Locals Pack O’Connell High to Shape Parking Plan

By Talal Ansari and Anne Hoffman : missionlocal.org – excerpt

On a recent Wednesday night, more than 100 people packed into the auditorium at John O’Connell High School, angry about a contested plan to meter parking spaces in the northeast Mission.
This meeting was the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s chance to rectify the situation, to let residents know that they wouldn’t go forward with a new parking plan without community input — that this time would be different.
But the agency met with a tough crowd. As SFMTA officials asked the attendees to sit in the area of the auditorium that corresponded with their quadrant of the neighborhood, one man murmured, “They wanna divide and conquer!”…
“One size certainly does not fit all,” said Tumlin of the Mission’s mixed use of land, which distinguishes it from other parts of the city…
The move to manage parking comes as a 220-spot parking lot on 17th and Folsom streets is slated to be converted to a park and low-income housing development…
But does a transit-first policy really work for the Mission, where transit service often falls short? Tumlin acknowledged that Muni service in the neighborhood is “terrible.” And the not-so-quiet elephant in the room was that more meters ultimately equals more revenue for the city. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “revenue from parking fines and fees … generate[s] more than $187 million a year that is pumped directly into the Muni transit system.”…
A group called ENUF (Eastern Neighborhoods United Front) has been monitoring the SFMTA’s policies with concern and anger. “Everything they say is ‘Oh, transit first,’” ENUF member Mari Eliza told Mission Local, who also referred to the difficulty of accessing Muni in the Mission.
The city’s transit-first policy began in the 1970s, Eliza said, when San Francisco had air-quality problems from car pollution. These days, she said, it’s a different story. “In 1973 there was really bad smog…. If we’re looking at today, you’re trying to push plans that were developed 30 years ago… (more

 

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