August 2, 2012

The NVMPA's Parking Problem

The NVMPA's newsletter is always amusing, but this item from July is particularly out of touch:

As noted in the President's information emails, your Association, specifically the merchants on Castro, is circulating and gathering signatures in protest of the SFMTA's planning for the removal of three (3) much needed parking spaces on Castro. We need more parking for our customers, for the community and for commercial growth, not less. The future will be more demanding, especially with the loss of the Ministry Lot.

We need your support! If the SFMTA insists upon taking of a parking space; then we want some support from the City, in which we live, work and pay taxes. We are asking for the conversion of the 24 Divisadero bus zones at Noe and 24th Streets, that they be converted to 'pole or bar stops', thereby adding necessary and favorably anticipated additional parking. Not only would this add parking but would eliminate the dangerous illegal right turn lane that so many drivers use. The intersection at Noe and 24th Streets would be made safer for the entire Noe Valley Community. See attachment, copy and circulate.

Please, read the Petition. Gather signatures, then call your President for pick-up. We are also asking for unmetered Diagonal Parking on the Eastside of Castro at James Lick Middle School. The issue of needed parking in Noe Valley is a straight forward one and your Association has a Parking Plan.
This is an old issue with the NVMPA and deserves discussion. But since NVMPA President Robert Roddick never returns our emails we put these questions to our readers:
  • In a Transit First city should Noe Valley really push for more parking (and therefore more traffic)?
  • How many of the employees at NVMPA member businesses are encouraged to carpool, take public transit or ride a bike to work?
  • What is the "illegal right turn lane" at 24th and Noe?
  • How is the NVMPA working to reduce car use and pedestrian safety on our very busy commercial corridor? (For instance, curb bulb-outs at all intersections, increasing the number of parklets, etc.)
Your thoughts in the comments, please. We'd especially like to hear from you, Robert.

[Noe Valley Merchants and Professional Association July Newsletter]
[NVV: Scouting for Parking in `Downtown Noe Valley']
[NVSF: Parking, Parklets and Other Backroom Deals in Noe Valley]
[NVSF: Forget Whole Foods - Noe Needs a Parking Lot]


Anonymous said...

Go NVMPA! It is unfortunate that the author of this article is unwilling to recognize that many people really do need cars for their daily lives. And that merchants need those customers.

And, BTW, "transit first" means that the City is supposed to encourage the use of transit etc. -- that is what the policy says. Unfortunately, the City and this author seem to think it means that it is OK to make life miserable for drivers.

If people were more focused on improving transit and less knee-jerk anti-car, we might be able to improve things for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Totally overlooked here - what about bike parking? Perhaps I am missing something, but I don't recall ample bike spots in Noe, such as the previous car parking space converted to bike racks near 18th/Diamond.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can include in this petition some bus
"bulbouts"" on the 48 through noe valley as

Noe and 24th , Castro and 24th , church and 24th

Buses pull to curb and cant get back into traffic

Mario said...

This is ludicrous! Make it more dangerous to get on and off the bus so that more people drive? And make it unregulated (free)? It will not solve the problem of parking congestion at all, it will just make people who use the bus drive.

NVMPA is absolutely out of touch.

Anonymous said...

"We" and "You"--perhaps you NVSF are the one(s) out of touch, whoever you are---

Anonymous said...

Yes! Not only do we need more parking we need more traffic!! Perfect example - Whole Foods. If they added say 20 new parking spaces, even more people could drive to Whole Foods and clog 24th Street with their idling - and many times abandoned automobiles. We need alternatives not more of the same. Robert, your ideas are very last century.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of how anyone feels about parking availability, turning a bus zone into parking at a busy intersection is a bad idea. The 'pole or bar' stops work fine on a corner like 26th/Noe or 30th/Sanchez (both are pole stops with parking allowed) but not on a busy street like 24th street.

Also, the 24 Divisadero stops at Castro and 24th Streets, not Noe and 24th. Unless the NVMPA is talking about the 48, which does stop on 24th/Noe.

Assuming it's the 24 they're talking about, the Castro/24th stop is one of the busiest stops along its route. This is a terrible solution to the problem.

murphstahoe said...

