Mayor Ed Lee recently announced his plan to repeal metered parking on Sunday, even though it is actually good for business and the city, reports SF Streetsblog.
By pandering to drivers complaining about parking tickets, the mayor appears to be betting he’ll win support for transportation funding measures expected to hit the ballot in November. But reinstating free parking would come at incredible cost in the form of extra car traffic, while undermining the SFMTA’s ability to implement rational transportation policy.
Lee’s absurd argument is that SF doesn’t need Sunday metering because Muni will have sufficient funding once voters approve three ballot measures. It’s an insult to the transit-riding public, and it shows how out of touch he is with the city’s transportation needs. Explaining why he didn’t stand in the way of Sunday metering when it was adopted, he told the SF Chronicle this week, “I’ve always felt uncomfortable with it, but Muni was suffering and we needed the money,” as if parking meters serve no purpose other than revenue collection.
Yet the Chamber of Commerce backed Sunday metering — and it still does, because it’s good for business, said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president for public policy. “In most commercial corridors, virtually every business is open on Sunday,” he said. Without metering, “There are neighborhoods where it’s difficult, if you have to drive to do any business, because parking is just not available from Saturday night until Monday morning.”