Parking Debate Continues in Dogpatch

by : potreroview – excerpt

Dogpatch residents and nearby neighbors, as well as San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) representatives, crowded into Dogpatch Neighborhood Association’s April meeting to discuss proposed parking management strategies.  Many participants objected to SFMTA’s proposal to add meters and experiment with residential parking permits; a paid parking overlay program for several blocks in the area bounded by Mariposa to Cesar Chavez streets, Pennsylvania Avenue to Third Street.

If the proposed plan is implemented, 401 newly-designated meter-overlay spots and 679 freshly designated time-limited spots would be created. With new housing developments cascading into the area, some meeting attendees said that the addition of paid parking would benefit businesses at the expense of residents, and are skeptical that a paid parking-residential permit hybrid approach is feasible…

While paid parking options may make more spots available to local businesses, Dogpatch resident, Nicky Jacobson, is concerned about employees feeding meters all day. “This is not the purpose of meters. The RPP permit should be changed to a business and residential parking permit so that these businesses can survive,” Jacobson said...

Data collected by SFMTA doesn’t indicate that people tend to use metered spots as all day parking spaces. “We’re interested in hearing the community’s input on whether or not paid parking spots will have time limits,” said Willson.

Edward Elhauge is concerned about his future as a Dogpatch resident. Following a career in Silicon Valley, Elhauge returned to school to study public health, and now makes half his former income.  “This impacts people who have limited incomes,” Elhauge commented. “One SFMTA staff said that if they allocate parking through permitting that they’d be picking winners and losers, but market-based pricing does pick winners and losers based on income.”

Mari Eliza, part of a group of residents from Dogpatch, Mission, and Potrero Hill who are opposed to meters, is concerned that implementing a non-physical meter, paid parking option will marginalize those without smartphones linked to bank accounts. There are pay by phone options at all meters in the City, which allow people to pay via a smartphone application. In consideration of the issue, the SFMTA is deciding whether it’ll utilize multi-space meter stations to enable physical payment while allowing them to refrain from placing meters in front of residences.

“The City is being divided into two camps,” said Eliza. “There are the people who want to tear down and rebuild the City and those that want to continue living here. This goes beyond parking and ties closely to the housing crisis and other issues.”

“I understand that there’s a lot of mistrust of the SFMTA for many reasons,” Willson offered. “We’re really trying to build trust with residents as they are the local experts. Outreach has shaped our thinking and will continue to do so now as we move forward.”… (more)

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