Channel Street Used As Private Parking Lot

By Sarah Mcdonald : – excerpt – July 2010

… he City and County of San Francisco is losing a potential revenue source from a public street located near the Central Waterfront that’s being used for private parking.  Channel Street, which is 628 feet long and runs from Carolina to 7th streets, is fenced off on both entrances, and flanked on either side by private businesses.  Rows of Ride the Ducks and Classic Cable Car tour buses, and Budget rental trucks, are parked inside the fenced area.  According to Barbara Moy, acting manager for the Bureau of Street Use and Mapping, San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW), the businesses don’t have a permit to park on the street.  Mario Balestrieri, manager at San Francisco Mini Storage, which parks Budget trucks on Channel Street, said he doesn’t believe his company has a parking permit. “We’ve maintained the property and kept it closed,” he said, “because if we didn’t the homeless would move in.”  The fence was installed with the City’s permission in 1992 by Moody Property Management to keep out vagrants…
Last year Norcal Waste Systems, now Recology SF, acquired half of Channel Street from the City in exchange for a plot of land adjacent to Little Hollywood Park, splitting the 100 foot wide street down the middle.  According to Robert Reed, Recology SF’s public relations manager, all of Recology’s trucks are parked on their own land.  Leading up to the land swap, community groups had advocated that Channel Street become a park.  Instead, Hooper Street, from 7th to 8th, is being considered as potential green space by the Planning Department.
Leshne was disappointed with the land transfer, but believes that what’s left of Channel Street has potential to serve as beneficial public space.  The formerly industrial neighborhood is being steadily transformed into residential developments, including Leshne’s building, where 224 units were completed in 2008.  The neighborhood is short on sidewalks and other walkways.  “There’s still enough area to improve and make it a good space to walk through,” she said…
“If people want this opened, we can certainly look into getting it opened,” she said.  But Reed said if that happens he hopes the City will maintain the area.  He pointed to problems with dumping, vandalism and theft, with fenced-off streets a common solution. “A lot of the landowners end up bearing the brunt of the City’s shortfalls,” he said. “I could see why the streets were closed off.” Leshne agreed that the street should be further developed to turn it into a public walkway. “Just opening the gates, I don’t know what that does,” she said.  Moy plans to consult with Planning Department staff about Channel Street’s future… (more)

Once Controversial Land Swap Passes Board of Supervisors

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