Brutal. Not only bad for bus riders but bad for pedestrians by taking the daylight out of the crossing. Very tone deaf to ask to make this intersection more dangerous for peds while we are already having big problems at 24th/Church.

If anything we should be daylighting more intersections. The spot on Douglass on the corner right next to Philz is brutal for blocking drivers view of pedestrians at an intersection loaded with parents and dog owners headed to Noe Courts. This was being exacerbated by Philz patrons double parking there, further obscuring the view for SB drivers. To their credit this problem seems to have improved. If you are going to park illegally "just for a second" block someone's driveway where you are not a safety hazard.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you guys. This is an idiotic suggestion by NVMPA. As somebody who almost always walks or takes the bus to NV businesses (and drive rarely), I rather have less parking and more public transit and walking options.

BTW, what business does Robert Roddick own? At least I would know who not to give my money to.

murphstahoe said...

Bob's a lawyer with offices on Castro next to Hamano. He was involved in the whole Plaza thing so I got to spend some time with him, and he's a great guy and interesting to talk to because he has encyclopedic knowledge of Noe Valley, his wife is also great to talk to.

Bob really wants "good things" for Noe Valley and his fingerprints are on a lot of things that everyone would agree are very good.

He does have very strong opinions on how important parking is, he was the impetus behind the diagonal parking we have on Castro now, he wanted to turn the 48 bus stop at 24th/Noe into parking and move the stop to on front of the plaza (if it happened). And his vision for the Noe Valley Town Square included making sure there was parking involved.

This is just an old neighborhood concern, harking back to getting the lot next to Le Zinc set up as a parking lot because cars were increasing but parking had not been planned for. Even if we think parking is an issue, this is certainly not the way to solve it.

Anonymous said...

Boohoo, I need a car to drive to eat brunch. Really, you need that for your daily existence?? There's parking at Whole Foods. You can go to Safeway in the Mission with its two level parking lot.

I'm not quite sure how you're justify the need to park around NV.

Book Mom said...

As a long time neighborhood property owner I have now entered the category of senior citizen. So I drive my car to 24th street for groceries and other shopping that I can no longer lug up the hill. I would love to be 35 years old again and walk or bike up and down the steep hills to my house but I'm not and sadly no bus comes within blocks of where I live. Should we only allow people to work or own a business or shop in the neighborhood if they can take a bus, walk or ride a bike? Or should we give up and take our business to another neighborhood or to the mall? If you want Noe Valley to continue to have true diversity there needs to be a balance of parking and bus stops, & bike parking. And mostly there needs to be tolerance for everyone, even drivers. There is no car lobby like the bike people have or that Muni has. No one except groups like the NVMPA speak up when parking is taken away. The city has had a preferential policy for everything but cars for years and driving around and around the block looking for one of those expensive meters is not a good answer.

murphstahoe said...

I should be stepping away from the keyboard, but...

Book Mom - as of right now, a lot more space is dedicated to parking than to bus stops. If we want to balance that, we should be removing parking, not removing bus stops.

There isn't a car lobby? California AAA has a lobbying budget that would make you blush - and they have effectively lobbied against laws that would make cycling and walking safer, including pushing back against penalties for texting and driving.

"The city has had a preferential policy for everything but cars for years". Yet you say "no bus comes within blocks of where I live". Perhaps if we were really prioritizing transit there would be a bus for you.

Anonymous said...

A full MUNI stop is needed there--for proper access and so the bus can kneel and get close to the curb. This allows those who are disabled or have bad knees to be able to more easily climb on or off the bus. It is a major stop and transfer point. How callous of anybody to think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

From my understanding, the bulb out request in exchange for giving up 3 parking spots, is for Noe and 24th eastbound which is not a major bus stop, Castro and 24th is. The 48 bus stops at 24th and Castro and at 24th and Noe, two stops on the same block going the same direction. It seems the letter from Robert has confused the issue. I don't see how a bulb out at 24th & Noe would not work.

Anonymous said...

