SF shouldn’t gouge drivers to pay for transit

SFGate – excerpt

Get ready, San Francisco, for more parking tickets. City authorities are boosting the numbers of meter minders who are expected to write more citations bearing higher fines. It’s a strategy that taps the city’s scarce parking landscape for $86 million in penalties to pay for transit and traffic cures.

For years, the city has plainly stated its goal: Transit – the kind that involves leaving your car behind – comes first. This policy has clamped down on parking lots, drive-thrus, and major garages. It’s painted bicycle lanes, created bus-only lanes to speed travel times and posted 27 preferential parking areas designed to chase away commuters…

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City Hall should find other ways to pay San Francisco’s transit bills than punishing drivers further. Jacking up parking tickets shouldn’t be an option any longer.

The parking odds are against you

  • 420,000 Number of vehicles in San Francisco
  • 281,700 Street parking spaces
  • 28,000 Parking meters
  • 380 Ticket-writing enforcers, up from 335 in 2009; another 27 next year
  • 1.534 million Number of tickets issued in 2011 – there are over 30 categories of parking tickets
  • $86.3 million Revenue from citations
  • $60-$70 Basic parking-meter ticket, depending on location
  • 4,000 Projected additional meters (also, meter enforcement expected on Sunday, which is currently a free day)

 

Gears of rhetoric ratchet up in San Francisco’s car-bike debate

By Maria L. La GangaLos Angeles Times – excerpt

The death of a pedestrian run over in a crosswalk by an out-of-control cyclist has inflamed the conversation about who owns the scarce public space in this dense city.

SAN FRANCISCO — The bicyclist was zipping south on Castro Street at the end of his twice-weekly ride to the Marin Headlands, blowing through red lights and stop signs.

But the Market Street crosswalk was filled with pedestrians, and Chris Bucchere, 36, allegedly was riding too fast to stop. So he aimed for the least populated spot and plowed on through…

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Regardless of how many wheels we choose to transport ourselves on, we are all pedestrians, all at risk of being hit by a faster traveling vehicle. All drivers and riders should be subject to the same laws.