Parking meters might take new directions in San Francisco 

click to enlarge From left, Jeff and Josh Weinstock worry that adding parking meters will hurt their business, TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures. - CINDY CHEW/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINER
  • Cindy Chew/Special to The SF Examiner
  • From left, Jeff and Josh Weinstock worry that adding parking meters will hurt their business, TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures.

Despite the outraged protests of neighborhood residents, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to install 5,000 new parking meters in the Dogpatch, Mission Bay and Mission neighborhoods.

The meters would only charge 25 cents an hour, but very few would have time limits — prompting residents to accuse the agency of milking motorists for money. Critics complain the agency will be installing meters in primarily residential neighborhoods, and the extended time limits won’t encourage parking turnover for area businesses.

“I moved to the Dogpatch specifically because there is available parking,” said Michelle Greer. “There is no reason to install parking meters in my neighborhood; it would only be to nickel-and-dime people.”

Jay Primus, who oversees parking management for the SFMTA, said the meters will reduce circling and double-parking.

But Amanda Hyer, a three-year Dogpatch resident, said the new meters will force her to walk several blocks to her home, a troublesome scenario for someone with a small child.

“This proposal is ridiculous,” Hyer said. “There aren’t many neighborhoods in San Francisco where you can actually park. If they put meters in here, I would seriously consider leaving San Francisco.”

Josh Weinstock, owner of TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures at 1200 Seventh St., said meters will kill business at his store.

“At best, the decision was made in a vacuum, without any input,” Weinstock said. “At worst, it’s the kind of backroom cronyism that has made San Francisco so hard to live in.”

Yet not all residents hate the proposal. Victor Morales, who owns an art studio in the Mission district, said meters will help keep out the campers and RVs that loiter in his neighborhood, often leaving behind huge piles of trash.

However, such arguments have not won over supervisors Malia Cohen and Jane Kim, whose districts would be affected by the changes. Both supervisors have asked the agency to delay any implementation plans.

But an agency engineering committee recommended the changes at its meeting Friday, despite near-unanimous opposition from hundreds of residents who showed up to speak at the hearing. The committee did suggest that some of the residential areas of the plan be re-examined, but the proposal will nonetheless move forward for final approval at an upcoming meeting of the SFMTA’s board of directors.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

 

Headaches for drivers

5,000 New meters set to be installed in San Francisco
34,000 Total meters in S.F. if new meters are installed
17% Increase in parking meters if new ones are installed
441,541 Parking spaces in S.F.
25 cents Starting hourly rate at new meters
 

Source: SFMTA

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Will Reisman

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