Scrutinizing SFMTA leader Last-ditch effort to save Sunday parking meters opposed by supervisors

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

In what may have been the final opportunity to overturn a decision to revert to free Sunday parking in San Francisco, an appeal by transit advocates to require a full program environmental review was rejected by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

While the abolishment of Sunday parking meter enforcement is set to take effect, the vote exhibited the ongoing conflicts between drivers and transit riders as well as the ongoing political tensions over Muni funding decisions…

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency bowed to Mayor Ed Lee’s call to stop Sunday metering, which generates approximately $11 million annually. Enforcement had been in place since January 2013. The supervisors also voted to postpone for at least two years a vehicle license fee increase, which would have generated $1 billion over 15 years.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who rejected the appeal, said he finds fault with the transit funding decisions.

Some have been more than happy to see the end of Sunday metering. Christopher Bowman, who is leading an effort to place a November ballot measure to create an official anti-Sunday parking meter policy, said that greenhouse gases are being emitted because drivers are leaving San Francisco to do their shopping where parking is free. Supervisor David Campos said even if the appeal were granted it wouldn’t address the fundamental problem of the mayor effectuating transit policy changes. “I think the solution is to actually reform the way that this agency is governed.”

Currently the transit agency’s board of directors are appointed by the mayor. It would take voter approval to change the governance… (more)

RELATED:
Free Sunday-Meters-Challenge-Rejected

Good riddance, Sunday parking meters

By Sean Havey : sfgate – excerpt

Some anticar ideas are too much, even for San Francisco, where policies limiting driving are a near-religion. After an unhappy tryout, the city will stop enforcing parking meters on Sunday. It’s the right end to an unpopular and unfair plan.

Drivers need a break from worrying about the time ticking down on curb slots. There needs to be a day of rest from swarms of meter-minders dispensing tickets that cost $60 or more. Turning Sunday into another cash-producing day irritates everyone, resident and visitor alike.

By canceling meter collections and ticket revenues, the city is giving up $11 million. (Not  according to this article)  But there are bigger targets to aim for. In signaling his opposition, Lee worried that the public’s annoyance with Sunday meters could doom plans in November for a $500 million transit bond and a vehicle license fee boost, designed to provide money for Muni, street improvements and other transit fixes.

These ballot measures may net a reliable and supportable stream of money for public transit, right now starved of dependable support. Even in financially flush times, the city’s mix of fares, fees, fines and general taxes is a patchwork system that’s partly to blame for Muni’s ills that make driving a go-to option.

But the answer shouldn’t be more hazing of vehicle owners in a crowded, expensive city. Drivers already pay into this city’s transit-first programs. Nailing them again undercuts the support the city needs to modernize its streets and transportation system… (more)

SFMTA claims they will not lose any money on the Sunday meters, because they will find other ways to ticket drivers. They treat drivers like their personal ATM machines and then beg for more money for vehicle license fees? Do they think we are fools?

Drivers pay. Muni riders pay. Guess who doesn’t pay.

RELATED:
SF drivers not off the hook on Sundays

2 Investigates: SF drivers not off the hook on Sundays

Cara Lui : KTVU – excerpt

Big changes are coming to San Francisco’s parking enforcement policies.

SFMTA announced this week it was doing away with Sunday metering in the city. But that doesn’t mean drivers are off the hook on Sundays.

Agency spokesperson Paul Rose said you can expect the same number of parking control officers on the roads. They will be focusing on things such as responding to red zone or blocked driveway complaints instead.

“We still feel like we’ll make up the revenue lost by Sunday meters, but we will be able to deploy same parking control officers to respond to quality of life issues,” said Rose.

KTVU has also learned SFMTA issued a total of 1.5 million tickets last year… (more)

We can’t believe anything the SFMTA claims. According to these statements the SFMTA never needed to charge for Sunday parking meters and will not be losing the 6.5 to 11 million dollars they have been claiming.

 

Reiskin: Let’s Keep Sunday Parking Meters, But Not Enforce Them

By Aaron Bialick : sfStreetsblog – excerpt

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin said today that he thinks the agency should keep Sunday parking meters but back off on actually enforcing them.

At an SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, Reiskin said he recommends “that we significantly re-deploy our resources away from Sunday meter enforcement. We have a lot more higher-pressing needs, particularly during the week during the evening rush, for example, in terms of traffic enforcement.”… (more)

April Fools?