I hear both sides. I walk everywhere in NV, except when it's raining, and I have three wet cranky monkeys in my car, then I need to park as close as possible to my errant. But I need to drive to NV when I buy a good dozen paper bags of food for our family. (I even drive to Potrero Hills once in a while when the parking in NV is clogged beyond reason).

If anything, I would push for
- 30mn most, and a few 60mn MAX parking spots. Many spots are taken for HOUUUUUUUUUURS, clogging the parking map. And push for strict enforcement. Get WF to enforce the policy at peak hours (hours to be posted clearly).

- beg, sweet talk and lobby for the NVmarchant/WF to run a FREE SHUTTLE (like the mollie stone in PacHts).
Eg. WF parking, then north on castro, east on elisabeth, south on sanchez, west on 27th, north on castro (or whatever loop would make sense). Many people can walk TO NV, but have troubles walking FROM as the hills are not grocery friendly.
Funding can be found. They only need to want to create a shuttle.


murphstahoe said...

MomOf3 - Paper bags, really? Who let you into this neighborhood!

Anonymous said...


Who made you the queen of green? More of holier than you attitude. A lot of Noe Valleans are tired of being told how to live by others.

If the mom wants to paper bags, then she's allowed to.

murphstahoe said...

Noe Valley needs a sense of humor even more than it needs more parking...

Anonymous said...

Look in the mirror mr. bicycle man.

Anonymous said...

I haven't used a paper bag in 2 years. But if I give you the name of my bags, it won't mean anything to anybody.

Murphstahoe, you are a mean spirit, and you never change. Unfortunately for those posts. Sad for the neighborhood.
(I could have said "two shopping carts" but then, you would scream at the mom who leaves a full shopping card while she fills up the second one. I know your acid talk )


Anonymous said...

oh, gosh, everyone: It's important to realize that tone cannot be accurately conveyed in a post. I'm almost certain that @murphstahoe was joking.

Anonymous said...

Great comments by Momof3: I applaud you for calling out the mean spirited words of Murphstahoe.

He is one of many new people to San Francisco who is full of self-righteous opinions that we should all live like him, including his constant bikes only rant.

He was also one of the loudest people here who wanted to close down Noe st. at 24th for that stupid little park idea on the paving.

Keep up your good ways Mom. You are cool!

bluepearlgirl said...

San Francisco parking is known world wide as something that is special about this town. There hasn't been enough parking in San Francisco practically since they rolled out the first model T. And that is how this city is built. That is why we love this town (even if you do not always catch how). All of these little doll houses stacked on top of each other all in a 7x7 mile radius. Of course there is going to be space issues.

Car culture was decided back in the 50's which is when all of the hugh interstate projects sprung up. We decided to go car route instead of train and bus etc.

This works well if you live in suburbia, but not so much in a tiny urban metropolis.

I appreciate that due to permit parking, locals get preferential treatment (a tiny bit), and they should. I agree with the lady who is a senior now and could not take a bus to drag groceries home. I do not however feel much sympathy for the new arivee's that drove out here from wherever they came via some startup job offer, offering them enough to rent a studio in SF for over $1600 a month. and even less for all of those that just fled here to live outside the city and chose to drive into town every day to make huge paychecks.

For them, they think that they deserve special treatment and reserved rock star parking because they never learned how to live life without that convenient piece of machinery attached to them.

If you cant leave your car at home and take the bus or cal train at least a few days a week, then pay the $400 or whatever it is now to rent a garage or a space in a garage. That way at least where you work, you are not clogging up all of the potential clients parking.

Noe valley is not a mecca for godsake! It is a small neighborhood. One that has been more foot traffic than car traffic for a long time.

There is parking, just not just always RIGHT in front of the place you are wanting to shop.

My suggestion to all of those drivers (minus the seniors and disabled who get placards) who drive over from their million dollar homes to pick up some cute knic-nacs or eat at a pricy restaurant, is to park several blocks away. You may not be able to go from restaurant to curb to car, but you will be able to park. It just means that you will have to walk too.

