Transit Lovers Oppose Mayor Ed Lee's Move to Make Parking Free on Sunday Again

Categories: SF Parking

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for parkingmeter.gif
Mayor Ed Lee's proposal
Remember how pissed you were when the city decided to start charging drivers to park at meters on Sundays -- the one day of parking freedom?

Well, that's kinda how transit people feel about Mayor Ed Lee's recent call undo all that and let everyone enjoy free parking on Sundays again. The Transit Riders Union has started a petition opposing the Mayor's opposition to metered parking on Sundays.

According to the petition, giving drivers a financial break on the Sabbath means transit riders will be paying the price. Here's the letter explaining this logic:

We oppose your proposal to end charging at parking meters on Sundays. Transit riders shouldn't have to sacrifice - both in degraded service and in the wallet - so that motorists can get free parking.

Ending Sunday metering will hurt transit riders:

  • More motorists will be circling for parking and double parking, making Muni slower and less reliable
  • It will deprive Muni of critical funding, which could result in:
  • Less Muni service
  • More waiting and crowding
  • Higher fares
In addition, Sunday metering has been beneficial to both local businesses and motorists. An SFMTA study published in December 2013 indicated that after Sunday metering, drivers were able to find a parking spot twice as fast as before. In addition, parking turnover increase by at least 20 percent, helping more customers get to local businesses.

Mayor Lee: Support transit riders, local businesses, and motorists - continue the successful Sunday parking meters.

The goal was to gather 150 signatures, and as of this morning, 160 disgruntled transit riders have signed onto the petition.

It was just a year ago that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency started ticketing drivers who didn't plug the meters on Sundays. Drivers were livid and transit riders were thrilled. Then last week, during the Mayor's State of the City speech, Mayor Lee announced he wanted to do away with parking enforcement on Sundays and replace that revenue with money raised from increased vehicle license fees and a transportation bond on the November ballot.

So if you have thoroughly enjoyed shelling out more money the past year for parking, go ahead and sign the petition. On that note, you'll probably be delighted to know that drivers have to pay for parking today even though it's MLK Day.




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36 comments
CarOwner
CarOwner

This is the petition from San Francisco Transit Riders Union.  Perhaps they were kidnapped by SFBC and forced to create the petition? Or perhaps they believe what they wrote that not having cars circling the block looking for parking and double parking blocking the bus lane is beneficial for Muni.


http://sftru.nationbuilder.com/sunday_parking_meters

sebraleaves
sebraleaves topcommenter

Why do cyclists care about six hours of free Sunday parking? They are the ones who started the petition and protest and claim support of Muni riders and "pedestrians", (as if we aren't all pedestrian).
Unlike cyclists, people opposed to Sunday enforcement don't have to run down to city hall to scream and protest. We merely point to the current condition of the streets and reports that accidents are on the rise, to prove that street diets and the war on cars has failed to produce safer streets.
The rise in unruly behavior noted by many is the result of a lot of frustrated people who no longer play by the rules because nobody knows the rules. Before we had freely flowing traffic and an easy going city with polite individuals. Now have a lot of pent up anger and individual animosity acting out on city streets.
If you feel it is time to end the war on cars, (which is about as popular as the war on drugs), let city officials know. Signing the Stop SFMTA petition. All your comments go directly to the Mayor and supervisors: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Frisco Lee is making Frisco and undesirable place to live or visit. Spend your money where it is appreciated! BOYCOTT SAN FRANCISCO!

sfparkripoff
sfparkripoff

You gotta love these "Transiit Lovers" who use their tax exempt non profit status to drive up consumer parking prices. The San Francisco Transit Riders Union is fiscally sponsored by Livable City another anti-car lobbying group. These organizations use their tax exempt non profit status to interfere with the free and fair operation of San Franciscos parking market. They have driven up consumer prices across the city while taking donations from the public under the guise of being "transit advocates. The obvious manipulation of San Francisco’s parking market was deliberately designed to bilk taxpayers and boost revenue for both the SFMTA and the organizations who are funded by them.

City officials want to push $3 BILLION in taxes, fees and bonds before voters in 2014

The SFMTA feels it can fleece taxpayers whenever they like, but doing so will require the SFMTA to raise taxes and float more bonds to pay for their consultant driven projects. We are encouraging city motorists to stop contributing to an anti-car Transit Agency that uses us like an ATM machine.

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.

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!

thea17
thea17

I had a car in the Lower Haight when I moved here. After my second child was born, we decided to get rid of the car, as it took an inordinate amount of time to move the car to prevent tickets at a metered or a non-metered spot (and a lot of money paying tickets when we failed to move it in time). It was the best move we could have made, and I don't know that I'll ever go back to being a car owner, at least not in a city. There's City Car Share for when you need a car, and walking and Muni for when you don't. 


Think about it, no more money on tickets, no more worrying about your car breaking down, no more insurance payments, no more circling circling circling for parking. SFPARK says 30% of driving time in San Francisco  is circling for parking. Each City Car Share space that goes in is used by 6-7 former car owners, freeing up a LOT of space for those who need a car. 

