New meters could be pricey 

Hayes Valley visitors will forfeit between a quarter and $4 an hour to park at new meters installed today, but they won’t have to scrounge around for loose change.

About 200 meters that accept credit and debit cards will replace coin-operated devices along Hayes Street and around the Civic Center, but the trade-off for the convenience is that hourly rates will be based on demand for the spot.

Currently, drivers pay $2 an hour in Hayes Valley and $3.50 in the Civic Center. The price for the new meters will vary depending on the density of the parking, with high-demand parking costing $4 an hour and the least-desired spots costing 25 cents.

During the next three months, The City will install about 5,100 multispace meters, accounting for 25,000 spaces and 15 garages, in seven high-traffic neighborhoods, such as the Marina and Mission districts, under a pilot program called SF Park.

“Circling for parking accounts for 30 percent of The City’s traffic congestion, and this will help reduce that,” said Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which governs most of The City’s meters.

Drivers can check 511.org or download phone applications with real-time data feeds from the sensors monitoring the demand for parking and prices.

“People will avoid so many tickets if they can pay with a credit card,” said Robby Pixton, who lives in Hayes Valley. “How can they charge up to $4 an hour and expect people to pay with change?”

SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford is introducing SF Park at a news conference at Hayes and Octavia streets at 1 p.m. today.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com


Parking by demand, paying with plastic


New parking meters that accept credit cards but charge based on demand will be introduced into seven San Francisco neighborhoods.

$2 to $3.50: Current hourly meter rates
25 cents to $4: New hourly meter rates depending on demand
5,100: New multispace meters that accept credit cards
25,000: Parking spots the meters will serve
15: City-owned garages where parking demand will be monitored

Neighborhoods that will offer credit card parking on demand: Civic Center, Hayes Valley, Financial District, SoMa, Mission, Fisherman’s Wharf, Fillmore, Marina

Source: SF Park

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Kamala Kelkar

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