Parking in San Francisco is always tricky, but for Guerrero and Dolores streets in particular, parking on medians has drawn especially spirited debate. Now, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority is ready to officially hear that debate, starting by forming a committee of residents, church-goers, businesses, and other neighborhood groups. It also released an online survey about potential regulation of median parking along Dolores and Guerrero streets between 14th and 21st streets.
The survey comes after years of controversy over the informal agreement between the city and several churches in the neighborhood that allows churchgoers to park by medians and in street centers while they attend services. Some areas get volunteer staff to streamline the parking process and get quasi-permits to post around the parking area.
Kristen Holland, an MTA spokesperson, told Mission Local in 2012 that the so-called permits are only “informal” and bear no official recognition from enforcement agencies. It is the churches’ responsibility to deal with parking, she added, insisting that groups “are advised to be good neighbors.”
Some residents have taken issue with that practice, calling it unsafe and saying it creates traffic hazards along with favoring religious groups over other neighborhood stakeholders. Others defend it, saying finding parking would be nigh impossible otherwise for those who wish to attend services and who must arrive by car because their communities have been getting pushed out of the city.
The SFMTA has recognized problems with the arrangement too.
“Despite the practice’s longstanding nature, it has in turn not been equally available to all potential users, been sporadically enforced, has at times generated unsafe conditions due to drivers parking in intersections and between medians, and has caused some vegetation along the Guerrero center medians to be damaged,” the transit authority writes in its survey introduction.