The problem: Muni's not perfect, not by a long shot. Vehicles are held together with duct tape and garbage bags (was it this paper that exposed the abysmal state of repair on these decrepit buses?) and Mayor Lee has vowed to put on the ballot and try and get us to pass two measures that will put a $1+B dent in the $10B Muni need for new equipment. I'm happy about that.


I would even be OK with getting rid of Sunday parking (even though for reasons expressed in the comments here it actually makes life more difficult if you want to use your car on Sunday, since all the parking is being used by folks who are not moving their cars) if it is directly linked to the two measures Mayor Lee will be exhorting us to pass in November. That makes some sense. IF we pass the Vehicle License Fee, then we can get rid of Sunday parking. But that's not what he's doing. Mayor Lee is simply giving back Sunday parking, $7M of revenue, with nothing but a hope that voters will remember this perk come November and vote for Muni.


That does not seem like a good idea to me.



CarOwner
CarOwner

Car owner here. I would rather NOT spend my precious Sunday time circling around the block sending plaintive text messages to my friends.  I would much rather pay for parking and know that there is going to be a space, because people aren't isn't parked for free all day in front of the restaurant or place I want to shop.

TransitLover
TransitLover

Erin, your blog post sorely misses the point. Dynamic pricing of Sunday parking meters is not about nickel-and-diming Sunday drivers, but rather ensuring that drivers who are looking for an on-street parking spot can find one in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable distance from their destination.  


While some people reading your blog post might be excited to circle around the block for 30 minutes on a Sunday looking for a parking spot, I would bet that most readers would be willing to pay the extra buck an hour to ensure that they have a spot available in front of the business, park, or friend's house they are going to at the time they are trying to go.  


While "giving a financial break on the Sabbath" sounds decidedly altruistic, such a policy provides free parking not only at the expense of the city's transit riders, but also at the expense of drivers looking for a parking spot.  Not to mention the irony that the "Sabbath" is a term coined by Jews, who actually observe Sabbath on Saturday, which has seen metered parking for years.


I hope you do a follow-up piece on Sunday metered parking in which you reveal the true costs and benefits of the policy, because the journalism displayed in this post is an affront to all of us who care about thoughtful and fair transportation policies in San Francisco.

Eli Hansen
Eli Hansen

Bring back free parking on Sunday! Car owners will never use public transit, no matter how many punitive measures the city takes against them. By bringing back free Sunday parking more people will shop and dine out. You know, do the things that help local businesses and the economy as a whole.

rickbynight
rickbynight

If parking's gonna be free Sundays, transit had better be free too, because I'm not down with using taxpayer dollars to subsidize only one group, especially one that can afford car ownership in this city.

Clarice Corell
Clarice Corell

Do you know who should also pay for parking on Sundays? The church goers. They park along the medians and take up entire lanes (see Dolores Street/Guerrero Street) causing traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions every Sunday. What is it with the city allowing FREE parking/bus stops (Google buses) for select groups of people? Pay for parking, take public transportation, or walk/bike like the rest of us have to.

Alejandro Durazo
Alejandro Durazo

Fuck the Union! They are bitching about less $ in their OWN wallets, SMH.

Jessica Hurwitz
Jessica Hurwitz

We shouldn't even be discussing this- all he is doing is pandering.

Gabriel Lampert
Gabriel Lampert

This IS the city of crankiness. If you want brotherly love, Philadelphia is what you want. More meters = less cars = less pedestrian deaths. Yeah, I know, pedestrians don't count in your scheme of things, but fortunately we DO count for others.

Eric Eberman
Eric Eberman

San Francisco can shove its stupid parking schemes and shitty public transit up its Googlefied ass.

Austin Cruz
Austin Cruz

The Transit Riders a Union can suck a fat one, greedy sons of b*tches...

Paul Barbagelata
Paul Barbagelata

Bad for public moral- tickets on Sunday will increase crankiness and decrease brotherly love!

Brandon Martin
Brandon Martin

It's stupid that we have to be forced to pay or use public trans which is to pay again. We want to be independent from street parking, public transportation scams!

Robert la Bohème
Robert la Bohème

The reality of this is that many of us NEVER have down time and are constantly planning our lives in two hour increments for when we can move the car and feed meters. It's no way to live.

sfparkripoff
sfparkripoff

@CarOwner

@CarOwner- The Transit Riders petition is clown shoes ridiculous.Their petition says,Ending Sunday metering will hurt transit riders:

  1. More motorists will be circling for parking and double parking, making Muni slower and less reliable 

Sourced from the Huffington Post 05/28/2013

SFMTA Director of Transit John Haley explained that 70 percent of all Muni delays on a typical day are the result of maintenance issues. A 2012 investigation by SF Weekly argued that the agency has systematically neglected upkeep for years and many of the problems are the result of management failures and inefficient processes.


rickbynight
rickbynight

@sebraleaves  You seem to be repeating the exact same refrain about the war on drugs as "sfparkripoff." Are you, by chance, the same person? And what exactly do you think cyclists have to do with this? You say "street diets" haven't created safer streets, but in fact accident rates on those streets and intersections have gone down. You say "Before we had freely flowing traffic and an easy going city with polite individuals," but the rate of pedestrian injuries has only plateaued or decreased, particularly in areas where bulbouts, narrower lanes, or more visible sidewalks have been put in place.


