Today’s Headlines

  • Mayor Ed Lee Wants to Repeal Sunday Parking Metering. Seriously. (SFGate)
  • 47-Year-Old Man Hospitalized by Driver in Crosswalk at Alemany and Brotherhood Way (SF Examiner)
  • Giampaolo Boschetti Pleads Not Guilty to Running Over, Killing, Zhen Guang Ng, 86 (SF Appeal)
  • More on Vision Zero: “It Starts With Holding Drivers Accountable,” Says Sup. Kim (SF Examiner)
  • Sup. Chiu to Introduce Another Resolution Pushing for a Car-Free Market Street (BeyondChron)
  • More From SF Weekly on Muni’s Shoddy Hybrids; Campos Calls Hearing on Muni Contracts (Examiner)
  • Two ZipCars Set on Fire in Parking Lot at Dolores and 15th (SFist, SF Examiner)
  • SFBG on Google Buses: “Segregated Buses … Should Come With a Higher Price Tag”
  • Alamo Square Tour Bus Restrictions Go Into Effect (SF Examiner)
  • SFMTA Developing New NoPa RPP Zone Around the Fell and Oak Bike Lanes (Uppercasing)
  • Vancouver Blogger on SF: “Very Much a Bike Culture in Transition” (Hush)
  • 82-Year-Old Man Crossing El Camino Real in Millbrae Killed by Driver (SM Daily Journal)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • murphstahoe

    “Now, I think we have come up with a better way to finance Muni in the long haul, so why not give people a break?”

    Lee plans to call for the rollback in his State of the City address
    Friday and to ask voters to approve a $500 million general obligation
    bond in November to fund transportation. It would be the first in a
    series of bonds over the next 10 years.

    He’s not even robbing Peter to pay Paul. He’s robbing a person to be named later to pay Paul, and having to rob with interest. And probably in the form of increased taxes on things with positive externalities, like sales. The argument will go that we need to have free meters because people won’t come shop if they have to pay to park, but then we jack up the sales taxes on them anyway? The net result is that the bills are paid by everyone, not just those using the parking spots. Bad policy.

  • Jamison Wieser

    Well, it looks like time to CELEBRATE!

    I’m curious about the details, but if its time to roll back free sunday parking Mayor Lee must have managed to secure together that $10.1 billion his own task-force finds is needed to fix Muni.

    But why roll it back just for car owners? Why not free Muni on Sunday as well?

  • Mario Tanev

    Wow, when Sunday meters were proposed they were justified based on parking management and turnover, not based on revenue, with Ed Reiskin even penning an editorial. Did they find out that parking meters don’t support turnover and parking congestion? Sounds like a step backwards that nobody is asking for, why is Ed Lee doing this? In addition, Ed Lee is not proposing any new operating revenues and this and free Muni for kids will just eat into the operating budget.

  • jonobate

    So free Sunday parking is being sold as an affordability issue. You know what would make the city more affordable? Speeding up the primary Muni lines so that living in the more affordable outer neighborhoods and commuting downtown becomes a practical option for more people. Maybe you could use some of that parking meter revenue to do that.

  • murphstahoe

    why is Ed Lee doing this?

    I presume this is a rhetorical question.

  • murphstahoe

    Another interesting point – some of the loudest arguments against Sunday metering was from Pastors who said they had congregants who now lived outside town who would return to SF for church services. By passing a bond to pay for the MTA instead of using meter revenue, Lee is choosing to tax his own citizenry rather than people from outside the city coming to visit.

    If it came down to people in the city, the cost of Sunday metering is now so vanishingly small compared to housing costs that it’s laughable to consider it the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • shamelessly

    Not to mention that the city already grants magic free parking in traffic lanes to people driving to churches across SF on Sunday mornings. So churchgoers already have a free alternative to metered spots.

  • Sprague

    So much effort, consensus building, and compromise was expended a little more than a year ago to finally implement a reasonable policy that provides a multitude of benefits. Why squander this achievement? We know that free parking is inconsistent with “transit first” and it is counter productive to improving pedestrian safety. (disqus only seemed to let me comment as a reply and not as a separate post)

  • timsmith

    Guessing a deal was made with certain groups to gain support for the transportation measure. Still an incredibly terrible decision.

  • Who are these mythical creatures being priced out of the city who somehow still have enough money for a car? Lee needs to provide some stats on this, because somehow I don’t think this is a segment of the population that actually exists.

  • aslevin

    I avoid driving to SF, but Sunday is the day I’m most tempted to drive because Caltrain shuts down early. I’d much rather have meters and be able to find a space, rather than having to waste time and incur stress hunting for parking.

