SFpark’s proposals prompt backlash

The SFMTA’s parking management proposals for the Mission Bay, 12th and Folsom and 17th and Folsom Street areas have been put on hold, pending further consultation with those living and working in the targeted neighborhoods. 

Marc Salomon has been part of a coalition involving the North Mission, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch neighborhood groups. He provides us with the following update:

San Franciscans agree that there needs to be changes to the way that limited street space is allocated in order to achieve Transit First policy goals. Transit has to be made more attractive first, and the flip side of that coin is that driving then has to be discouraged.  The MTA has begun to price curbside parking using SFPark meters.  Five neighborhoods with some residential character have been chosen for a pilot project, Mission Bay, Dogpatch, Potrero, the North Mission and Folsom at 12th in Western SOMA.

The MTA has taken a brute force approach to this, any parcel with non-residential uses gets meters while residential gets parking permits (RPP).  This might seem reasonable, but as Western SOMA knows, the lines blur in a mixed use neighborhood that planners are trained to not understand.  On the residential side, there are more residents with autos than spaces in front of buildings, and some non-residential uses require that employees drive to work with tools that cannot be taken on transit.  The MTA did not give residents or blue collar workers any consideration, not during prior outreach nor during a public hearing that was all hearing, no listening, reminiscent of how the Soviet Union handled due process.

Residents and businesses rebelled, worked the system, and the MTA leadership apologized and is now taking a second look, although one rude MTA director blames the residents.  The MTA claims that SFPark is an innovative program, that it prices curbside parking at market rate.  But the Eastern Neighborhoods area plans call for curbside parking to be managed for the benefit of residents.  The MTA also claims that parking revenue goes to Muni, but cannot be made to innovate such that local revenues go to enhance poor local transit service, it all goes into one big pot and we know how that works out, ka-ching. One solution would be to enact RPP, expanded to handle the unique needs of PDR businesses in mixed use districts, place meters everywhere but where certain PDR needs day use for storage, and to allow RPP to override meters with all meter revenue going to bolster adjacent transit service.  But for the MTA, innovation only goes so far and the complexity cannot be handled internally, but can only be pushed out into the neighborhoods.  The MTA Citizens Advisory Council will be having a public hearing on the outreach component of SFPark at our March meeting, March 8, 2012 at 5:30 at 1 South Van Ness, 3d floor conference room.

Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council 



Filed under meetings, planning, transportation

9 responses to “SFpark’s proposals prompt backlash

  1. Francis

    SF Park is an EPIC FAILURE! I live in a pilot area SOMA where SF Park installed meters. The end result is that the residents in my neighborhood can no longer park near our homes, apartments, and businesses. This is absolutely a none too transparent attempt to raise taxes on citiizens expected to support over EIGHT THOUSAND City employees making over $150,000 a year under the guise of “going green.”

    The EPIC FAILURE is that **NO ONE IS PARKING AT THE METERS** along the Caltrain line Near Townsend and 6th street. Residents on Bluxome Street now have to park our cars up to 4 blocks away from our homes or pay $2.00 – $3.00 an hour to park at the meters to bring in groceries or off load our children. Is it any wonder why families have given up on San Francisco?

    It is a huge inconvenience to the businesses and residents in my neighborhood and its made SOMA a less desirable place to rent, own real estate, or operate a business. The residents see this as a money grab by the SFMTA who rammed these meters through without regard for the needs or input of our neighborhood. The city takes away street parking from hardworking residents so that the SFMTA can build websites and useless smartphone apps that require a $100.00 a month cell phone plan. *This is class warfare that favors the wealthiest residents of the city and penalizes poorer, working class citizens who have less money and education. SF Park states that that they use “innovative technology and advanced pricing strategies”. I say that residents should not have to own a smart phone, or be digitally literate in order to park their cars. If you are elderly, disabled, or on a fixed income, you will be forced to take MUNI to get around the city.

    The MTA is basically auctioning off the parking parking spaces so that the highest payer wins! This de facto tax threatens to price middle income residents out of our neighborhoods and DECIMATE small businesses. More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco’s nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year. The revenue from these new meters will only benefit the pockets, and pension plans of city employees.

    Residents in other parts of the city should fight this fascism and not allow these meters to be installed. Jay Primus, and the Government officials who implemented this poorly run project should be removed from their six figure, App writing, Ivory Towers.

  2. Heather C

    I think this article is wrong. As of 4 days ago, Mission Bay was still on the docket (and soon) for being metered.

    From Jay Primus 2/2/12:
    Welcome to the Mission Bay parking planning mailing list.

    For the past decade, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has been developing plans to manage on-street parking in Mission Bay to make it easier to park and encourage transit, walking, and biking. This area includes the new rapidly developing Mission Bay neighborhood, as well as adjacent more established but evolving neighborhoods.

    As you may know, the original Mission Bay parking management proposal included parts of Dogpatch and Potrero Hill that are within walking distance of Mission Bay and therefore relevant for coherent parking management in the area. Based on requests from community members, the SFMTA is dividing the Mission Bay parking management proposal into three separate proposals, one for each neighborhood (Mission Bay, Dogpatch, and Potrero). The Mission Bay proposal now includes the area north of Mariposa Street, east of 7th Street, and south of Bryant Street.

    I am writing to let you know about upcoming meter installation and parking management planning in Mission Bay.

