Leave it to KTVU to Sensationalize One Car-Share Parking Space

KTVU reporter David Stevenson is at it again, with a new report about reserving one on-street parking spot for car-share vehicles. With Stevenson’s history of muckraking about lawfully helmet-less bicyclists, and a handful of re-purposed parking spaces, this sort of scandalous scoop is right up his alley.

Somerville and Stevenson bring you the latest parking scandal. Image: KTVU

Stevenson glosses over the fact that car-share vehicles open up more parking spaces, since each can replace nine to 13 privately-owned cars. He knows that, if you find enough uninformed people on the street to quote, the real story will come out: “Drivers and businesses in the neighborhood tell us they’re bracing for the impact,” he says.

That’s right. A single parking space, at Clement Street and 24th Avenue in the Richmond, is poised to be used more efficiently. So naturally, “Some people are saying changing just one parking place can disrupt an entire street,” as KTVU anchor Frank Somerville said to introduce the story.

There will indeed be an “impact,” and it may even “disrupt” the street, in the positive, tech-culture sense of the word. More residents can either sell their cars, or forego buying one, since they’ll have more convenient access to car-share. A nationwide study from UC Berkeley confirmed this.

But it’s probably a safe bet Stevenson didn’t explain that to people on the street, since otherwise he might not have elicited the sort of soundbites that fit his narrative: “a waste of a parking spot,” one man says. “I think it’s ridiculous,” one woman says.

“Everybody kills each other for parking out here, so it’s going to have a huge impact,” says a grocery store owner.

Let’s hope it does.

  • Brian Smith

    KTVU plays to a very car-dependent Contra Costa County. Sharing is communism. Especially sharing “my” public parking space.

  • David Marcus

    I blame the terrible coverage from the Richmond’s local blog (http://richmondsfblog.com/2014/07/10/city-plans-to-remove-20-residential-parking-spaces-for-car-share-program/ ) for promoting this narrow perspective that every parking spot is sacred and nobody would ever give up their car.

  • IHeartPandas

    Aaron — is there someone at KTVU who I can email to complain about their uninformed reporting?

  • Andy Thornley

    I’m the project manager for the SFMTA’s on-street car share pilot program, let me pipe up with a few basic resources. So far 12 parking spaces in the Richmond District have been approved for pilot on-street car share permits, after five public hearings and three SFMTA board meetings. This Clement Street pod will have a City CarShare vehicle in it soon, and the SFMTA will be gathering data on how it’s used, how often, how far it goes, unique users, etc.

    You may have seen (and maybe you’ve used) the City CarShare car that is stationed on 4th Avenue just off Clement Street. Dozens of people already use this car every month, which helps keep the local car population a bit lower as it helps neighbors save money and do the things they need to do with a car, without having to own a car.

    See this map for car share locations approved and still in planning across the city:

    http://sfmta.com/sites/default/files/projects/CSO_Space_Requests_citywide_20140829.pdf

    The SFMTA On-Street Car Share Pilot Project web page has much more information, including links to car share studies, regulatory basis of the permit, and other resources:

    http://sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/car-sharing-policy-and-pilot-project#details

    If you’d like to get on the car share pilot project mailing list, or you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line: Andy.Thornley@sfmta.com

  • What do you expect from nonsensical lame boring trite and worthless KTVU? Get over it because this station is useless and cannot even be considered popcorn for the masses. It is pure trash.

  • baklazhan

    Perhaps a way to stem the controversy would be to require the carshare companies to identify local residents who are willing to donate their ‘fair’ share of street parking space to be used as carshare spots. This shouldn’t be much of a challenge– they can just ask their members– and I think it would really take the wind out of the sails of those who’d argue that the carshare companies are somehow stealing the spaces that belong to residents, when it’s the residents themselves who are volunteering.

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    After Leslie Griffith’s mysterious disappearance and Dennis Richmond’s retirement, I just don’t care anymore. I’ll still turn it on for background noise in the morning sometimes – but I wouldn’t say I’m actually watching.

  • It’s not just the Richmond, though. The de facto leader of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council is on an imperious crusade against the same thing.

  • LePinkElephant

    I had to watch a Ford ad to see the clip. . . .

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