Mission advocates resist bikeshare push, point to existing community programs

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Fordbikes

A new batch of Ford bikes sprang up on Bryant and 17th Street without warning. It is no secret that the plan is to remove public parking for private vehicles by leasing the streets to corporations. The pubic is not reacting favorably to that plan. photo by zrants

The backlash was fierce and unexpected.

On the surface, Ford GoBike is seemingly everything the staunchly liberal Mission District would value: an affordable bikeshare program targeted at reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion by offering cheap, rentable bikes.

After the company’s most recent expansion, however, groups representing Latino neighbors in the Mission quickly pushed back, citing gentrification fears.

“The way we shop, the way we travel, it’s a very different culture,” Erick Arguello, co-chair of the Calle 24 Historical District on 24th Street in the Mission, previously told the San Francisco Examiner. “We did say, ‘No, we don’t want bikeshare on 24th Street in the Latino Cultural District.’”… (more)

Public streets are for the public. Taking public property from pubic use may not be tolerated for long. The supervisors should consider who is benefiting from this scheme and who they are pushing to the curb.

Mission District Ford GoBike kiosks vandalized, again

At least two Ford GoBike kiosks at the edge of the Mission District were spotted vandalized Friday morning.

A bikeshare kiosk and bikes at Folsom and 15th streets were splashed with blue paint, and another kiosk at Folsom and 17th streets was splashed with pink paint…(more)

North Dakota reconsiders 70-year ban on parking meters

By James Macpherson, AP : sfchronicle – excerpt

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When an angry farmer was ticketed for not feeding a parking meter, he launched a one-man crusade that made North Dakota the nation’s only state that bans the meters on all public streets.

Now the governor is quietly trying to end the nearly 70-year ban in hopes of revitalizing downtowns, and the farmer’s granddaughter is fighting to uphold her family’s legacy… (more)

SFMTA to Intensify Neighborhood Parking Regulations

by potreroview – excerpt

As parking pressures continue to build in Dogpatch and Potrero Hill due to increased housing density, growing commuter traffic, and expanded activity at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency has been working with neighborhood stakeholders to implement more stringent parking management regulations. Over the past several months meters have been installed on many blocks in Showplace Square.  SFMTA is expected to continue to hold meetings with the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association and the Potrero Boosters, with the goal of creating parking management plans that’re supported by residents and businesses. The measures parallel SFMTA’s ongoing citywide evaluation of its 40-year old Residential Parking Permit program… (more)

“We’ll be initiating more conversations with neighbors about how to manage the curb,” said Andy Thornley, senior analyst, SFMTA. “Meters will be a small piece, along with other tools. It’s more than just RPP, time limits and meters; it’s also about traffic calming and making the curb safer for residents, businesses, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.”

Since last summer, four hour time limited parking restrictions have been added to much of Showplace Square, along with meters on Kansas and Divisions streets and the block surrounding Showplace East. Additional meters are slated for 16th Street between Vermont and Seventh streets as well as Henry Adams Street, once 1 Henry Adams, a residential complex, is completed. Due to sidewalk improvements that’re underway, 16th Street will have four hour time limits in the interim, with meters likely installed next year…(more)

For those who aren’t familiar with Andy Thronley, he lost by a wide margin in his 2016 run for District One Supervisor. His department staff is down and he is the President of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition according to their web site. The SFMTA has put someone who rarely drives, has no idea what the real needs of drivers are, and who hates cars in charge of the parking program. Keep this in mind next time you deal with him or the SFMTA.

Around 2012 the SFMTA threatened to install parking meters all over the Eastern Neighborhoods and they were stopped from this plan by vigorous public actions.

For some time we have contended that the first step to demolishing the neighborhood is parking removal. Look at how well the city has taken the Eastern neighborhoods by doing just that. Get ready for them to swarm the West side of the city in no time if this plan is not stopped.

Castro Merchants Talk Demand-Responsive Parking Meter Pricing, Set To Roll Out Citywide In 2017

by Shane Downing : hoodline – excerpt

Demand responsive pricing will come to Castro parking meters early next year.