    New metered spaces

    In 2002, the City established Mission Bay as a metering district, consistent with the vision for Mission Bay as a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood; and, in 2008, Mission Bay was included as part of the SFpark pilot project.

    As of 2011 more than half the parcels in Mission Bay had begun or completed construction, and some of the planned parking meters have been installed over the last two years. To address current and growing parking demand as the neighborhood rapidly develops, the SFMTA will begin installing the remaining parking meters in the Mission Bay metering district later this spring. Details include:
    Meters will operate Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Rates will begin at $1.25 per hour to match rates at adjacent existing meters.
    Rates will be adjusted on a demand-responsive basis, no more frequently than every 30 days, to achieve parking availability goals.
    The SFMTA is currently assessing how to phase meter implementation in order to avoid conflicts with current and upcoming construction. We will let you know before any meters are installed.
    CLICK HERE to see a map of the metering district

    Click to access SFpark_MissionBay_MeterInstalls_v01.pdf

    Mission Bay parking management planning

    While the SFMTA is moving ahead with installing parking meters in Mission Bay, we are working with the community to refine other aspects of the parking management proposal for the area. This includes how the SFMTA might adjust its existing policy for managing parking during special events, as well as the related proposal for operating meters in the Mission Bay area (as defined above) on Sundays and until 11 p.m., consistent with the meters that the Port of San Francisco oversees.

    In the coming weeks, we will email a revised version of the Mission Bay parking management proposal and the schedule for moving forward. That schedule will include the date for a public meeting that the SFMTA will hold this spring and other means we will use to gather additional community input before finalizing the proposal.

    Please help us reach your neighbors by letting them know about this mailing list.

    CLICK HERE to share a link to the Mission Bay parking planning mailing list.

    Thank you for your interest in parking management in the Mission Bay area. If this is not the neighborhood you are interested in, please click here to manage your SFMTA parking planning mailing lists.


    Best regards,

    Jay Primus
    San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

  3. Jim

    Who should pay for those parking spots? The city nows pays for them. Why shouldn’t the people who use them pay for them? That is one of the main goals of SFPark and is very much downplayed in Marc’s article. How does he propose to speed up the bus?

    If the City is going to live up to its Transit First goal this is a good way to start: Make underpriced driving more expensive. As a pedestrian and a cyclist who lives in western SOMA I am tired of paying for parking spots that I never use. I am tired of sitting on the bus behind all those people circling around looking for parking.

    Now, all of that does not account for the MTA’s potential mishandling of its outreach. They have readjusted and are looking at other options.

    Good suggestion that parking fees could go to improve local transit service. There’s precedent for that. As well, RPP overriding parking could work as well, but only if the price of a parking permit were doubled or tripled.

    • Jimboy

      Perhaps the City should charge bicyclists to park on the sidewalk or where ever they lock up. If they lock up illegally to pole or tree or block the sidewalk they should receive a ticket. All bikes in the city should be licensed, their owners required to wear helmets, be subject to annual inspections to insure they are safe. Bike owners should be required to demonstrate they have insurance to operate their bikes in the case they run over someone or case bodily injury.

  4. Bob Anderson

    I have to agree with the previous comment about this being simply a money grab by the city and its departments. The money being taken in by parking will never be seen by Muni or any other transit agency in the city. The politicians have their heads in the sand when it comes to how this city spends money on its residents. It will all go to high salaries and unrealistic benefits that only a few are privy to. As a cyclists and a Senior Citizen who pays huge amounts of taxes to live in this city every year I feel ripped off and lied to by the city and it’s Management. Maybe we need to look at the long over used for excuses policy of transit first. Does anyone really know what that means anyway?

  5. Zouaf

    We need to manage parking better, but there should be a way for residents and workers to park without having to worry about how much it’s going to cost. What about parking permits for residents and people who work in the area? Tourists would pay meter rates and locals could pay a nominal fee for a parking sticker.

    Someone pointed out that no one parks at the metered spots on Townsend. They should think about ways to offer all-day parking for Caltrain commuters at a reasonable rate.

  6. Mirka

    I’m a Soma resident who lives on Folsom St. I just recently became aware of the SFPark 12th & Folsom Parking Management Plan, scheduled, as I understand, for April. My husband & I have lived in this area for over 5 years (and in another area of Soma before that for 7). We love living in this area because it is possible to do so much without a car, and do as much as possible on foot or other means. We fully support making the area more pedestrian and bike friendly. My husband (an avid cyclist) and I are both members of the SF Bike Coalition. However, we do each own a car and park on the streets in the area. If you install meters where residents park, you’re discouraging people from leaving their car at home and encouraging them to drive everywhere. This will be the effect. Do we expect free parking? No, but let’s be fair and get revenue from residents through sticker permits, not from meters and citations. Not all residents of Soma live in new live-work lofts with parking or garages. Many residents are modest income and will not be thrilled to be forced to pay for a residential permit. I think this would be a great improvement to the plan to indiscriminately blanket the area with parking meters. This plan needs to recognize and accommodate the parking needs of Soma residents, and prioritize their need for the shrinking parking available ahead of people who work in the area, shoppers and businesses. Please help get the word out to residents of the area so that they can provide their input, since I’m sure many aren’t even aware of the changes being proposed. Soma residents need your assistance in making our voices heard. Thanks!

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