Besides, none of this has to do with Sunday metering. The fact is, traffic decreases and muni speeds increase with Sunday metering. Heck, even merchants associations are in favor of Sunday meters.

rickbynight
rickbynight

@sfparkripoff You've got it backwards. I don't own a car, but I am a taxpayer as much as anyone else. I used to own a car, and parked for $100/year, which is way under market price (read: taxpayer subsidized).


We give away 150 square feet of taxpayer-funded public property essentially for free. Keep in mind the going rate for real estate in San Francisco is almost $800/square foot, making each parking space worth about $120k. That's about $53 billion worth of real estate for the 441,541 parking spaces in San Francisco. 


To put another way, we could have 15 new high-speed automated subway lines, getting you from any point in the city to any other in under 15 minutes. That could be accomplished *just* by charging market rate for street parking. That's how much money we're giving away right now.


This city is too dense and too congested to rely only on cars, but we continually refuse to put forward the vision (and funding) to make Muni adequate. This is not about bilking taxpayers, its about understanding the true costs. The impact of driving on the city is high, but the costs are currently low. (Donald Shoup's the High Cost of Free Parking takes a great economic look at this issue.) It's time to shift that scale and realize that we are not a suburban environment, but a dense urban one. The only way to maintain a sustainable dense urban environment (especially one going through growth) is by shifting our mode share away from private cars. 


I defy you to find a large city in the first world with our density and a lower transit ridership than San Francisco.

sissond
sissond

@sfparkripoff Do you like Los Angeles? I think you'd fit in better there, sitting in your car in traffic in an overcrowded city without an efficient way to get around quickly.

mario131
mario131

@sfparkripoff Trouble with your job killing claims is that parking meters actually increased business. More visitors on average were able to park. Their biggest competition were people parking their vehicles over the weekend.

mario131
mario131

Muni's own analysis shows that parking meters have encouraged more visitors to those businesses. Previously people would just park overnight, making it very difficult to park and discouraging shoppers.

rickbynight
rickbynight

And what union is that, exactly? Transit riders get more money in their wallets somehow by having parking meters operate on Sunday?

sissond
sissond

They wouldn't directly see any money. They're a rider's advocacy group. Note the rider part, not bus drivers or Muni employees.

sissond
sissond

Ever think about riding Muni or Bart?

rickbynight
rickbynight

@sfparkripoffIt's not hard to believe many people dislike this, but it's because nobody likes to be told what they're doing has a negative impact on others because it would require a change in behavior or an admission that your ways aren't always in the best interest of others. You may have noticed smoking bans took decades to win popular vote, not because smokers weren't causing health hazards, but because people don't like change, even when it's for a net positive for a community or society. I understand this is going against the status quo, but the system isn't working and sometimes things have to change. With 100,000+ new people moving to the city, congestion will only get worse. Half of our city's pollution is from vehicles, leading to increasing asthma rates and heart disease. 21 people were directly killed last year being hit by cars in the city, and literally hundreds more have lifelong serious injuries to manage. Literally stepping 15 feet in front of your house without looking can get you killed, making our streets unsafe particularly for children and families. Congestion has continued to rise in the city over the past decades and we simply cannot afford to put more cars on the road, and at the same time more and more people have traveled to other cities in the US and abroad that have taken back their streets, installed pedestrian-only zones, increased public transit ridership and biking, created spaces for kids to play safely on neighborhood streets and alleys, added additional greenspace to the 25% of our city covered in asphalt for vehicle traffic.


I realize change is hard, but there are thousands of other people in the city who agree it's time to change. Fewer and fewer people in the city want to own cars, and more and more people believe in safer, calmer, less noisy streets. It's time to think about the role of streets in our cities, and I'm sorry the idea of having to pay to use public property for private parking seems that insane to you, but I'm tired of footing the bill for you to get free parking.


This is not a war on cars, this is a realization that you've been robbing my taxpayer dollars for decades, and I'm finally demanding you pay for the privilege of using our community's streets for your private storage.

rickbynight
rickbynight

@sfparkripoff @rickbynight @sfparkripoff It appears you either did not read my comment or choose to close your ears and ignore it. 


It's time for you to realize that the car is not a viable solution to a growing city. There is no "war on cars," despite what you claim. There are many people who look hard at the problems our city faces and try to make decisions to improve them, not the least of which is by improving transit and public space. 


When cars continue to injure people daily and kill dozens of people per year, when parking takes up $53 billion dollars worth of public land, and when pavement dedicated to private vehicles occupies 25% of our city, you have to ask yourself who declared war on who.

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