The Mayor vs. Muni: The Fight Over Sunday Meters

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is ratcheting up his opposition to Sunday parking meter enforcement, telling KCBS that he refuses to accept any compromises, and that he is “only willing to consider ‘no enforcement’ and not more or less.” But with Muni considering a budget that includes a fare increase for all adult riders, SFMTA leadership is reluctant to give up the revenue that Sunday parking provides. Who will win?… (more)

The Mayor knows how many people are being effected negatively by the SFMTA policies, and may have seen some evidence that is being gathered by their opponents that could put their entire program in jeopardy. The recent spate of insider claims of accounting fraud, handshake deals, and motions to rescind parking policies is not going unnoticed by the Mayor’s office. He is trying to hold out an olive branch to the angry public as a last ditch effort to placate the growing throng of pitchfork-wielding public mobs who are aiming their anger at the SFMTA, and calling for a major overhaul.
This is not just about cars and drivers paying to park on Sunday. This is about the displacement of San Francisco residents, businesses and cultural centers. “Let the Voters Decide” is the call to action. FixtheMTA has generated over a hundred signatures and comments sent it went live a few days ago. Sign on if you agree that the time has come for a referendum on SFMTA policies. Tell the city officials you have had enuf.



Car-sharing firms getting 900 S.F. street parking spaces

Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

As many as 900 street parking spaces – one of San Francisco’s most precious commodities – will be reserved for car-sharing vehicles and leased at discounted rates. The parking program, which will begin in the summer, is a two-year experiment that aims to spread car sharing throughout the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the plan to set aside some of the city’s 281,000 street parking spaces last year but still had to solicit interested companies and negotiate which parking spaces would be reserved for car-sharing vehicles. The agency approved the program after a smaller two-year test, involving a dozen street spaces, was deemed a success… (more)

Taking more public parking off the streets is sure to anger more people. Bring it on. Then ask the voters for more  money. See how well that tactic works. When a regulatory agency competes for business with an industry they regulate there is a problem.

It will be interesting to see how they spin the claims that there are less people circling for fewer parking spaces after removing another 900.

See article below. As usual the facts aren’t clear. One story has 900 on street spots. The other has 400 on and off-street spots. Who knows.


Hundreds of SF parking spots could be reserved for car-sharing companies - Car-sharing firms getting 900 S.F. street parking spaces – More than 400 parking spots along city streets and in publicly owned parking garages in neighborhoods across The City could be set aside for use by rental cars operated by car-sharing companies, under a city plan to promote alternatives to private automobiles…(more)

Reiskin: Let’s Keep Sunday Parking Meters, But Not Enforce Them

By Aaron Bialick : sfStreetsblog – excerpt

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin said today that he thinks the agency should keep Sunday parking meters but back off on actually enforcing them.

At an SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, Reiskin said he recommends “that we significantly re-deploy our resources away from Sunday meter enforcement. We have a lot more higher-pressing needs, particularly during the week during the evening rush, for example, in terms of traffic enforcement.”… (more)

April Fools?

Study: Hartford, New Haven Hurt By Abundance of Parking

: wnpr – excerpt
Regardless of how hard it can seem to find a parking spot sometimes, Hartford and New Haven have built a lot more parking over the past few decades. But that can be a bad thing…
But parking isn’t as simple as one might think, said Eric Boone of the Hartford Parking Authority.”It’s actually quite complex,” Boone said. “There’s a lot of human nature involved, as very dry and bland as, ‘I have 20 parking spots, and I need to put 20 cars in’ sounds.”For example, some people will pay regardless of price, some people will spend time to find the cheapest spot and yet others will decide based on the weather and other factors. He pointed out the demand pricing that San Francisco and Los Angeles are trying out is similar to what the airline industry does to distinguish between customers.“You try to adapt pricing to accommodate those concerns so that you always have the maximum efficiency of parking, but you have to balance that maximum efficiency with customer satisfaction,” Boone said. “Right now, airlines are pretty efficient, however there may be some that may argue that there’s low customer satisfaction with the airline industry.”… (more)

Customer satisfaction is at an all time low in San Francisco. Congestion parking, demand response, whatever they call it, does not create more parking opportunities, it just sucks more money into the government net, without voter approval.

Eric Boone is right. Parking decisions are complex, and change as frequently as the weather, often with the weather. Don’t believe any of the hype coming out of SFMTA’s efforts to sell their parking platitudes and claims that their theories work. SF is rated the third worst city in the US for parking, after Chicago and Oakland, all of which have been sold to the private parking industry. San Francisco voters are also irate over the reduction in traffic lanes that have caused major congestion on streets that never had problems before.

