New Video Sim Bets San Franciscans Will *Heart* SFPark

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.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

SFpark Releases Pilot Report, Considers Giving Revenue to Local Streets

|
SFpark has released new comprehensive stats collected during its two-year pilot program phase, documenting the numerous benefits that it garnered by pricing parking according to demand. SFpark is being watched closely by cities around the world, since it’s the first program to thoroughly test demand-based parking pricing principles first professed by UCLA’s Donald Shoup. But the […]

San Francisco to Start Smart Parking Management Trial Soon

|
The central principle of San Francisco’s cutting-edge parking management program, SFPark, comes right from Econ 101. If there are more people looking for parking than there are parking spaces (i.e. demand is greater than supply) adjust the price of parking until there is enough turnover on a given street, or roughly one free parking space […]

SFMTA Launches SFPark to Much Fanfare and Political Support

|
San Francisco launched the world’s most innovative parking pilot today, a federally-funded trial that promises to revolutionize the way cities manage and price metered curb parking. SFPark will make it easier for motorists to find spaces in busy commercial districts, while reducing congestion, speeding Muni, and improving air quality and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. […]

All Meters Now SFpark-Ready — More Demand-Based Parking Pricing to Come

|
The SFMTA recently upgraded all of SF’s 29,000 parking meters to “smart meters” that are enabled for demand-based price changes throughout the day, a la SFpark. Now, the SFMTA plans to expand its smart pricing program that has curbed car traffic to more existing meters. “SFpark showed that demand-based pricing can improve parking availability without increasing double parking, congestion, […]

Jay Primus: Too Early to Evaluate Results of SFPark

|
It’s too soon in the development of SFPark to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of demand-responsive pricing on parking habits, says the SFMTA’s Jay Primus, who manages the SFPark program. Primus got in touch yesterday when the Streetsblog Network highlighted a blog post from Michael Perkins at Greater Greater Washington which claimed that the results of the […]