The Separation of Church and Parking

By BRITTANY SHOOT : theatlanticcities.com : JAN 30, 2013 – excerpt

The story in most U.S. cities goes that on the seventh day, even parking enforcement officers rest. But thanks to slashed municipal budgets and seemingly never-ending congestion on the roads, that’s quickly and likely irrevocably changing.
Earlier this month, San Francisco became the latest city to announce it will begin enforcing parking meters on Sundays. For now, municipal traffic cops are merely leaving warnings on windshields to let motorists know about the upcoming policy change. But on February 2, meters will start ticking on Sundays at noon and require payment until 6 p.m.
The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority argues the change will encourage turnover, relieve the bottlenecking that comes from drivers’ endless circling in hopes of nabbing an open space, and in theory, draw more visitors to the city with the promise of easier parking. Predictably, it’s also caused quite a stir among Bay Area residents who think Sunday churchgoers are being unfairly targeted and that local residents are being priced out of their own neighborhoods…
San Francisco Interfaith Council Executive Director Michael Pappas says that he and many of the city’s religious and spiritual leaders were blindsided by SFMTA, which put together a stakeholder group without consulting anyone in the city’s faith community—something Pappas calls “a real infraction of due process.”
Because SFMTA is an independent organization, no elected official can line item veto any part of its budget. Short of creating and passing new legislation, there isn’t much to be done about the change. …
Pappas wonders whether, in addition to discouraging congregants from attending Sunday services, ever-increasing meter fees lead to fewer participants in after-hours activities and an all-around revenue loss…
Naturally, there’s already talk of a November ballot initiative to repeal Sunday meter enforcement. Given Oakland’s success repealing a similar meter enforcement rule in 2009, advocates working to stop “meter madness” are hopeful. Hanke says that a ballot measure proves that people actually care about this issue, and about transit. “People use Muni. They love it,” he says. But they might love their cars—and their God—more… (more)

RELATED:
Why People Choose Cars, Even When Mass Transit Would Serve Them Better
For all the technical and spatial hurdles of implementing an efficient urban transit system, there are significant psychological ones too. Sure, some people will make a rational travel choice, and prefer the efficiency and cost of the bus or the metro. But many others will require an incentive to switch that goes above and beyond what the numbers predict they should need….

Like, maybe they wanted to get there faster and they didn’t mind paying more to arrive on time?

Almost 1,800 ticketed as free Sunday parking ends

City insider : blog.sfgate.com – excerpt

We now know just how many unlucky drivers were hit with a ticket over the weekend as 65 years of free parking on Sundays came to an end.
The Municipal Transportation Agency issued 1,796 meter violations out of a total 2,575 citations on Sunday, as parking officers officially started enforcing the new rule that is expected to net the city an additional $2 million per year. On an average Saturday, about 2,000 citations for all violations, not just meters, are issued, agency spokesman Paul Rose said.
Violators received about 11,000 verbal and written warnings on the three previous Sundays before fines were implemented. Getting ticketed will cost you $72 downtown and $62 in other parts of the city.
So if your plans include driving around town after noon on Sunday, make sure you feed that meter… (more)

Newsom rejected Sunday meter enforcement

Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross : Chronicle Columnists – excerpt

Watch out: The weeks of warning are over – starting Sunday, 20 parking control officers will hit the streets of San Francisco to enforce meters on the only day of the week when parking had been free.
At least one former mayor doesn’t like it.
“I told Mayor (Ed) Lee that he took some bad advice from staff members – staff members that I hired,” said former Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“Four years in a row they came into my office and asked to start enforcing metered parking on Sundays,” Newsom said, “and for four years I rejected it.”… (more)

SF parking meters to charge on Sundays

Finance Yahoo.com – excerpt

Watch the video SF parking meters to charge on Sundays on Yahoo! Finance . Starting Sunday, San Francisco residents and visitors will need to feed the meter …
finance.yahoo.com/…/sf-parking-meters-charge-sundays-1842

Michael Pappas, SF Interfaith Council has concerns about “how this decision was made by the San Francisco MTA… There was a stakeholders group that implemented this policy… it was not the voice of one member of the faith-based community around that table… we see it as a gross infraction of due process…”

Here’s Something You Can Do If You’re Pissed About Paying for Parking on Sunday

By Erin Sherbert : sfweekly.com – excerpt

Update 9 p.m.: Muni says it issued 4,000 warnings on Sunday to drivers who didn’t pay the meter for one reason or another.
Did you forget to plug the meter this past Sunday, despite our friendly reminder that you can no longer completely rest on your one day of rest?
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hasn’t responded to us, so we can’t tell you how many drivers forgot to feed the meter on Sunday, when paying for parking on the Sabbath started. If you forgot this time, best you use the next two Sundays to start practicing, because come Jan. 27 the fastidious meter maids will no longer issue warnings, but parking tickets...
So what can you do about the new oppressive parking rules?
Not much, really, but you can sign this petition, which asks the SFMTA to stop making San Francisco an all-around miserable place for drivers… (more)

Last comment on the petition today, “do you know how miserable it is to raise kids in this city? I live in the sunset. I pay 10K in property tax per year. I ferry my kids to ballet, kung fu, piano lessons, etc all weekend long. Don’t tell me to ride a bike to these activities — I am 45 years old and live among some really steep hills with 3 kids. This increase in parking costs and fees will cause folks like me to either (1) do more shopping in daly city (2) cheat the system more by getting a fake handicap placard or (3) cheat the city in other ways like unpermitted build outs, under reporting of income, or simply just moving away. You do realize this don’t you?”

Some Tips to Help SF Weekly Get Over the Free Parking Obsession

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

The folks at SF Weekly seem really upset about the end of free car parking on Sundays. The shock is apparently severe enough that Erin Sherbert put up a post yesterday directing readers to sign the petition demanding an absolute end to the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s expansion of parking meters, launched by the Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF). (Just a reminder: ENUF’s spokesperson won a Streetsie Award this year for “most absurd argument against SFPark meters.”)
Signing on the to ENUF petition, Sherbert wrote, is car owners’ last stand against “the new oppressive parking rules.”…  (more)