Shoup’s theories are not panning out. The anger against SFMTA has spawned at least three bi-partisan efforts in San Francisco to stop, reform, or dismantle the SFMTA.

Anti-car, pro-development legislation being pushed by Democrats around the country is a major reason for a decline in support for Democratic politicians. Financial corruption is the icing on the cake. Nobody trusts the government, and that reflects badly on the present administration.
We have seen the results in Florida of voters who are fed up with regional planning schemes that Democrats have been pushing as a remedy for global warming. Whether or not one believes in climate change, everyone does not agree on the solution. Environmentalists are not buying the pro-development argument, and in many cases are leading the fight against it. Say goodbye to the incumbents because many will not be returning unless they change their tune soon.

San Francisco citizens working to reform the SFMTA:…

SF and Oakland Top the Worst Cities for Parking

by Jennifer Maerz : thebolditalic – excerpt

Locals aren’t the only ones who think parking sucks here. Now there’s a national study ranking Oakland and San Francisco #2 and #3 respectively as the “Worst Cities for Parking Your Car” in the country. Only Chicago beat us as being a suckier place to stow your vehicle.

The study was conducted by financial analysis site NerdWallet, which used the price of parking and the number of stolen cars per city as factors in creating its ranking. Oakland, the company notes, has 124.59% more car thefts than the national average, while SF has 5.53% fewer thefts (I think our crooks here prefer a nice smash-and-go window job to stealing the whole ride). NerdWallet uses the stats to offer financial tips related to driving, such trying out SFpark, “an organization that matches drivers with parking spaces at various rates. Drivers can see where spots are available and how much they’ll have to pay online, though the median price to park is $29 a day and $375 a month.” … (more)

SFMTA wins another prize. This time SF is rated and the worst to park. No surprise to us. I guess this rules out the theory that congestion pricing helps drivers. So, get ready for this argument to stop that waste of tax payer money. If you agree with us and want the MTA to return to the job of managing Muni for Muni riders, and get them out of the parking management bussiness, sign the Stop SFMTA petition:

Then join us in supporting a ballot initiative to FIX THE MTA.


3 calif cities voted worst places to park

SF leaders search for ways to blend car-reliant worshippers with transit-first policies

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

In a city where promoting alternatives to California’s car culture is the unofficial religion, Sunday can be a day of conflict.

The Rev. Malcolm Byrd’s Sunday morning ritual includes collecting the angry notes left on his and other double-parked cars on Golden Gate Avenue. They’re left by bicyclists upset that automobiles are blocking their lane during services at Byrd’s First AME Zion Church.

Such righteous anger, while perhaps well-intentioned, is received by “your classic old church lady,” Byrd said. And that lady is part of a citywide congregation that is overwhelmingly old and car-reliant, with no other viable way to get to services.

This dependence on automobiles is challenging religious leaders and transit officials in San Francisco to find a compromise that can reduce congestion and promote transit while still allowing aging worshipers to access their faith communities… (more)

This feels like a familiar tune. Putting in a cycle track next to a church and demanding the cars move is like building housing next to a night club and demonizing the club. The anti-car movement is making for some strange allies who didn’t realize how much we have in common. Live and let live has been the San Francisco way of life. That is what is at stake.
There is a growing divisiveness feeding intolerant and racists comments that is disturbing, and it appears to be coming from elsewhere. The churches were here first. Cyclists are able-bodied individuals perfectly capable of biking on other streets. Perhaps it is time to codify parking privileges around churches and funeral homes, and certain other traditional situations. There is no reason to upset San Francisco traditions to satisfy new non-tolerant attitudes.

San Francisco Parking Is Ruining My Love Life

By Amber Leigh : thebolditalic – excerpt

It happened a few weeks ago. My boyfriend and I had just parted ways on a Monday morning. Birds were singing and the sun was shining; it felt like the best morning ever. Until my phone rang. It was my boyfriend. I thought maybe he’d realized that he actually did have time to drive me to work, or that he just had to say “I love you” one more time… but I was wrong.

The night before he and I had done the parking dance to the point of disbelief. “How can there be NO parking spaces anywhere?” we repeatedly asked each other as we circled the streets around my apartment. Eventually, we were forced to abandon convenience and park several blocks away. He was about to walk over and check the street cleaning sign when I stopped him. I said I had this great app that shows when street cleaning is based on your location. He eyed me suspiciously, but decided to suspend logic and trust me and my app. Was this what true love looked like, someone willing to trust you over an easily verifiable sign? The app reported that street cleaning wasn’t until Wednesday.