Over the past few years, seven San Francisco neighborhoods have served as a testing ground for SFpark, an SFMTA-initiated project that adjusts parking meter prices based on the time of the day and the day of the week.

Originally piloted with 25 percent of the city’s parking meters, SFpark’s demand-responsive pricing will roll out to the rest of San Francisco’s parking meters early next year—including in the Castro.

Parking is a product like anything else, and some spots are more valuable than others,” SFMTA parking policy manager Hank Willson told the Castro Merchants at a meeting this month. He argued that if people know where parking is available and how much they can expect to pay before they pull out of their driveways, it will reduce the amount of circling and unsafe driving practices…

According to SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose, the pilot program was a success. It decreased parking search time by 43 percent, and average meter and garage rates actually went down, by 11 cents and 42 cents an hour, respectively.

SFMTA says the program also helps businesses sell more, because potential customers are able to find a place to park. Between 2010 and 2013, sales tax revenues for businesses in non-SFpark areas increased 20 percent, but in SFpark neighborhoods, they went up by more than 35 percent, indicating that consumers were spending more in those neighborhoods…

Which neighborhoods saw the increase is revenue? Were they neighborhoods that did not receive the complete streets treatment? Did they get the full treatment of parking and traffic lane reductions or did they just the meters?

Another Castro merchant was curious as to how people are supposed to look up parking prices on the SFpark app while also driving and (hopefully) searching safely for a spot…

Are these people nuts or do they think we are? If the price changes all the time how will you know how much you are going to pay and what has this got to do with parking availability? These people are nuts.

The idea that you will drive a block further for cheaper parking is crazy because you can’t tell how much the parking is until you park and get out to look at the meter, even then, you don’t know until you start feeding it.

 

 

 

Patent for “Parking Meter with Contactless Payment” Awarded to MacKay Meters

By Marketwired : sys-con – excerpt

GLASGOW, NOVA SCOTIA — (Marketwired) — 08/15/16 — J.J. MacKay Canada Limited (MacKay Meters), a recognized world leader in the manufacturing and development of parking control products, continues to strengthen its Intellectual Property portfolio with the issuance of U.S. Patent Number 9,406,056 titled “Parking Meter with Contactless Payment”, on August 2, 2016.

This new US patent relates to parking meters and in particular, to parking meters having contactless payment options and follows closely behind two Canadian patents (CA 2,773,250 and CA 2,870,544) issued on June 28, 2016 that also relate to parking meters with contactless payment. The above noted patents represent just a small portion of MacKay’s extensive Patent/IP portfolio which includes utility patents, patent applications, design patents, and industrial design registrations, and trademarks filed in the USA, Canada and internationally… (more)

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

  Continue reading

Mystery envelopes filled with money spotted around San Francisco

abc7news – excerpt

Is Secret Santa out and about this Valentine’s Day weekend?

People in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood found envelopes taped to parking meters and bus stops. Inside the envelopes was money to help pay for a meter or purchase a bus ticket.

 ABC7 News reporter Melanie Woodrow spotted the envelopes along Union and Franklin streets… (more)

 

You Can Thank VISA and Bank of America for Making Parking in S.F. More Expensive

By : sfweekly – excerpt

The Municipal Transportation Agency will soon take a bite out of your wallet, but don’t storm the mansions and burn anyone in effigy just yet. This time, it’s not their fault. They say the devil made them do it.

(Actually, it was VISA and Bank of America. But close enough.)

As expected, the MTA board voted unanimously to hike parking meter fees a quarter an hour citywide yesterday, with the pinch taking effect in February. But they want you to know they’re doing it under duress.

“This is a one-time, forced action,” board member Malcolm Heinicke said at the meeting. He did not add, “Really, honestly, pinky-swear.“ But it was more or less implied.

