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)

Citizen group votes to abolish illegal church parking near Dolores Park

By Joe : sfexaminer – excerpt

Illegal parking for churchgoers on the streets near Dolores Park must go.

So says a citizen advisory group convened by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to address parking concerns created by churchgoers on Dolores and Guerrero streets in the Mission district.

For decades, weekend churchgoers illegally parked their vehicles along medians on Dolores and Guerrero streets, blocking the middle of the street. But the vehicles were not regularly ticketed, which neighbors have complained amounts to a de-facto “turn the other cheek” from city officials.

In response to neighbors’ concerns, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency convened a group of citizens, from church representatives to secular neighbors, to settle the issue.

Now the Dolores/Guerrero Median Parking Advisory Committee has spoken: a vote by the Dolores/Guerrero Median Parking Advisory Committee on Thursday morning recommended parking along road medians on Guerrero and Dolores be abolished.

The decision is not final, but is instead a proposal SFMTA staff will present to its Board of Directors in about three months, said John Knox White of the SFMTA.

SFMTA staff may also submit a proposal separate from that of the citizen group, Knox White said.

Still, the citizen group’s proposal to abolish median parking could impact that final vote… (more)

As the SFMTA city authorities squeeze the parking out of San Francisco more people will feel the pinch and stay away. Getting rid of the churches, and other charitable organizations who serve the less advantaged citizens will put more disadvantaged people at risk. This is part of the plan to rid the city of undesirables. A church is not required to serve the gods of greed.

 

 

Parking crunch crimps growth at SF General

By Jerold Chinn : SFbay – excerpt

Parking at San Francisco General Hospital could soon get worse for patients and employees if a plan is not in place to figure out how the solve the parking situation, health officials said.  Health officials presented their dilemma to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Policy and Governance Committee last Friday seeking help from SFMTA staff to find solutions.

The Health Commission last Tuesday also passed a resolutions urging health officials to work collaboratively with the SFMTA find transportation and parking solutions for patients to access the hospital.

The hospital has been going through major renovations with a new hospital expected to open in December of this year and a proposed UCSF Research Building expected to open in 2019, said Kathy Jung, director of facilities and capital planning for the Department of Public Health.

Jung also said the hospital is planning to move its emergency care services from the south side to north side of campus, which will result in the loss of some parking: “Opening the new hospital and the changes to the campus that will follow have significant impact to the supply and demand of parking at SFGH.”

The hospital is expected to have an increase in demand and higher staffing levels once the new facilities are open, said Jung… (more)

Continue reading

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.

Twitter conference blocks off scores of parking spaces for no apparent reason

: sfgate – excerpt

There’s an oft-repeated claim these days that San Francisco is up for sale to the highest bidder. We’d say that seems to be the case when scores of parking spaces in the Civic Center are closed off for a Twitter conference, but payment to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is a mere $1,194.

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was the site Wednesday of a one-day conference called Flight, put on by Twitter for mobile developers. At the request of conference producer Another Planet Entertainment, the SFMTA gave the go-ahead for signs to be posted notifying drivers they’d be towed if they parked on Grove between Larkin and Polk streets or on Larkin between Grove and Hayes.

The spaces were reserved for set-up Tuesday, the conference Wednesday and clean-up Thursday, though almost all the parking spaces Thursday morning were empty or dotted with just a neon green cone. Just three small trucks were parked in front of the auditorium. Meanwhile, some people driving to City Hall circled for 30 minutes before finding a spot — far away.

Copies of the permits for temporary signage restricting the parking spaces show that Another Planet paid the standard rate,  which, it could be argued, is the first time in history any city fee has ever seemed low.

Eric Sainz, operations manager for Another Planet, said his company requested the number of spaces Twitter said it would need. He acknowledged they weren’t really needed all day Thursday, but the signs remained up.

Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, e-mailed, “We had all the proper permits for the spaces, just like any of the other large event-holders in that area, like Salesforce. In fact, we were required to keep many of those spaces open as part of the security protocols.”

Paul Rose, spokesman for the SFMTA said, “Based on the information presented, this was an appropriate plan.”… (more)

Looks like it is time to re-visit the protocols.  Hopefully Supervisors Cohen can include these reports into her legislative efforts to free up overly broad toe-zones for construction sites. The problem appears to lie in some regulatory code that was probably sneaked in while no one was looking. Let’s start by requesting a copy of the security protocols that require blocks of reserved parking when none is required.