  • RichardC

    Car ownership is actually relatively high in a number of the city’s most affordable neighborhoods, since they tend to be farther out and less accessible via transit (Tenderloin excepted). The obvious example is the Bayview, which has some of the city’s lowest incomes and highest rates of car ownership. So while the average household with a car is likely better off financially than the average car-free household, clearly not everyone who owns a car is rich. As gentrification spreads farther out from the core of the city, you can bet there are plenty of these residents who are getting priced out.

  • murphstahoe

    “shuts down early” – so do the meters.

    unless by “shuts down early” you mean “shuts down at 8 PM Friday night when the trains go to hourly service until Monday AM” 🙂

  • aslevin

    Last Sunday train is 9:15 out of 4th and King. I’d typically come in the afternoon and stay til later

  • SFnative74

    Could be families with kids, which are mythical creatures in this city of 25-35 year old Peter Pans, the rich, and the very poor. And before I hear about how families can survive here without a car, sure, it is possible but pretty damn difficult. Much more difficult than it is for people who are single or for couples without kids.

  • Maybe, maybe not. No point in speculating what’s possible, let’s let Ed Lee present his case. If he can’t do that, there’s no reason whatsoever to trust him.

  • SFnative74

    Though I think a city devoid of middle class families or kids is undesirable, I actually don’t agree with Mayor Lee and would prefer the city keep the Sunday meters in. Paying a few extra dollars for those Sundays when people drive to go shopping is not what is driving families out of this city. It seems like a step backwards to repeal Sunday meters.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I think you mis-read Eric’s post and we’re all in agreement. The mythical creature we’re wondering about is someone who can barely afford to live in San Francisco but who somehow has enough money to own a car and yet can’t afford to park it on Sundays.

  • SFnative74

    MrEricSir wrote: “Who are these mythical creatures being priced out of the city who somehow still have enough money for a car?” Most families need at least one car and will hold onto it even when they are getting pinched financially. I think that fits Eric’s description, which seems apt as the dearth of families with children in this city – compared to most other cities – makes them mythical creatures.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Ok, but what does any of this have to do with lowering the cost of housing in SF or affording a car? Free parking on Sunday doesn’t change how much new tires or an oil change costs, not to mention gas and insurance.

    I’ve known several people who have had to give up their cars (and this city) for financial reasons over the past several years, and it wasn’t Sunday meters that were breaking the bank. It might have been parking tickets tho… I agree with Eric, I’d like to see some real data. Data I’ve seen for commuting into downtown is that the majority of car drivers make over $100,000. Whereas transit riders and bike riders are low to middle income earners.

  • jamiewhitaker

    I’m dumbfounded that bond proceeds are now going to replace the $6 million parking meter revenues to run operations of SFMTA instead of capital investments? Giving folks who live outside of San Francisco a free ride on our infrastructure by driving here. More traffic congestion from circling cars looking for the free parking space.. Meaning more carcinogenic air pollution for walkers and bikers to prematurely die from. Gee, thanks.

  • gneiss

    But those aren’t the neighborhoods where there are numerous meters, except on a few of the commercial corridors. How is throwing $5 at the meter on a Sunday for a few hours while they’re shopping going to break the bank for people? And as others have said, why isn’t the city also giving people a break riding on MUNI on Sundays?

    This is obviously more about scoring political points with Mayor Lee’s key money giving constituents who’ve most likely been upset (and called him personally) about how they can no longer park all day in front of their businesses on Sundays. It would be interesting to review emails he’s gotten from constituents (like they did for Bloomberg) to see who the people are that are influencing him.

  • I’ve seen a large number of shopping centers built just outside a city’s tax zone. I can’t recall seeing any built just outside the meter zone.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    What does that have to do with metered versus free parking? Are you saying that people with kids need free parking? Why not free muni service too?

  • aslevin

    Doesn’t the bond measure need to be approved by the Supervisors? So is there an opportunity to advocate to the Supes that more Muni service would be more welcome than more parking? Also, is SF planning to do some more polling to narrow down the fine details of a ballot measure, or is that all done? If there’s more polling, the City could test whether a measure that used the money for more Muni service would pass.

  • murphstahoe

    approved by the supervisors and presumably the voters….

