The current outrage against Sunday parking meter hours has yet to sway Mayor Gavin Newsom or the Municipal Transportation Agency into making a decision on increased parking fees.
Newsom addressed the issue during his Wednesday online town hall meeting. However, he declined to elaborate on specifics.
“I am more open to that debate,” Newsom said about Sunday parking meters. “I am listening to both sides.”
He remains opposed to extending weekday hours, however, the SFMTA study suggests more support for that idea with nearly 60 percent of those surveyed open to extended weekday hours. Just over 40 percent favored Sunday parking meters.
The study also found extended weekday hours more popular in other cities as well: only 14 of the 36 cities in the survey had metered parking on Sunday, but 29 of 36 charged for parking after 6 p.m. (See SFMTA slide below)
Newsom told reporters last month that he was in favor of extending meter hours on Sundays because businesses told him the turnover would help them. The SFMTA study, however, failed to survey Mission District businesses. Mission Loc@l found 80 percent of the 131 businesses it interviewed against Sunday parking fees.
The Mission Merchants Association, the oldest merchant group in the city, “categorically” opposes both meter enforcement into the evening and on Sundays because of the damage it would inflict on local businesses, Peter Glikshtern, president of the association, wrote in an e-mail.
“The City should not be doing things to discourage people from coming in from out of town and spending their money here,” wrote Glikshtern. “And getting tickets for expired meters on Sundays will almost certainly (upset) a lot of people. Especially since you don’t have to feed meters anywhere else in the Bay Area on Sundays and people will forget (or won’t know to do it to begin with) and then get ticked off and be less likely to come back to shop or eat in SF.”
The MTA board will decide Friday on service cuts and changes, but there is no word of adopting the parking meter proposals. The specter of cuts on Muni has rallied proponents of public transportation to support increased parking fees as one alternative for closing Muni’s $16.9 million deficit.
SF.Streetsblog reported Wednesday that a group of city organizations including Livable City, Walk SF, Chinatown Community Development Center, Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance, Urban Habitat, and SFBC among others are forming an alliance against the service reductions and intend to bring their claims to the board during their Friday meeting. They also plan to meet March 6, at the Women’s Building on 18th Street.
For more information on parking policy, SF.Streetsblog has posted study from the Institute for Transportation and Development.
John, thanks for your comments. I believe the survey included here is to give those who are not part of the 131 businesses surveyed a chance to express how they feel on the matter.
Our survey did yield strong opposition to the meter proposals, but this survey will hopefully create different and more straight-forward results.
It’s usually a good idea not to precede a survey with the results of a survey on the same subject—it can skew the results. Just sayin’.
On topic: I don’t understand business owners’ opposition to Sunday meters. Turnover generally helps businesses (citation needed). Also, meters are standard during the rest of the week—do some people really wait until Sunday to visit a store just because they’d have to pay a meter? I would understand residential opposition to metering on Sunday—parking in the Mission is terrible for residents, what with the multiple area permits and lack of area permitting, and the weekend meter-free parking is a good respite from that.
Just my $.02