Self-driving cars, valets that come to you and more: 5 ways parking will change

ocregister – excerpt

Driving a car is getting a lot like using a computer. Navigation is automatic. Entertainment is voice-activated and beamed to your dash via satellite. Repairs begin when your car sends you a text. Soon, parking could be just as gee-whiz.

Here are five things to know about the future of parking in Southern California:

1. The rate at the meter can fluctuate

If the price to park at the curb is low, drivers have no incentive to vacate their spaces or hit a nearby lot. Then other drivers slowly cruise the streets for a spot, creating gridlock. To fix that problem, some cities now adjust meter rates throughout the day using traffic-detecting sensors or cameras.. (more)

San Francisco Goes Low-Tech To Warn Drivers Of Towing Rules At Metered Spaces

 By Julie Watts : sanfrancisco.cbslocal – excerpt – (audio track)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Parking in San Francisco can be confusing, and expensive if your car gets towed.  So, the city is placing stickers on meters to make it easier for drivers to determine when it’s okay to park in certain spaces.

Parking signs are blamed for many of the cars that get towed in the city, something Sarah Stockton has known for years…

“Merchants and residents, they wanted more information about when the tow hours were, and we came up with these decals to give more information to people parking in that area,” San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Spokesman Paul Rose said.

The SFMTA says it’s too soon to know if the stickers are working, but Stockton says she sees the difference.  She only sees cars getting towed “a couple times a week.”… (more)

SFMTA falls short with parking meter revenue

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

report from the San Francisco controller’s office shows The City could have potentially collected more revenue from parking meters during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The report said that if every one of the 28,000 metered spaces in the city had been fully paid, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency could have generated as much as $190 million in revenue.

Though it might seem to drivers that parking spaces are always taken,  at least 40 percent of parking metered spaces are not occupied at any given time, according to data from the SFMTA’s SFPark program… (more)

They left out the most likely reason for the empty meters, which is that their PR and street diets have have backfired on them. SFMTA has convinced everyone to go somewhere else or take pubic transportation, walk, bike, or stay home. The fewer cars there are on the road, the lower their revenue from cars will be. Get used to it or change the policies to bring the cars and the revenue back.

But it is more fun to blame others than to admit they overplayed their hand, so we will probably get more of the same and they will lose more money and blame us.

Chronicle Watch: Some S.F. drivers still feed meters on Sundays

By Kurtis Alexander : sfgate – excerpt

Street parking in San Francisco is now free on Sundays, but you wouldn’t know it from the 6,500 or so meters that still warn of enforcement — and ably take your cash.

Signs that demand payment from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays have not been removed from about a quarter of the city’s meters since San Francisco stopped charging for Sunday parking in July, according to records from the Municipal Transportation Agency.

While the digital displays on meters have been changed to say there’s no parking charge, the conflicting claims are creating confusion for drivers already prone to anxiety over the city’s patchwork of colored curbs, permit zones and street-cleaning signs…

“As they upgrade the meters, they’re updating the signs on the sides,” said Paul Rose, a spokesman for the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Rose said it would be too laborious to change the listed hours at every meter, only to return in coming months to replace the entire device… (more)

That sounds about right. It is too much trouble for the SFMTA to let you know when parking is free. It is too much trouble for them to put up signs that you can read before you park letting you know what the parking rules are. It is too much trouble for SFMTA to set up an easy method to appeal illegal tickets. It is too much trouble for SFMTA to serve the public that supports their exorbitant salaries, but, it is not too much trouble for SFMTA officials to dream up new ways to drive us mad.

Is this what you voted for when you voted to give the SFMTA total control over the streets of your city?

The Week This Was

Not much is going well this week for the heads-in-the-sand SFMTA and friends. While SFMTA supporters make false allegations against Prop L proponents, and play the blame game, the headlines tell the stories that best explain why residents and commuters are demanding change.