Maybe this way too, you will end up discovering that it is less walking (if that is what all is avoiding!) to go from bus stop to restaurant and back. Not only that, but then you would see WHY so many people chose to use public transit and their own manual modes... To experience the city!! Get your lazy greedy asses out of those cars and walk for a change. It definitely can NOT hurt you to be an actual city dweller out and mingling with the real people of our town. Plus everyone needs more exercise!

Either way, we will never solve this problem without a full demo of the whole town. Get used to it and get over it! And quit whining about your poor cars! It should be a luxury in this city. Not a given!

Anonymous said...

Too bad there's lots of anger and jealousy in the last post. There was potential for some good ideas.

But when you start to rant about "million dollar homes", which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the parking issue, well then you lose your credibility.

murphstahoe said...

@MomOf3 - I was joking, and I thought it was a pretty good joke, but even my closest friends don't usually get my jokes. You sound like you are part of the solution, not the problem, I figured as such you'd get the joke. Apologies.

At least it gave Mazook and his other sock puppets at the Voice another chance to call me mean spirited and self-righteous. They forgot "entitled".

bluepearlgirl - you are spot on except for your assessment for whom is complaining about the parking. The new arrivals in the neighborhood are the ones who aren't driving everywhere - they moved here for the walkable neighborhood. For the proximity to Caltrain and BART, which was then why the shuttle buses landed here, which brought more new arrivals who like the urban lifestyle.

They are the ones who are embracing and building Alvarado into a decent school because they want to have a local (and public) school after it was abandoned by the neighborhood decades ago. They are the ones fixing up the poorly maintained housing despite all the DRs from their multi-generational neighbors.

But they sure are greedy!

Anonymous said...

You people are literally stealing all of my material. Leave some for me. Bah Humbug!

Typical Cranky Noe Neighbor

Heather World said...

This question is for Murphastoe, who I think is the blog moderator, no? What gives with slamming the Noe Valley Voice all the time? Sock puppets? I don't understand the reference, but would like to. And this headline---"We read it so you don't have to"---I don't understand. Is it really so onerous to read the neighborhood newspaper? What would improve it, in your opinion?

Please feel free to contact me by email:


murphstahoe said...

Heather - as much as I would like to claim to have the talent of our esteemed anonymous blog author, it's not me.

I have no idea who it is, despite a lot of guesses that went nowhere.

I like the Noe Valley Voice, I read it despite the moderators synopsys of the contents.

I do believe that the Anonymous commenter slamming the "We read it so you don't have to" posts is one of the paper's employees, and that's the same person who describes me as "one of many new people to San Francisco who is full of self-righteous opinions"

Said person ferreted out my phone number and called me while I was on vacation in San Luis Obispo during the plaza fiasco on the pretense of an "interview", then proceeded to yell at me for several minutes in a manner that would make the people at the plaza meeting blush before I finally just hung up.

I have had plenty of conversations with you and I do not hold you in this same low regard.

Anonymous said...

Hey murph! when are you going to get the message that a LOT of nice, local NV residents do not particularly like you or your holier than you politics?

Since you are new to Noe Valley, you need to temper your opinions with a bit of intelligence. Get to know the neighborhood for about 10 years and see how we have evolved nicely, without your street closing desires and rants about bikes.

murphstahoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

check out this vid about The Whole Foods Parking Lot:

Jim Greer said...

I'm late to this but I'll add my two cents: transit safety should trump a few parking spaces. It's understandable that people who have been in Noe longer wish it could remain as car-friendly as it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. But it just isn't realistic or sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Given that the author apparently hounds the NVMPA with the same, biased questions all the time, it is not surprising that no answer is received. When someone has an obvious bias (as this author does), there is rarely any benefit in bothering respond.

In particular, when the person does not even understand City policy. For some reason, this author and others believe that the City's Transit First policy means that anything inconveniences drivers is OK. Sorry, that is not what it means. The Transit First policy specifically states that it is supposed to ENCOURAGE transit use. So being in favor of parking is entirely consistent with the policy. Unfortunately, this author and others are under the delusion that making life miserable for drivers somehow will improve the transit situation in the City.
It would nice if this author and others would spend more time encouraging the city to actually improve public transit rather than focusing on measures that must hurt drivers while providing negligible benefits.