Fight over construction parking comes to City Hall

By Lizzie Johnson : sfchronicle – excerpt

Construction-only parking outside a building on Sacramento Street has frustrated neighbors for 15 years.

The brown wood shake building at the corner of Sacramento and Laurel streets hasn’t had many renovations in recent years. But that hasn’t stopped its owner from taking out multiple street parking permits.

In the past 15 years, the owner of the Goldberry Building in Presidio Heights has applied for and received at least 20 city construction parking permits. Yet little construction has been completed on the property since March 2000, records show. Plans to create a single-dwelling unit on the third floor and a garage have moved at a glacial pace, and multiple permits for the project have expired, city records show.

Meanwhile, the building owner and a contractor, Presidio Heights Restoration, have exploited a city loophole to use those parking spaces for their personal use, a half-dozen neighbors and city officials say. That’s because there are no limits to renewing the parking permits as long as construction is ongoing — even if it takes more than 15 years. Calls by The Chronicle to both building owner Margaret Rogerson and Presidio Heights Restoration were not returned.

Under new legislation pushed by Supervisor Mark Farrell, which the Board of Supervisors will take up next month, limits would be placed on renewing parking permits at the same address within a three-year period. It also gives officials more authority to deny permit renewals if a resident appears to be taking advantage of the system. If the legislation gets the majority vote, it would go into effect in about 10 weeks — and apply retroactively to the Presidio Heights property… (more)

The Solution to San Francisco’s Parking Problem isn’t What You Expect

by Noah Sanders : thebolditalic – excerpt

Let’s be frank: parking in San Francisco is a nightmare. We’re a dense city — more than 800,000 people on a seven by seven spit of land — with a surprisingly low number of on-street public parking spaces (265,000 as reported in 2010), and the quest to find an open slot for your vehicle can be one of the great frustrations of living in the City by the Bay. Parking isn’t a simple issue (nothing is in San Francisco), but according to the Examinercity supervisors Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen think a large part of our current parking crisis is due to ubiquitous construction parking permits. You’ve seen them: plasticky, red-and-white signs decreeing a rare stretch of available parking is reserved for the dualies and cement mixers of some massive construction project. Anyone who ignores the signs is asking for punishment. Now, supervisors Farrell and Cohen believe they have a solution: the Construction Parking Plan Law….

Potrero Hill Boosters president J.R. Eppler doesn’t see the Construction Parking Plan Law as an adequate solution to what he believes is a much bigger problem. Eppler says that parking problems caused by construction projects are just “a straw on the back of an already burdened camel.”…At the end of the day, “it’s not just a construction issue, “ Eppler says, it’s a complex parking issue that needs to be addressed with an equally comprehensive plan….

San Francisco is in the grip of some seriously complex growing pains, and though legislation like the Construction Parking Plan Law looks to address pieces of those problems, City Hall needs to start expanding its scope and hitting the full force of these issues head-on…. (more)

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S.F. building boom eats up street parking

By Vivian Ho : sfchronicle – excerpt

The sound of jackhammers and beeping tractors in many San Francisco neighborhoods is as common as the squawk of seagulls at AT&T Park or the rumble of F-line streetcars on Market Street.

But with every lurch of the city’s construction boom, a precious urban commodity disappears: street parking…

Gordon said the department approves about 1,000 new street-space permits a month. They vary in duration, and in whether they can be enforced only during work hours or 24 hours a day.

Public works, Gordon said, does not consider whether a permit request is being made in an area that has already lost parking spaces to other ongoing projects…

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the southeast area of the city, said she’s been working with the city attorney’s office in recent months to draft legislation that would improve the construction parking permit system…

Her focus is on limiting the 24-hour parking permits so that residents can, at the very least, park overnight.

“I’m not interested in this current wholesale blanketed process of, ‘You want 24 hours? Here, have 24 hours,’” Cohen said. “And then when you’re driving around trying to find parking, you see a whole street free but you can’t park there.”

Cohen said she would also look into whether the city should limit the number of active permits in one small area.

Cohen introduced the drafting request last month, and hopes to have a piece of legislation by the end of November… (more)

Thanks to Supervisors Cohen for looking into the construction parking problem. One of the major causes of gridlock, other than street diets, is the double parked cars around construction sites. Many are not legal, but it is hard to tell unless you check. Thanks  for looking into this.