San Francisco Wastes $25 Million to Find Out Its Parking Situation Sucks

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 , , , 2 Comments

Let me save the city $25 million it doesn't have and call this doomed right off the bat because there is never available parking in San Francisco. A supply and demand parking system would work great in a city that actually has its parking in order to begin with. Being that this is San Francisco, I can almost guarantee parking spots will cap out at the maximum nearly all hours of the day and off-meter parking in residential areas will be even more impossible to secure (as if it isn't already).

Way to go, SF, you just chased out the last remaining car owners you had, not to mention scared away any Bridge and Tunnel folks looking to cruise around in their Land Rovers on weekends. FAIL.


San Francisco is about to spend $25 million to answer a simple question: How much should a city charge for parking?

The price should be cheap enough that most of the metered spaces and city parking lots are always almost full.

But it shouldn't be so cheap that spaces are entirely full, leaving drivers frustrated and adding to congestion as cars circle endlessly looking for a place to park.

The system will use electronic sensors to measure real-time demand for parking spaces, and adjust prices accordingly. When there are lots of empty spaces, it will be cheap to park. When spaces are hard to find, rates will be higher.

The range in prices will be huge: from 25 cents an hour to a maximum of $6 an hour, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority.

Eventually, drivers will be able to find open parking spaces by going online, checking their mobile phones or reading for new electronic signs that will be posted throughout the city. (Warning to SF pedestrians: Watch out for drivers who are checking their phones to search for a parking place.)

Great. So instead of $2 an hour, parking will be jacked up to $6 anywhere worth going in the city and the DPTards at SFMTA will clean up on parking tickets as residents squeeze themselves into red-curbed spots just to avoid having to pay meters to park in front of their own homes. I just don't see how this can't work, it's genius!

NPR does not mention that the 2-hour rule is generally in effect across all metered parking areas in the city, so it isn't like moochers can plop down in the cheap parking and squat there all day. That being said, is the city REALLY looking to simplify the parking situation or is it instead looking to clean up on all that precious concrete real estate that isn't being used (read: taxed) to the fullest?

I vote #2.

Surely this has nothing to do with those 1000 additional metered spaces the city has been trying to install to help its budget problems. But what does the city do when its budget is fractured? Spend more money, natch!

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


sfparkripoff said...

The SFpark system is causing quite a bit of controversy. Residents are ready to disband the entire SFMTA and recall the mayor. The meters are driving out business and residents are protesting across the city

Here's what I did: MOVED!