SFMTA Relents on Parking

Free parking for everyone! Huzzah!

Well, not really. I hope that they continue planning, because that’s important, but I also hope that the next plan contains more than just one tool: sure, why not meters, but why not also better transit connections, fixing the residential permits to be useful, and heck, would it hurt the SFMTA to bore a tunnel through Scotch Potrero Hill to create a flat but traumatically claustrophobic bike lane?

A real plan would address – or at least admit – that transit is not rich here, it’s passable at best.

Do we want to encourage people to walk or take transit? Commuters park in Dogpatch and walk or ride downtown or down the peninsula. How much time do commuters save by driving here versus finding another way? Is “free” the only variable that is in play? What if twice as many spots were available for Caltrain or the T line? What if their price was fixed to be comparable to Muni? Would that encourage or discourage taking the train? Should I, as an avowed pedestrian and occasional cyclist, give a crap either way?

Are drivers who circle blocks really a problem here in the Dogpatch? I have done it once when I had to surrender and drive for an errand at lunchtime, but otherwise the streets are pretty quiet. As to double parking, I’ve seen people double park in front of open parking spaces in San Francisco. It’s like a sport here. I think that CCSF has classes in it.

Oh, they do:

SF 106A General Parking (5)
Lec-3, conf-2, lab-4 Credit, Degree Applicable
PREREQ.: 1 yr. HS Parking

A general introduction to double parking, triple parking, blocking driveways, parking in loading zones, parking all over the damn place, running in to the liquor store to just pick up some tall boys for later, and whatever just park I’ll just pay the ticket if you get one let’s go. Intended for students majoring in maybe putting on the hazards.

Maybe that’s too snarky. I’d love to see block by block breakdowns of residential versus commercial combined with the availability of off-street parking to place meters on a block by block basis — or even a property by property basis. Here are three commercial properties together, they need five meters out front, and probably a bike hoop or two.

Whichever side of the meters you’re on: hungrily awaiting their blessed parking salvation or fearing their impending apocalyptic invasion — are you now, or have you ever been, a NIMBY? Would it be bad if you were?

Anyway, Jay Primus sent out an email:

I am writing with a brief update on the parking management proposals for the Mission Bay, 12th & Folsom, and 17th & Folsom areas.

The SFMTA Board will no longer be taking action on the SFpark expansion areas at the February 7th Board meeting. Rather, we will conduct further outreach ahead of Board action.

The northernmost section of the Mission Bay Parking Management Proposal was already designated as an SFpark area and will be the only part of the proposal going forward.

For the SFpark expansion areas, including the Dogpatch and Potrero Hill neighborhoods and the 12th and Folsom and 17th and Folsom proposals, the SFMTA will conduct additional outreach and engage in further discussion with various stakeholders before any further action is considered.

Is there a new pdf?


  1. Derp wrote:

    Fucking yuppies.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  2. Jesse Mullan wrote:

    Is “yuppies” still a thing? Are anonymous comments still a thing? This ain’t youtube…

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink
  3. Jim Frank wrote:

    Do folks think that people moved to and bought homes on Potrero Hill b/c they wanted to take transit? To me it seems that they wanted to drive. Is this a good explanation for why transit is not that good in that area?

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  4. Jason R wrote:

    @Jim, actually, yes. That had a lot to do with why I chose to live in Dogpatch. Muni/Caltrain going into town, Caltrain for going to work down the peninsula. Other than SOMA, there’s no other place in SF where those are options.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  5. Gene wrote:

    Thanks, Jesse. You’ve got it exactly right. There’s a difference between a “liveable” city plan, in which parking is part of a solution along with MUNI and Caltrain and SFPark’s desire to pilot project this neighborhood by just dropping in parking meters.

    Hell, SFPark didn’t even realize that my block was residential until I emailed them about it. Who does planning like that?

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  6. Roy Crisman wrote:

    “Are drivers who circle blocks really a problem here in the Dogpatch? I have done it once when I had to surrender and drive for an errand at lunchtime, but otherwise the streets are pretty quiet.”

    We know better than to try to take the car during the weekday. I’m not entirely sure with words like “done it once” and “surrender” if it’s that you just already “know better” than to try it, or you’ve really just had to grudgingly fall back to the car once while you’ve lived here. If the former, the fact that you know better says something about the parking. Either way, it may not be the worst place to ever find parking, but I know the locals in my building are trained to avoid it when possible.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  7. Jesse Mullan wrote:

    It’s the latter, but I do surrender a few times a month. That said, there were spots a couple of blocks away.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
  8. ian jacobs wrote:

    @Jim – Yeah, in fact that is exactly why we ended up on the Hill. My GF wanted to take Caltrain to work on the Peninsula, we wanted to see a tree every once in a while, and to live in a house and not a rinky-dink box of a loft or a condo. All that = move to Potrero Hill. So, at least this one data point says, ‘yes’ people do move to Potrero so they can commute without a car.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  9. HT wrote:

    @Jim, again yes, part of the reason my bf and I moved to Dogpatch was the proximity to the Caltrain station. Initially, we were also excited by the T, but sadly, no longer. Too unpredictable. The meters don’t affect us one way or another (we have a garage), but if Caltrain’s ridership numbers go down due to the proposed changes, we could lose the 22nd street station. That would be terrible.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  10. John Murphy wrote:

    if Caltrain’s ridership numbers go down due to the proposed changes, we could lose the 22nd street station. That would be terrible.

    This is a strange juxtaposition to the story with the bike parking at 4th/King. Currently the bike valet is free, and needs a subsidy from Caltrain. Voices have rung out that they should just charge a buck or two for bike parking, surely that won’t break the bank, people will pay and take the train.

    Yet parking meters at 22nd Street mean nobody will take the train and the station will have to be abandoned? Nonsense.

    While I am 100% certain that riders would just grumble and pay, the object lesson to me is not “put the damn meters in and get the money”.

    The lesson is – OK folks, let’s storm the bastille and get a 48X bus that offers fast and timely service to the train station. Who is with me?!

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  11. Francis wrote:

    Please take a minute to sign the petition at

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog San Francisco on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

    […] SFMTA Postpones Board Action on Expansions in Potrero Hill, Mission Areas (Dogpatch Howler) […]

  2. […] agency’s outreach or they just don’t want to pay for parking, SFPark manager Jay Primus announced this week that the agency will postpone taking the expansion plan before the SFMTA Board of […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *