Chron’s Math: Re-Purposing 0.01 Percent of Parking = “Devouring” Parking

The SF Chronicle published its take on the SFMTA’s proposed network of permitted stops for private shuttles. These proposed stops would re-purpose 0.01 percent of the city’s on-street parking supply as white zones. According to the Chronicle, that equates to Google buses “devouring parking,” as its headline puts it.

Devoting 0.01 percent of SF’s street parking so that shuttles can load out of Muni’s way is an atrocity, according to the Chronicle. Image: ABC 7

This is seriously the narrative the Chronicle has construed, even though the article acknowledges that the amount of parking spaces is, “Well, not a huge amount — unless, of course, it’s a space you often use.”

Unfortunately, it is true that every last parking space, no matter how remote, can find its own pocket of constituents. The Chronicle reported that the “Alamo Square Neighborhood Association… is fighting the proposed location of two shared stops at Hayes and Steiner streets because they would result in the part-time loss of parking.” Note to Chronicle: right now, that same neighborhood is in the process of creating a long-needed residential parking permit zone to better manage its parking supply.

As the SFMTA told the Chronicle, three parking spaces in the entire shuttle pilot would be taken full-time to accommodate private transit boardings without getting in the way of Muni. These would serve far more than three bus and shuttle riders, of course, helping to reduce parking demand. Three spaces citywide, to make streets work more efficiently, evidently constitute an outrage for the Chronicle.

Just a reminder: San Francisco has more than enough street parking to line California’s coastline.

  • BBnet3000

    How many fewer cars do the employees of these companies own because of the shuttles? Most of which would be parked on the street…

  • Dave Moore

    Even though I’m pro shuttle, and losing this parking doesn’t strike me as a big deal, these are simply bogus numbers. Citing the percentage of spaces in the city is about as relevant as citing the percentage of atoms in the universe. It may be accurate but it’s irrelevant. A more interesting number is the percentage of spaces within a reasonable distance of the lost spaces. We can argue about what “reasonable” is, but it’s probably a few blocks. Those numbers might have meaning to the residents who are impacted. I expect the percentage is small enough for it still not to matter.

  • murphstahoe

    And the shuttles are primarily near where said employees live, thus the neighborhoods losing a parking spot are the most likely to have also lost X number of cars.

  • vcs

    What? Alamo Square residents aren’t happy there’s plenty of parking available in Park Merced or somewhere? Gee who would have thunk? Who cares, let’s flog it like a dead horse anyway.

    And actually I’m surprised at Aaron’s position here, as he’s generally been in support of the shuttles. Given that nobody can document any of the supposed “Muni delays” the shuttles have caused, it’s surprising the MTA is demanding more curb space. One might accuse MTA pf intentionally trying to create conflict between the shuttles and neighborhood groups.

  • When are people going to learn that the sides of streets are for parking, and not moving large numbers of people?

  • Dexter Wong

    What about those sides of streets that become tow-away zones during commute periods? Do they allow traffic flow or are they depriving people of “needed” parking?

  • I’m reading Aaron’s post, and I don’t see that he’s against the shuttles. Rather, he’s against the Chron’s sensationalist headline that’s clearly meant to try and stir up some more Google Bus controversy.

    Nothing sells newspapers like mimes blocking buses.

  • Kevin J

    The SFMTA could easily make up for the handful of spaces being lost by this latest savage assault on car owners in the continung WAR ON CARS by eliminating those wasteful, useless Muni stops.

    Sur,e Muni riders would whine about having to always board in the street, but they just need to get over their bad attitudes like the Mayor said.

    Problem solved!

  • Mario Tanev

    Um, I support the shuttles and do think that in some places they should have their own zone so that they don’t block Muni. I am not sure how you read that to mean being against the shuttles.

  • @vcs – There are significant Muni delays at locations in the Mission, less so in other places. This could be documented if someone has access to the location data of both system’s vehicles, but $1/stop/day isn’t enough to fund such research.

  • RoyTT

    Part of the reason for muni bus delays is that there are so many muni stops. On some routes there is a stop every block even where the blocks are not very long.

    Wouldn’t a simple solution be to take out a muni stop where there is another one on the same route within, say, 200 yards? And “sell” that redundant stop to shuttles in return for whatever sum can be agreed. Outside of commuting hours, parking could be allowed there to compensate for those cases where parking has to be taken away.

    Result? More revenues, less delays, no loss of parking and an end to this interminable squabble about shuttles.

  • Solution to global warming found: just point out all the parking spots that will be lost to rising sea levels. Then stand back while the politicians spring into action.

  • Oh don’t expect me of all people to actually provide solutions or meticulous thought. I’m just good at complaining through a one-sided narrative.

  • @peternatural – Brilliant! It may only be %0.0001 of the city’s parking but about %2.3255 of the makeout spots. Ken Garcia himself once lamented the loss of parking that jogged his memory of allegedly making out by the waterfront (the Marina, of course).

  • allone25

    Here’s an idea: instead of allowing private monster busses to invade our quiet pedestrian filled neighborhoods, why doesn’t the SFMTA negotiate centralized transit hubs where tech workers can catch these buses. They could be located at central points in the city like the new TransBay Terminal or at the NOPA DMV parking lot. Neighbors, residents and home owners have not been properly notified and the decision making process has not been transparent. Also: no type of analysis of the environmental impact on our air, our trees and our roads has been performed; that is irresponsible and negligent. This program has not been thought through. The SFMTA has not done its homework.

  • Justin

    In other words the amount of parking lost would be just a drop in the bucket


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