  • Having kids but no car is incredibly easy. For my family, having a car would just be a ginormous pain in the tuckus. Am I seriously supposed to chauffeur the kids around? AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

  • Sprague

    Perhaps you didn’t want to hear from families who “can survive here without a car,” however I feel compelled to let you know that this is an easy city to live in for a family of 4 without a car. There is a very entrenched mindset of many in our country (and our city) that life is not possible without a car (that one can’t “survive” without one). I, too, was concerned about how hard life might be without a car. When our old, exhaust spewing Toyota finally bit the dust over a year ago, we went from being a family that rarely but occasionally got around by car to being a family that uses public transit and our legs to get around. For our family, and presumably for many others, San Francisco would be a much more livable and enjoyable place if there were fewer cars on its streets (which would result in cleaner air, less noise pollution, less congestion impairing Muni, and safer streets to walk and bike on). The notion that a car is needed to “survive” in a dense U.S. city is a widely shared fallacy.

  • murphstahoe

    The mindset issue is this. “Look, how can I get to the Discovery Museum in Sausalito without a car. Oh right, the J to the Ferry to blah blah that takes way too long and is too inconvenient”.

    1) The kid probably enjoys the Ferry ride
    2) More importantly – what is so magical about that specific Museum? Is it worth having a mini-van so that you can go to a Museum in Sausalito instead of Randall, Exploratorium, Zoo, etc… all the other opportunities that are closer?

    The second issue can get complicated if there isn’t critical mass. A problem crops up when someone who hasn’t flipped their mindset decides to have the birthday party at Pump it Up in San Mateo because they couldn’t get a reservation at the one in India Basin. Now, someone else has decided for you that you must have a car, instead of planning a birthday party that doesn’t require the attendees to spend a collective $100 in gasoline.

    I know people who will take a 6 AM flight instead of a more convenient time in order to save $20 in airfare, but don’t blink at a 30 mile round trip that uses $8 in gas to go to a specific but in the end unremarkable restaurant.

  • Rod_North


    My family has lived in SF both with and without a car. I’d agree with you that some trips made without a car can be fun, like a ferry ride,

    But your second point concerns me. You appear to be saying that, if you don’t have a car, you can just do something local and less ambitious instead.

    The problem there is that trips become more mundane and boring. Going to Mission Dolores Park just because it is close rather than, say, the Marin Headlands is selling your kids short. They want variety and excitement, not just the local place they always go to.

    In fact, the real problem with not having a car isn’t that you suffer more inconvenience in getting somewhere, but rather that you end up not going to places at all.

    In the end, life is for living to the max, and not “making do”. Twin Peaks isn’t Half Dome, and the Arboretum is not Muir Woods. You can live in the city without a car, but you can’t leave the city so easily without one.

  • murphstahoe

    Going to Mission Dolores Park just because it is close rather than, say,
    the Marin Headlands is selling your kids short. They want variety and
    excitement, not just the local place they always go to.

    For example we can take them to Glacier National Park. Of course, they will have to take their children to Glacier-Free National Park because we melted the glaciers driving to Target in Serramonte to save a few bucks on childrens underwear.

    The most likely place for a child to die is in the seat of a car. Childhood obesity is on the rise in part because we drive our kids places they used to walk. Childhood asthma is higher than centuries previous due to vehicle emissions. Children get less interaction from their parents while in the car seat (or if the driving parent is interacting with them, they dramatically increase the chances of an accident).

    All of those things are not “living life to the max” – they are *reducing* life spans and *reducing* the quality of life.

    Your examples are also hyperbolic. It’s not the annual trip to Half-Dome that is causing the problem.

  • baklazhan

    To say that “bond proceeds” are going to pay for something is almost irrelevant. All a bond does is allow you to spend future revenues today. The question is, where are those revenues coming from?

    If it’s from property taxes (like that street improvement bond), then we’ve got yet another situation where we all residents pay in order to reduce the cost of driving, including the cost for people from outside the city.

  • SFnative74

    Actually, I wasn’t saying that at all, but thanks anyway.

  • 94103er

    That’s just silly. Renting a car once in a while is cheap and easy to do.

    If this city would stop being such a joke and step up transit accessibility to all neighborhoods (especially the family-heavy hilly ones), you’d be amazed how many families would agree that being car-free is not only feasible but it saves money.

  • Sprague

    Car share or rental cars are a great option for those who don’t own… and Muni (and other transit agencies) do a great job making some of the Bay Area’s best spots very accessible. For example, the 76X brings you to the Marin Headlands and there’s even a bus to Fort Funston. Indeed, my younger daughter’s entire 2nd grade class took the bus there to go camping last week.

  • FL

    Hyperbolic? Pfft. It’s more like Rod is more realistic of the majority of people who aren’t caught up in the anti-car rage here. There are many places to visit outside of San Francisco not just once, but many times too. That is the reason why I still have a car. Not every neighborhood has a car rental or car share easily accessible. The fees add up after a while too. I did the numbers for myself and it’s still cheaper to own a car.