SF parking meter plan inches ahead with assessment

By Rachel Gordon : SF Chronicle – excerpt

Organized resistance from a group of residents and business owners has successfully delayed – but not shelved – the city’s plans to install thousands of new curbside meters in four San Francisco neighborhoods.

“The city is going way too far, way too fast, and people are upset,” said Mari Eliza, a Mission District resident and organizer with Enuf, which stands for Eastern Neighborhoods United Front.

The organization’s goal is to disrupt the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to blanket the city with more parking meters. There already are about 28,000 meters in operation in the city, and the agency had called for planting about 4,000 more spread throughout Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, the South of Market and the northeast Mission this year.

But right before the agency’s governing board was set to consider the expansion plan in early February, staff yanked it back amid people angry over the prospect of losing free parking in front of their buildings.

That outrage, along with pressure from City Hall, prompted agency officials to refine the proposal and work more closely with the affected communities. The outreach was scheduled to begin in April and wrap up in September.

Last week, San Francisco Transportation Director Ed Reiskin issued a new timeline, which now calls for concluding outreach in April 2013…

Reiskin promised that the concerns of the community would be incorporated into the revised expansion plan…

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents Dogpatch and Potrero Hill, said the city was right to slow things down.

“The plan was half-baked,” Cohen said. “Meters may have some benefits when we’re talking about merchant corridors, but can have real negative impacts on residents and some businesses.”

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We thank Malia and other Supervisors who have supported residents in our efforts to stay in our homes and keep our businesses afloat during these tough times. ENUF and other groups are intent on finding alternative methods to parking meters to fund Muni.