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The New Sunday in SF: Fewer Cars Clogging Up Your Commercial Street

Happy New Year, indeed. This Sunday will mark the day when San Francisco finally catches up with the times and runs parking meters during business hours on Sundays, ending the nonsensical weekly tradition of allowing prime parking spots in front of shops to sit occupied for free while drivers circle endlessly around the block.

The meters will run from 12 to 6 p.m., when demand for parking is highest. That means turnover will be higher and fewer drivers be distractedly searching for spots, wasting gas and adding to the noise, air pollution, and danger on the streets.

To help get the word out about Sunday metering, the city produced the above PSA featuring a parking meter and an ice cream sundae.

Unfortunately, religious leaders still maintain that this long overdue transportation reform is just the SFMTA's way of attacking every marginalized group they can name. For SF Interfaith Council Director Michael Pappas, who appeared in the SF Chronicle yesterday, the victim of choice this time around was volunteers who serve the poor. Note that Pappas has yet to publicly voice any concern over volunteers paying for unreliable Muni service on Sundays, or for the safety of volunteers who walk or bike to their destinations. Sunday metering is going to reduce the illegal parking that slows Muni and often endangers people walking and biking.

Pappas does, however, indirectly hint at one unresolved question: Will the SFMTA's parking enforcement officers continue to allow drivers to illegally co-opt traffic lanes and bike lanes as free church parking lots on Sundays?

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