May 2 Public Hearing on Parking – on-line Recording (click on the 130155 bullet point)
In opening statements Supervisors Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen left no doubt as to how they feel about the SFMTA’s misguided parking and traffic management policies, and suggested that perhaps a change in priorities is needed. The SFMTA needs to fix the Muni first. They feel that SFMTA’s first priority should be to make the Muni a safe, reliable public transit system….
Mark Farrell voiced his position against Sunday parking meters and expanding the meters into neighborhoods. He is particularly concerned about families with children and those who depend on cars, being pushed out of the city.
Malia Cohen’s statement, “I’m looking forward to, Ed Reiskin saying, ‘I quit, you won, we’re not going to be doing parking meters,” drew a round of applause.
David Campos got the most laughs when he said, “it would be nice if Muni buses were as efficient as meter maids swooping down on expired meters with tickets.
To which Reiskin replied, “That is a good benchmark for us to use.”
The results of the hearing were positive for those of us who object to the proliferation of parking meters, but. we need to continue to push back against parking restrictions at all the neighborhood meetings and insist that SFMTA concentrate on fixing the Muni. When asked whether any more meters are planned for any other neighborhoods, Ed said “No.” He sees no more meters in the near term.
Muni’s job is to get us where we need to go, not tell us how to get there.
The Supervisors need to take control of the SFMTA. Citizens are calling for a ballot initiative. We have a number of problems that are becoming hard to ignore that are well-documented by the media:
The SFMTA is not doing the job it was set up to do. The SFMTA has taken on too much and is doing nothing well. Regardless of what the limitations of power are, the public has a right to weigh in on the priorities of all government entities.
SFMTA was authorized to fix the Muni system and balance the Muni budget. Transit first means fix the Muni first, not disrupt traffic and eliminate parking. No one is going to take a bus that never arrives. The number one job is to get the buses operating for the people who need to rely on them, not to coerce people to change their lifestyles.
SFMTA should not be enforcing parking meters, or any other parking restriction during the times when there is no reliable Muni service, such as nights, weekends, and holidays.
The ticketing appeals process needs to be fixed. We have admissions from SFMTA officials that the process is not designed according to law, but is designed to control us. Where is the separation of powers when the agency that benefits from issuing tickets handles the ticket appeals process?
To add insult to injury, there is evidence that the SFMTA, parking management contractors, and bicycle coalitions share a PR firm and lobbyists who work in concert to shape the laws to further their goals.
We appreciate the efforts some Supervisors have made in attempts to curtail SFMTA’s bad spending and contract-signing habits when these matters have come through committees, and request that this denial of contracts be continued to include all non-Muni operations expenditures, to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on SFMTA’s priorities.
After cutting back service for years, and blaming everyone for the state the Muni is in, SFMTA officials now claim that they can’t fix the Muni. Why are we paying them when they admit they can’t do the job they were hired to do?
All neighborhoods complain about commuters who drive into town, park, and take public transit to their final destination. The obvious solution is to establish Park and Ride Transit Hubs around the city or on the periphery near freeway exits. Instead of having to transverse the city to pick up all the commuters, people can get themselves to a hub using whatever means they need to, and connect with a direct line to the center of town using whatever means of transport they want. This would not only work for all public transit vehicles, it would reduce traffic congestion and parking problems, and people would know where to go to catch a ride when they need to get somewhere fast.
– Mari Eliza, ENUF