Parking in this city can change a person. You avoid entire neighborhoods because you can never find parking there. You spend 20 minutes circling the block. You see a space, and then someone else takes it first. You find a space that’s too good to be true, and you’re right, it is. The red paint on the curb is faded and your blood sugar is plummeting and you may be starting to hallucinate. And then there’s street cleaning, that fatal blow that sets off the inner monologue that takes you straight to the dark side:…

“So it would be great if you’d pay for half of this ticket and delete that stupid app of yours,” he howled into the phone… (more)

Are LA’s parking ticket fines and late fees unconstitutional?

Guests on  89.3KPCC (Socal public radio) – excerpt

A federal court will decide whether parking tickets in Los Angeles violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments’ prohibition of excessive fines. Two L.A. residents with similar stories are suing after being charged what they call exorbitant penalties for late payment on parking tickets.

The tickets, issued in downtown Los Angeles at $63 each, but after the two-week deadline for payment passed, the fines went up to $175. According to the attorney for the two plaintiffs, the fees amounted to 174.4 percent of the median daily wage for L.A. residents and 336 percent of the median daily wage for Latinos.

Angelenos aren’t the only ones griping about the high price of a parking ticket. Other cities have dealt with heavy fines by allowing violators to make payment plans, extend payments, or volunteer to pay off their debt.

Are parking ticket fines unconstitutional? How long should people have to pay off their tickets, and what penalties should late payment incur? How will this case fare before the court?… (more)

Guests :  Donald Norris, founder of Norris and Galanter LLP and attorney in the L.A. parking ticket case, Norris and Galanter LLP
Beth Colgan, Thomas C. Grey fellow at Stanford Law School and former Managing Attorney of the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle, Washington

The best transportation option in San Francisco might be one you’ve never heard of

Rakesh Agrawal : venturebeat – excerpt

Startups Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar get all of the attention when we discuss alternative transportation options in San Francisco. But one of my favorites is BMW’s little talked about DriveNow…

According to CEO Rich Steinberg, there are currently 70 vehicles in the San Francisco market. Although the service was off to a slow start, usage has now picked up, and the company is considering doubling its fleet.

Like Daimler’s car2go product, which I wrote about before, some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA. I asked why there were no DriveNow locations in the Mission or on the west side of the city. Steinberg said he’d love to have them out there, but he can’t find suitable parking spaces. The demand is there, but he can’t fill it.

In other markets in which DriveNow operates (all in Europe; San Francisco is the first U.S. deployment), cars can be parked almost anywhere in the city; there are no designated stations. But Steinberg couldn’t get the SFMTA to cooperate with such an approach.

I asked David Chiu, my San Francisco supervisor and the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, why this is the case.

“I’ve championed city car-sharing with past legislation and have also advocated for one-way car sharing, as I’ve learned about issues from some of the new providers,” Chiu responded. “I understand the SFMTA has been a bit slower on this new innovation than we’d all like.”… (more)

“some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA.”

Another complaint about the lack of parking in the city, and this time it is coming from a rental contractor set up by the SFMTA. The SFTMA Board spends more time fighting cars by removing parking, than it does running Muni. You know what to do about it. Letters of complaint and suggestions for expanding parking options near freeway exits can go to the parties listed here:

The Latest San Francisco Parking Citation Data

By David LaBua : 7×7 – excerpt

Pop quiz. Please turn off your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Eyes on your own paper.
The answer is: 88 million.
Is the correct question:
a) What was the number of barrels of oil consumed globally per day in 2011?
b) What was the dollar amount of revenue generated from parking citations in San Francisco last year?
If you answered “a” you are correct. You are also correct if you answered “b”.
Paul Rose, a spokesman for SFMTA, informed me this week that last year (FY 2012-2013), 1,549,518 
parking citations were issued totaling $88,889,809 in fines.

I asked him how many were contested, and he stated that, “77,248 citations were contested at the first level of review.” That’s about 5 percent of the total 1.5 million citations issued. Of those 77,248 challenged citations, 21,405 or about 28 percent were dismissed as being an invalid citation. 13,085 of the remaining 55,843 citations, that were upheld after the first level of contesting, went on to the second level and were heard before an administrative judge. Of those 13,085 cases heard by an administrator, about 5,000 were found to be invalid and were dismissed.

So, out of a total of 1.5 million parking tickets issued, a total of 26,400 or 1.76 percent were found to be invalid and were dismissed… (more)