Today’s Headline

  • More on Construction Mitigation Proposal (SFExaminer, Curbed)
  • Teams will Design for Global Warming (SFChron)
  • Dynamic Pricing for Parking Meters (SFExaminer)
  • California Cable Car Shutdown (SFBay)
  • Finalists for Harvey Milk Plaza (Hoodline)
  • City Set to Buy Upper Haight McDonald’s (Hoodline)
  • Presidio Terrace Tax Defaulters Fight to get Street Back (SFChron)
  • The New Moscone Center (SFChron)
  • Justin Herman Plaza to get New Name (Hoodline)
  • BART 45 Years Ago (SFGate)
  • Commentary: Housing and the Generational Divide (SFExaminer)
  • Commentary: More on BART’s ‘Free’ Rides (EastBayTimes)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • mx

    Dynamic Pricing for Parking Meters

    I’m beyond skeptical of this. I can see how there were some supply and demand effects when meter prices were changed for entire neighborhoods, but few people are going to check parking meter rates on a real-time basis. Nobody is going to remember that the meter was $3/hour when they were at the dentist but it jumps to $7/hour on this block during dinnertime, but it’s $5/hour a block away. This is San Francisco: if you see a space, you damn well take it. Do that many people, who can afford cars and parking in the city, actually find parking space, check the meter, and then decide to leave because it was too expensive?

    And the swings with the existing system are dramatic. $4/hour at one part of Civic Center, $.50/hour on the other side. What does that achieve beyond requiring everyone to consult a pricing map while trying to drive?

  • You can use an app to catch a lift or to fave a porn video, but not see that 3 blocks over parking is $4 cheaper per hour?

    Good thing is that even on that expensive block, pricing is such that there ought to be a space for you. I suppose you could make them time of day independent and either leave prices ‘too low’ so there’s rarely anything available, or ‘too high’ so the neighborhood suffers during off-peak hours.

  • mx

    Well yes. Drivers shouldn’t be studying a complicated price map while they’re driving. And the prices vary so much from block-to-block that nobody could sensibly memorize it. There are places where the price increases 8 times as you turn the corner. How does that make any sense?

  • I admit I don’t want drivers starting at apps nor do I want them circling endlessly (though not as dangerous).

    But SFPark is not in place now is it? Is the price increase you’re talking about relevant to dynamic pricing?

    Eventually market theory would say people would realize cheaper parking is nearby and use it which will smooth the rates further, or that the wish to park close to some destination is strong enough for that sharp delta to remain, which is a boon for the thrifty who can walk around the corner.

  • mx

    I’m talking about the SFPark prices in place now in the seven pilot areas (, which will be expanded to other metered parking under this plan. There’s also a price map on the site.

    The sense I have, and I could be proven wrong, is that most people have no clue that the price for parking can be 8 times less around the corner. Market theory doesn’t help if the pricing structure is so confusing that most people don’t know it exists. If a driver has to park and check the meter to even know how much it costs, nothing is going to be smoothed out. And I’ve never met a San Francisco driver who will give up a perfectly good parking spot in the hope that there’ll be another cheaper one around the corner.

  • Having witnessed people drive around for a long time looking for free parking instead of that garage right there, etc, I’m not quite as skeptical that people aren’t willing to look around.

    I guess I thought it was paused once the pilot was over and the app was pulled from the store. I don’t see it there now on Android, and the top link on their page from 2013-12-16 still says that the real-time data, etc. is dead. but it does look like they’re still doing manual surveys and updating prices (though at inconsistently timed intervals).