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