Cutting off blocks of traffic always impacts Muni as well as everyone else. How far behind schedule did this event put Muni? And how many Muni riders missed out on their regular routes because of this?

How do you find out about the route changes if you don’t have a computer or smart phone to refer to? If SFMTA is going to send out notices that way, they should hand out phones to everyone who can’t afford them so they can check from home to see if their routes have changed.

SFMTA board expands locations for car share vehicles

: sfexaminer – excerpt

Despite dissenting voices from several San Francisco residents, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board members on Tuesday approved 25 new curbside locations across The City which only permitted car share vehicles can occupy.

The vote expands the transit agency’s on-street car share pilot program from its original 12 spaces citywide. Under the program, the curbside locations will be tow-away zones for all but permitted car share vehicles.

Three car sharing companies – City CarShare, Zipcar and Getaround – qualified to participate in the two-year pilot program and have together already requested 450 of 900 parking spaces available. San Francisco has 275,450 spaces on its streets, according to a citywide parking census released in May…

Zipcar relocated 90 percent of its spots where neighbors raised concerns about losing parking, said Jonathan Tyburski, representing the company…

“The City sounds like it’s selling curb to private business. I understand that concern and I would be very resentful of that, but to remind you this is a pilot,” he said. “SFMTA believes there is many public benefits to car sharing.”… (more)

Decisions to “take” public space for private use has angered many residents and merchants who are signing up to support The Restore Transportation Balance initiative. Join us and let the voters have the last word on these matters in Novembers: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

If you object to privatization and commercialization of public property:

 

  • Contact the supervisors and representatives on the MTA CAC and request that they address this matter.
  • Contact the media and let them know how this effects your life and businesses.
  • Let the “sharing companies” know that you will not support them until they relinquish the parking on public streets.
  • Contact legitimate car rental companies and find out how this policy effects them.
  • Ask local businesses how public  parking removal effects them.

 

San Francisco’s oppressed motorists are fighting for change

: newstatesman – excerpt

They’ve been silent too long.

Drivers in San Francisco have been having a hard time of it. All the public parking spaces created since the 1990s have been for cyclists. There’s no longer any requirement to build parking spaces for new houses and apartments. The transport agency even made them (gasp!) pay for parking on Sundays (mayor Ed Lee abandoned the policy after a year).

But fear not – for like countless downtrodden, voiceless groups before them, the city’s motorists have come together to fight back. Earlier this week, a group called “Restore Transportation Balance” delivered a ballot initiative to the town hall, demanding a change in policy to pay more attention to the poor, ignored motorist. Ballot initiatives can be proposed by individuals or interest groups and are then voted on in a local election. To qualify, they need to collect 9,702 (yes, 9,702) signatures from locals, but, just to be safe, this one had 17,500.

In an editorial for SFGate, Bill Bowen, a member of the Restore Transportation Balance team, described the initiative’s backers as “a coalition of neighbourhood activists, small businesses, first responders, disabled advocates, parents, churchgoers and just plain folks”… (more)

 

SF Parking App Warned By SF City Attorney Open-Sources Its Code

by : techcrunch – excerpt

Parking app Sweetch has open-sourced its code this morning in an effort to solve the parking crisis in San Francisco. The free, open-source project, called Freetch is open to any developer willing to work on solving parking problems for the city.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera called out Sweetch and other parking apps earlier this week in a cease-and-desist letter it sent to MonkeyParking. The letter specifically warned Sweetch and ParkModo, both of which the city believes “…similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces.”

These parking apps could also face $300 fines per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the California Unfair Competition Law, according to the letter.

This may be why the Sweetch founders have now changed direction on their approach and opened up their code.

Sweetch users pay a flat rate of $5 for a spot and get paid $4 for notifying another driver when they leave their spot, whereas MonkeyParking works more like an auction. If someone accepts your bid for their spot, you get the spot. It’s unclear how ParkModo’s model will work, but recent Craigslist postings show they may be planning to pay drivers $13/hour to squat on parking spaces in order to save them for users.

However, Police Code section 63(c) states: “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind, written or oral, with or without compensation, for the use of any street or sidewalk.”

Sweetch addresses section 63(c) on its most recent blog post about the issue:… (more)

If you are tired of the parking policies the SFMTA and city authorities have brought us, including this legal mess that they will now have to spend time and money cleaning up, support the Restore Transportation Balance initiative and let the voters decide how to fix the parking mess: http://restorebalance14.org/

Another moveon petition to Stop Actions by the SFMTA designed to privatize and commercialize public property.