The problem is that six months ago, the MTA began charging a 27 cent fee whenever you feed the meter with a credit or debit card. That covered the transaction costs that credit cards always charge for the privilege of swiping, and nobody really minded, because it was cheaper than the ticket you’d get if you didn’t have enough change on you… (more)

Are Parking Meters a Tax on Small Businesses?

by Mark Hay : magazine.good – excerpt

Back in June, a bunch of drunk youths shambling around Cardigan, a Welsh town of about 4,000 people, decided to try to get more beer money by breaking into the city’s four pay-and-display metered parking machines. At first this act of vandalism seemed like a real headache. The bill to fix the meters came in at around $35,000, a fee the local city council had so much trouble sourcing they had to leave the meters broken, and subsequently downtown parking free, for weeks. But as the days dragged on, shoppers and local business owners started feeling glad that the meters had been destroyed. It seems the convenience of free parking and the liberty to stroll from shop to shop without worrying about feeding the meter had increased main street storefront revenues by an  average of about 30 percent and by as much as 50 percent. The boost evened the playing field between local vendors and megastores with free lots outside of town.

We’ve long campaigned for free parking,” Keith Davies, a 64-year-old butcher who’s run a shop in Cardigan since 1978, told the city council. Davies, along with other local businesspeople, is angling to use the evidence from this accidental experiment to eliminate metered parking downtown. “While we don’t condone the damage to the machines, the difference it’s made is unbelievable.”…

Over the past couple of months, journalists (including one columnist in the nationally distributed Independent) have started talking about parking meters as a tax on local businesses, one paid indirectly by customers just for the right to spend their money. Even prominent members of the sitting conservative government seem to be getting behind free parking as a means of reversing the decline in main street shops, 20,000 of which have closed in the last few years alone. Member of Parliament Marcus Jones, who this May became Undersecretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has even publicly suggested that small towns could use meter-free status as an effective means to save local shops…

At the very least, though, Cardigan’s recent experience (along with mounting bodies of evidence from other British towns) has started serious conversations about forcing reticent local councils to experiment with decreasing hourly fees and increasing stays. Hopefully these small towns can attain the gains Cardigan felt during the brief vandal-born parking anarchy, all without losing major revenue or running the urban planning risks of free parking… (more) 

SFMTA Decides Today Whether to Jack Up Parking Rates

By Jeremy Lybarger : sfweekly – excerpt

2015 has seen a rise in Golden Gate Bridge tolls and Muni fares — now you can add another hike to the list: parking. Although it’s not official yet, KQED reports that the SFMTA board is poised to approve a fee bump for using the city’s parking meters.

The projected increase is a result of the city’s initiative to update parking meters from coin-operated only to meters that accept credit and debit cards. Since 2010, when meter conversions began, the city has paid merchant fees associated with card processing, using federal grant money to cover those costs. But Paul Rose, an SFMTA spokesman, told KQED that the agency would have to earmark $47.7 million over the next nine years to continue footing that bill…

According to Priceonomics, a San Francisco-based blog that crawls the web for data, the SFMTA makes over $130 million per year from parking and meter citations. In 2013, the average parking ticket was $74, the most expensive in the country.

And, in case you’re wondering, the city’s parking meters communicate wirelessly with the SFPark data warehouse. When rates change, the new information is sent wirelessly to meters citywide… (more)

The SFMTA has a real problem if it can’t balance its 1 billion dollar budget. That’s right. 1 billion dollars out of the city’s 9 billion dollar budget goes to the SFMTA. And that is in addition to the 500 million in bonds they just talked tax payers into giving them. Hope those who voted against L like the traffic cause you gave them the benefit of the doubt.

RELATED:
New Fee Would Increase the Cost of Parking in San Francisco
But that convenience has a cost — merchant transaction fees. Until now, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has covered the cost of processing credit and debit cards with federal grant money, as part of the SFpark pilot. Now it’s planning to pass that cost on to the people using the service.
At a meeting Tuesday, the agency’s board will likely vote to add a 27-cent fee when drivers use a card to pay for a meter… (more)