Is Free Sunday Parking Bad For San Francisco?

File photo.

File photo.

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.”

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

7 Comments

  1. Godzuki

    I would actually back Sunday meters staying in use and I say that as a driver and parker. It doesn’t make any sense when the demographic of SF is changing so. Public transportation desperately needs the money and if someone can afford a $12 drink, a $6 cup of coffee, etc., it makes sense that they can and should afford for parking as well.

    • John

      The problem starts when you charge people to park outside their own homes.

      • Godzuki

        I agree with that. I live here and use a residential parking permit, which are fairly inexpensive in the larger scale of things, although I don’t really think that’s the best answer either.

  2. observant neighbor

    Why shouldn’t people be charged to park outside their own homes? If you park on the street you’re using city property, and should pay for it. (I say this as a Mission resident who parks on the street. But I don’t think I should be able to do it for free or essentially for free, given that the space is in high demand.)

    I’m glad someone is calling out Mayor Lee on his Sunday-parking backtrack.

    • John

      The point about “public property” like streets is that they are there for the free use of the public.

      You do not have to pay to drive or park on a city street because you have already paid for them.

      Where parking meters should exist is in commercial areas because that encourages turnover of vehicles which is good for the businesses there.

      Parking meters should not be used merely and only to extort money from residents. That is why RPP’s are issued at cost.

      If voters have to get up at 6am to feed a meter, don’t count on their vote next time around.

  3. Godzuki

    Metering residents actually exists in Amsterdam. I was visiting a friend who lives there and he basically had to run out of his house every couple hours to feed the meter, which were active until 8 PM. I don’t think residential permits existed at that time…it was about a decade ago. It seemed very user unfriendly. He also lived in a primarily residential area.

  4. sfparkripoff

    To the concerned citizens of San Francisco:

    1. Did you lose your street parking this year?
    2. Has the SFMTA turned your neighborhood into a paid parking lot for dot.com millionaires?
    3. Have you have ENUF of parking meters that charge the Faith community $4.50 an hour to worship on Sundays?

    Remember this the next time the city of San Francisco requests more bonds to improve your driving experience. VOTE NO! If you drive a car, VOTE NO on any more funds for Muni or the San Francisco Municipal
    Transit Agency (SFMTA). Regardless of what they promise, the funds will be used against you to inflate parking prices, remove traffic lanes, slow traffic, and force you out of your car.

    Vote no on the $500 million bond. MUNI will always be cash-strapped as long as they give away obscene pay and benefits packages to its employees and doesn’t collect any fares from all the people who do not pay. The only way to get MUNI to run on-time and on-budget is to break the union and put fare officers on every bus and train. Until that happens, you all deserve what you get.

    The next time you elect a Mayor, or a City Supervisor VOTE NO if they start parroting ‘transit first” as an excuse to bleed your wallet. If your city Supervisor wants you to give up the safety of your family car to ride a bicycle on busy city streets then VOTE THEM OUT!

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