November 20, 2009

UNN Meeting Minutes: City-Wide Parking Changes

Here are minutes from last night's Upper Noe Neighbors meeting:
The latest parking meter proposals making the rounds at neighborhood groups were presented to the Upper Noe Neighbors last night at our monthly meeting. Jay Primus from the Municipal Transportation Authority and Jesse Koehler from the SF County Transportation Authority provided some background on "parking management" and what's in the works to improve parking in the city & increase revenues.

The idea is to potentially increase paid parking meter times based on supply and demand. Here are the highlights:
  • Sunday: paid parking from 11:00AM-6:00PM (vs. not paying anything presently)
  • 59% of meters: Mon-Sat: pay for parking until either 6:00PM, 9:00PM or midnight
  • 23%: Mon-Thurs until 6PM; Fri-Sat until 9PM
  • 17%: Mon-Sat until midnight (areas like the Mission, Castro)
  • 1%: Mon-Sat until 6PM (area like Bayview)
Additionally, the city would increase the number of hours you'd be able to occupy a spot. So if you're in the Mission having dinner at Maverick and you park at a meter, you can load up your meter (ideally, in the future, via credit card or phone) for four hours so you don't have to run out during dessert to pop quarters in.

UNN members expressed concern for the parking attendants who'd be working the nightshifts. And questioned whether the cost of increasing meter enforcer hours & employees will outweigh any increased revenue. Jay says that the city currently gets $30M annually in revenues, as well as $18M in citations. Changing the meter times will apparently end up bringing in $9M in additional revenue.

Any comments? UNN would love to forward them to the right people. Email us at, and we'll make sure your input is included.

Eileen Bermingham
Board, UNN
[SFCTA: On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study]
[NVSF: UNN Meeting: Parking Around Town]


Nelson said...

Wouldn't the first step in increasing parking revenue be figuring out where the existing parking revenue is disappearing to? Back in 2007 we learned that each meter only collects about two hours of revenue, despite a 75% occupancy rate. Is the money not being paid by drivers, or is it being paid and then disappears? Has the situation improved?

Also, as a quality of life thing we need parking meters that take credit cards. Carrying 24 quarters in your pocket to park for two hours is unacceptable. The MTA does have stored value parking cards, but those are not easy to find and buy. I know we just wasted a bunch of city funds upgrading the parking meters a few years ago; shame they don't do the job.

insidesfre said...

Nelson, thanks for emailing me your comments. I've sent them on to Jay Primus at the SFMTA.

Anonymous said...

What about all the lost money from
Handicapped placards?

Anonymous said...

just what we need--more regressive taxes and fee.

Anonymous said...

First of all, having different times and rules for different places is a recipe for frustration and confusion. Everywhere in the world, meters don't need to be fed on Sundays or after 6--except San Francisco, except in the Castro Saturday night, except the meter you forgot to feed, etc.

The real problem is that much of the increased revenue is from tickets. And tickets are just another way for the city to alienate visitors and residents.

If the city wants to raise money, it should do so by ticketing double-parked trucks blocking lanes (I pass a minimum of 2 per day on Folsom during commute hours), dangerous drivers who run stop signs and talk on their phones without headset, etc. Go after what's dangerous.

Or increase residential permit fees and enforcement of real driving hazards instead. I can park for a whole year for the price of two expired meters.

Hitting us up for $45 every time someone forgot the meter needed to be fed on Sunday or didn't have a handful of quarters is just plain hostile--bad for tourism, and bad for people who live here.

I hate this idea. It is short sighted and punishes small businesses and residents alike.

Noe Valley

Anonymous said...

Those MTA parking cards are easy to find...just order online ( and they come a few days later in the mail. I don't drive in the city a lot, so a $50 card lasts quite a while. But for more frequent users, it would be nice it there was an "autoload" feature like Translink or FasTrak -- when balance falls below a set amount, it automatically adds more from your checking account.

murphstahoe said...

"First of all, having different times and rules for different places is a recipe for frustration and confusion. Everywhere in the world, meters don't need to be fed on Sundays or after 6"

This is San Francisco - one of the most educated places on the planet. I have faith that our citizens, and even our tourists, can read the little sign on the meter that indicates hours of enforcement. Counter to your claim, Chicago had varied hours of operation, including past 6 PM and including Sundays. That was found with *one* google search.

While I agree that the other violations you describe should be aggressively enforced, stop sign and cellphone infraction money would not go to MTA. Double Parking would, if I understand it correctly, but it's harder to nail the double parker because they are a moving target.

Looking specifically at 24th St, it would be very *good* for business. Currently the spots on 24th fill up at 6:01 PM with residents who then go home. Metering means those spots stay open for customers.

Currently those customers "park" in the entryway to Whole Foods, which is doing a very meager job of keeping people from idling on the sidewalk - which is a direct danger to pedestrians (since we are talking about "real driving hazards" here). WF knows if they went gestapo on enforcing the no standing in their entryway they'd shoo off customers.

Currently, as someone who is part owner of those streets (as a citizen), rarely drives to 24th St, and uses MUNI, I'm being punished. MUNI fares went up 33%, and the city is not charging market value for an asset, subsidizing residents near 24th St at everyone else's expense, including the businesses impacted by a poor utilization of the existing street parking. I rely on the local businesses, I don't want poor parking management to force them out of business and force me to Serramonte.


elizlk said...

I agree that the meters should be priced based on demand, as long as they're upgraded to the version that takes credit cards at the same time (e.g., the system in place on Embarcadero). Such a system is more resident and tourist friendly by not requiring a roll of quarters, and as an earlier poster said, keeping meters open for customers rather than street-parking residents who stay put.