Media blitz September 25, 2014:
How a $900 parking citation became a $25,000 federal lawsuit against SF
No Free Rides: Finally, Inevitably: Muni Is Suing Muni
Rank-and-file S.F. firefighters call for chief’s ouster
S.F. supervisor makes case for fire chief’s ouster
How Transbay Transit Center deal’s collapse would alter S.F.
Possible Golden Gate Bridge District Strike Would Cripple Commute
Carshare reserved parking not favored by everyone
Despite Free Parking, San Francisco Meters Continue Collecting On Sundays
SEIU Local 1021 backs motorist measure and a Republican. WTF?!?!

We generally suggest leaving comments at the source site, but a number of publications have recently removed comments, so please leave your thoughts here.

Despite Free Parking, San Francisco Meters Continue Collecting On Sundays

KPIC – excerpt – online

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco may be raking in profits from parking meters when parking is supposed to be free.

Signage on many San Francisco parking meters still indicates Sunday enforcement, even though the city recently stopped charging for Sunday parking.

“I don’t know why they’re not saying free parking, because that’s what it is now,” one man told KPIX 5… (more)

We have been hearing about this since the Mayor and press first mentioned that parking will be free on Sundays again.

Not only did the SFMTA not change the signs, they also did not change the much touted smart meters. Many meters still flash the expired message on Sundays.

You may want to treat this like a crime and report any confusing signs and meters you see to the SFMTA so they will have a record of the complaints. There is a at least one class action lawsuit regarding confusing signs pending so the department is well aware of the signage problem.

As always, let the Supervisors know about the problem.

Walnut Creek Parking Meter Glitch Fixed After Malfunction Produced Unwarranted Tickets

cbslocal – excerpt

WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) – A glitch found in some new downtown Walnut Creek parking meters that left at least 100 drivers with unwarranted parking tickets has been fixed, city officials said.

Sensors near the new “smart meters” installed downtown last year are designed to wirelessly signal to the meter when a vehicle enters and leaves a parking spot, city officials said.

But some of the sensors were too sensitive, causing them to erroneously reset and prompting parking enforcement officers to issue tickets, according to Matt Huffaker, assistant to the City Manager… (more)

Or in the case of the sensors in SF, the batteries died.

Fee increases, free Sunday parking take effect this week

sfexaminer – excerpt

A number of fee increases — the first in a series of changes approved in the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s budget — take effect today, followed by the controversial elimination of Sunday parking meter enforcement at the end of this week.

Transit agency board members on April 15 passed a $943.2 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15 and a $962.6 million budget for fiscal year 2015-16. Slight increases for parking permits and other miscellaneous fees are scheduled to go into effect today.

Among those is a $1 increase for parking permits for resident, business, commercial, school, fire station, foreign consulate, and medical and childcare provider vehicles. They are set to cost $55 for six months or less and $110 for a year… (more)

Sunday Meter Repeal Needs No CEQA Review, Say SFMTA and Planning Dept.

by : sfstreetsblog -excerpt

An appeal claiming that the repeal of Sunday parking meters is an action that requires environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act is baseless, according to responses issued by the SFMTA and Planning Department this week.

The appeal, filed by Livable City and the SF Transit Riders Union, is set for a hearing and vote at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The board will not vote not on the merits of running parking meters on Sundays. Instead, the board will vote on whether CEQA would require an environmental impact report for the SFMTA’s new budget, which directs the agency to stop charging for meters on Sundays. The supervisors’ decision is expected to be largely informed by the recommendations of the SFMTA and the Planning Department… (more)

 

Disabled woman: Pittsburgh parking meters too tall

By Sheldon Ingram : wtae – excerpt

Debra Stemmler says she couldn’t reach controls on new street meters

PITTSBURGH —A woman has sued the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, saying that its new electronic parking meters are too tall for her to reach from her wheelchair.

Fifty-three-year-old Debra J. Stemmler filed the class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming that the parking authority is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. Her lawsuit says the new meters have working parts more than 48 inches above the ground, including coin slots… (more)