasadena, Montreal and Princeton,
New Jersey are examples of cities that have implemented parking
enforcement on Sundays.

Unfortunately, on weekday evening metering, Newsom remains spooked by Oakland’s experience.

"Just look at the East Bay and the revolt," he told Knight. A vocal group of Oakland business owners and residents protested vigorously when their city council changed meter hours last year, but the parallel is a shaky one since Oakland’s meter hour changes were far less targeted than the MTA proposal. The agency has done a considerable amount of outreach to merchants and community groups.

In response to complaints from Muni riders that they’re getting hit
harder by the MTA’s budget
than drivers, Newsom repeated the same argument he made to us last year: that drivers have had a threefold increase in parking meter rates downtown over the past
five years, and there’s some "amnesia" over the issue. "I know there’s an
exuberance to keep driving up parking meter costs, but there’s another
constituency that needs to be factored in," he told the Chronicle. Nevermind, of course, that the city’s official policy is Transit First.

The total cost of riding transit has arguably increased at a far
rate than the total cost of driving in recent years. Muni riders face a
ten percent reduction in service under current budget proposals, and
have seen the price of a monthly fast pass rise by a third or more in
the past year.

Newsom made the comments to the Chronicle following an address to a regional after-school
conference at Balboa High School today. He gave similar remarks to The Appeal at the Hall of Justice. Phone calls to Newsom’s
communications director, Tony Winnicker, were not returned.

The sudden about-face on Sunday meters makes us wonder: Is the Mayor communicating with his own staff? Just yesterday we heard through sources that Chief of Staff Steve Kawa was telling MTA directors the Mayor is still flatly opposed to extending meter hours, even on Sundays. Why didn’t you say so before, Mr. Mayor? We hope you stick to your word.


Newsom Opposed to Sunday Parking Enforcement, Study or No

A free parking meter in San Francisco. Flickr phto: .dru It’s no surprise, but it’s troubling. Mayor Gavin Newsom has confirmed to Streetsblog that he remains opposed to extending parking meter enforcement to Sundays, despite a promise by MTA Chief Nat Ford that it’s being studied and remains on the table for consideration, along with […]

Reiskin: Let’s Keep Sunday Parking Meters, But Not Enforce Them

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin said today that he thinks the agency should keep Sunday parking meters but back off on actually enforcing them. At an SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, Reiskin said he recommends “that we significantly re-deploy our resources away from Sunday meter enforcement. We have a lot more higher-pressing needs, particularly during the week during the […]

Newsom Parking Meter Story is Not a ‘False Controversy’

Photo:Michael Ronquillo The kerfuffle continues to intensify over the draft study the MTA recently completed on extending parking meter hours in commercial districts around the city, a study which, as we first reported last Friday, the Mayor doesn’t want MTA Chief Nat Ford to broadcast too loudly.   When Newsom was asked about our story […]

SFMTA Board Repeals Sunday Parking Meters

The SFMTA Board of Directors today caved to pressure from Mayor Ed Lee by removing Sunday parking meters, a move folded into its approval of the agency’s two-year budget. The Sunday meter reversal was supported by all but one of the SFMTA’s board members, who are appointed by the mayor. Board member Cristina Rubke said she […]