This article is in response to some recent stories from folks who profess a preference for Smart parking meters because they believe the rates are lower. We are also sharing a few facts we uncovered by attending public SFMTA meetings and talking to people who have experienced the destruction of their neighborhoods by the SFMTA.
SMART v DUMB meters: The non-smart meters started out at 25 cents an hour. They have been re-programed and can be re-programed again to raise or lower the rates. Parking rates are set by policy and have nothing to do with “smart” technology. Do you care what the rates are now when the SFMTA’s stated purpose for managing parking is to make driving and parking in SF difficult? How likely will they remain low?
The SFMTA admits to mistakes? Anyone who has attended public SFMTA meetings with neighborhood groups can attest to the fact that SFMTA officials freely admit their system is flawed in a number of ways:
Reiskin hands the floor to Funghi at the North Beach meeting.
SFMTA admits they lack proper public outreach: At a public meeting In North Beach SFMTA apologized for waiting four years after they signed the contract with the project developer to inform the neighborhood that Columbus Avenue would be closed down for an extended period of time while the contractor extracts boring equipment.
SFMTA admits they are digging a tunnel and they don’t know where they are aiming it: At the North Beach meeting SFMTA admitted their extraction plan lacks any clear benefit to the neighborhood since they have no exact station location, funding or clearance to build past the China Town station. This project represents billions of taxpayer dollars and a number of lawsuits are pending. Now we see why. Look at tapes of public meetings in North Beach and North East Mission decide for yourself how you feel the SFMTA: http://vimeo.com/groups/168462
SFMTA rates are subject to changing times and rates without notice: Meters in Mission Bay run from 7 AM to 11PM at night on some streets and the rates are subject to change during the day so you never know how much you are paying to park.
What is SFMTA doing with the additional money? SFMTA has raised rates on Muni, cut back service and taken in more money from parking rates, fines and fees, or at least budgeted to to so. Where is the money going? Not into Muni. Lines are being cut and service is at an all time low.
Ask people in negatively impacted neighborhoods: Ask the folks around Valencia how they like SFMTA parking policies. First they removed the Muni lines on Valencia, then they installed parking meters and put in bike paths and parklets to further eliminate parking. The final blow came when a developer got approval to build a higher denser apartment on Valencia with no off-street parking and no RPP rights. As soon as the ink dried on the permits, the developer switched the address to a side street so the residents can apply for RPP, further squeezing parking in the neighborhood.