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New Video Sim Bets San Franciscans Will *Heart* SFPark

10:31 AM PDT on August 6, 2010

In a refreshing turn, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which runs Muni and manages the streets of San Francisco, has produced an informative and whimsical animated short explaining how their dynamic parking management pilot, SFPark, will work.

Unlike the maddeningly obtuse SFMTA website, the video (and pretty much everything else about the SFPark.org website) uses a cute Sim-City aesthetic to explain an otherwise wonky parking policy. It's an interesting approach to take with complicated material, but I think the video does a great job of demonstrating how the system should work, and it does so in just under three minutes.

After covering this beat for over a year and a half, I also learned a few things. For instance, most people don't realize the cost of parking could come down if demand is anemic in a particular area, but I didn't realize the price could theoretically go as low as $.25/hour if the demand requires it. If the good parking managers at the SFMTA are looking to blunt possible public criticism, I think they will do well to highlight the fact that rates can decline.

Parking guru Donald Shoup already picked up on the sim and tweeted it to his followers, calling it a "great new video."

Will something as cute as this do anything to ameliorate the visceral rage parking meters inspire in many drivers? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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