The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will not include the Mission and other eastern neighborhoods in its SFpark pilot program as originally planned, according to an announcement released Tuesday afternoon.
SFpark, funded through a federal grant, uses demand-responsive pricing to free up parking spaces. In December the SFMTA had proposed installing some 5,000 SFpark meters in the Mission and surrounding neighborhoods to offset the loss of parking caused by the construction of a park on 17th and Folsom streets.
“Many neighbors in the 12th & Folsom, 17th & Folsom, Dogpatch, and Potrero Hill areas have expressed uneasiness about being part of the SFpark pilot project until further evaluation of its success,” read the statement by SFpark. “Based on this feedback, the SFMTA will no longer propose for these areas to be included as SFpark pilot areas. As the SFMTA revises parking management proposals for each of these areas, they will reflect regular its [sic] policies and practices.”
Hundreds of neighbors organized to oppose the program after learning about it late last year. The opposition culminated in a community meeting with SFMTA where the agency heard the neighbors’ wrath and agreed to work with them toward a solution. Among the chief complaints was SFMTA’s poor outreach efforts. Many noted that the only notification was through English-only notices posted on street poles.
John Lum, an architect who helped organize neighbors, is not ready to claim victory. He pointed to an email he received by SFMTA executive director Ed Reiskin in which he says that the new parking management proposal will “reflect regular SFMTA policies and practices,” which means regular parking meters are still on the table.
“There is no indication that they will abandoned metered parking,” Lum said.
SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said that the SFMTA effectively moved the clock back four months.
“The proposal for each neighborhood as it stood in December will be our starting point when we engage with each area,” he said. “So we are going to continue to work with each neighborhood to submit a final proposal to the SFMTA board.”
Parking in the northeast Mission is difficult during weekday daytime hours, but is more manageable at night. Currently the area is a favorite parking spot for out-of-town commuters who take BART, people who sleep in their cars and bus drivers who don’t want to pay for parking at the Muni yard at 17th and Bryant streets. Street sweeping once a week is the only restriction in some areas.
Mayor Ed Lee had previously said that the smart meters would be installed despite neighborhood opposition. That appears to have changed.
For now, SFMTA’s outreach effort will continue as scheduled, according to the statement.
- 12th & Folsom – April
- 17th & Folsom – June
- Potrero Hill – August
- Dogpatch – September