Showplace Square Parking Gets Metered

By Jacob Bourne : Potrero View – excerpt

The blocks surrounding Showplace Square and the California College of the Arts (CCA) have been a longstanding parking haven for commuters, oversized vehicles, and residents. Over time regulations have tightened parking availability throughout Potrero Hill, increasing parking pressures from Division to 16th streets and east to Seventh Street.  Now, the San Francisco Mu-nicipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is adding four hour time limited parking and metered parking to all streets in that area.

Though the measure has strong backing from nearby businesses, with support from District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, some San Franciscans are concerned about the displacement of individuals living in oversized vehicles, who have used the curbs of Showplace to store their homes…

Meters are being added on 16th and Seventh streets near CCA, and on Henry Adams, Kansas, and Division streets, as well as on the block surrounding Showplace East. The rest of the area will have four hour time limits without residential parking permit restrictions. Due to sensitivity for homeless individuals, the SFMTA board of directors decided not to impose an overnight-oversized vehicle ban, though the enforced daytime turnover will impact these vehicles. Although more than 400 meters are being installed, according to Andy Thornley, SFMTA senior project analyst, over the past few years 750 meters have been taken off the streets, Citywide.  There are fewer meters in San Francisco now than in 2013. … (more)

There are fewer parking spaces now because the goal of SFMTA is to eliminate as many as they can. They have gone after many parking metered spaces, such as the ones they took off of Mission Street recently and the ones they are getting ready to remove from Van Ness and Lombard soon.

It is this mania to remove parking and traffic lanes that has the public ready for their heads, or at least elimination of their jobs, that is responsible for the growing support for a Charter Amendment that would unwind parts of Prop E and K. More details on that: stopsfmta.com

 

An impetus for the Showplace project was that much of the parking in the area has been taken by individuals who neither work nor live nearby, but commute from places such as Daly City and leave their cars all day, taking public transit or carpooling to their next destination. Another driving force was the many oversized vehicles that have remained parked in the same spots for consecutive days or weeks by individuals who’ve been living in them.

“Folks living in vehicles is part of our housing for the City,” said Connecticut Street resident Tony Kelly. “We need to acknowledge this. Some of these people are students. They’re our neighbors. We need to figure out a safe place with proper facilities. It’s the City’s responsibility. We can’t just say “no” and expect the problem to go away.”

Kelley Cutler, a human rights organizer with the Coalition on Homelessness, has advocated that the City create safe parking areas for those displaced since 2012, which was around the time that parking plan discussions began for Showplace Square. Advocates are concerned that parking regulations will displace homeless individuals without a benign alternative.

“We’re following up on the Homeless Coalition’s advice that’s being used in Santa Rosa and other cities to implement a safe parking program,” Thornley said. “Overnight parking sanctuaries would provide safe lots at places like churches. We don’t have anything going yet, but we’re going to see if there’s any way we can test this safe parking program.” Thornley was optimistic that with San Francisco’s great wealth providing safe parking areas for homeless individuals should be achievable, but stated that the SFMTA wasn’t the appropriate agency to lead the effort.

Kelly mentioned public land underneath Highway 101 and a space near Potrero Avenue and 15th Street as possible sites for safe parking facilities…

Muni is going to run better,” Thornley concluded(more)

No good telling us that “we are working on it” after years of promises. If the SFMTA fired their planners and put more buses and drivers on the road, they could solve much of there problems today. They prefer to work on the future instead, while we are forced to live with their mess today.

 

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