Message from moveone:

No Public Space for Private Use recently created a petition on our public petition website entitled “San Francisco Keep Corporate Greed Out of Your Parking Spaces”—and moveone would like to know what you think of it.

The petition is addressed to Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation, SFMTA Board of Directors, and Andy Thornley, and reads:

SFMTA has set aside 450 parking spots city wide for a pilot program to rental car corporations to be used as free advertising under the guise of being not for profit companies. Their concept being that we are “sharing” these rental cars instead of renting a car. It is more expensive to rent a car by the hour than the day. If SFMTA decides they like the revenue this pilot program brings , the number of these private use parking spaces will increase from 450 spaces to 900 spaces city wide. They will no longer be available for your (public) use. Guess who profits.

These companies have misled the public into believing these actions will help save the environment, when in fact it will put more cars on the streets creating more pollution.

This selfish corporate thinking compromises the local workers who need their vehicles to transport the tools of their various trades to the job sites.

This is just another attack on the working class of San Francisco. 
Please support No Public Space for Private Use and sign this petition.

Sign No’s petition.

Here’s what No wrote about it:

The city of San Francisco is being bought out by big business and it’s coming to your front door. If this pilot program is successful 900 private parking spots will be for the exclusive use of City Car Share, Zipcar and Getaround. No neighborhood is exempt.

NO PUBLIC SPACE FOR PRIVATE USE

Can you click to let us know what you think?

I want to sign this petition.

I don’t think MoveOn should support this petition.

We’ll decide whether to send this petition out to additional MoveOn members in your area based on your feedback.

In case you haven’t heard about it, MoveOn’s petition site allows anyone to start an online petition and share it with friends and neighbors to build support for their cause.

Thanks for all you do.

– moveone

 

Parking Losses Prompted by Potrero Avenue Project Continue to Rile Residents

By Keith Burbank : potrero view – excerpt

Despite new designs that maintain more parking spaces than previous proposals, residents of Potrero Avenue and nearby streets are still angry about the loss of parking that would result from the Potrero Avenue Streetscape project. And though the City has made changes in response to citizen requests, some residents insist that local government isn’t listening to them.

“They [the City] come back with what they think we need,” said Mari Sorenson, a Hampshire Street resident. “It’s not about neighbors.” According to Sorenson, the project has been resisted by the community, but City Hall isn’t listening. She’s also upset that a question and answer session hasn’t been included in the past two meetings; a complaint echoed by others. Instead, residents were given the opportunity to talk with City staff at an open house held last month, record their ideas on comments cards and vote for one of three options…

More than eighty people attended last month’s gathering, held at San Francisco General Hospital, at which an additional Streetscape option was added to the two proposals that had been presented previously. Under the options for 22nd to 24th streets, Options One and Two would result in the loss of 29 parking spaces. Option Three calls for the loss of only three spaces along that street. Option One widens the sidewalk on the east side of the avenue to 14 feet, while Option Two widens it to 15 feet. Rather than widening the sidewalk, Option Three creates a bulb for a bus on the northeast corner of 24th Street and Potrero Avenue. In addition, Option One creates a six to 10 foot continuous planted median, while Options Two and Three build six foot refuges and place landscaping at the intersections…

The City added a fourth community meeting to discuss the project in response to citizen requests, according to Nate Albee, a legislative aide to Supervisor Campos, who encouraged DPW to schedule the additional gathering. And Albee said that four community meetings are more than average for the City to host to discuss a project.

The City has made changes requested by Flores, with no parking eliminated along the block that she lives on. Flores has a nephew who has cerebral palsy and a mother who is frail and has asthma. Flores seemed pleased she’ll have parking in front of her home, but still wants the City to avoid removing any parking from the project area. To save all the parking on Potrero Avenue, Flores and others have started a petition, which has more than 330 signatures.

Besides parking, concerns were expressed about street lighting. According to residents, half the street lights along Potrero Avenue are encased in foliage, and the City wants to plant more trees. In response, Chris Pangilinan, associate engineer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), said the City is proposing “pedestrian scale” lighting on both sides of Potrero Avenue, which would rise to only 10 to 12 feet. Residents also wondered whether the project’s proposed medians would prevent emergency vehicles from traveling along Potrero Avenue during rush hour. According to Pangilinan, emergency vehicles going south would have a 15-foot wide transit-only lane to use. SFMTA met with the San Francisco Fire Department last month to be sure the department was satisfied with the access it will have once the project is built… (more)