Parking Wars: All-Day Parking Will Probably Become Two-Hour Parking by June

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The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) is considering holding a public hearing on Friday, May 17 to review recommendations for changing the parking scheme on the streets around campus.

If the tentative hearing indeed takes place on May 17, a follow-up SFMTA board meeting would likely be scheduled for Tuesday, June 18. According to Paul Rose, press officer for the city agency that oversees parking, traffic, and transportation planning in San Francisco, these new measures may be passed. The board’s approval in June could mean that all-day parking would be gone by the end of summer 2013.

The SFMTA is proposing to make many of the often-occupied all-day spaces that line university property into parking that would require motorists to move their cars every two hours most days. The current plan was modified from an earlier proposal that included placing new parking meters on those all-day spaces.

The meter portion of the plan was met with strong resistance in a lengthy February SFMTA meeting involving university neighbors, who were generally opposed to any tightened restrictions to street parking. On March 28, e-mails from an SFMTA employee were obtained by a University Terrace resident and shared with the Foghorn. These correspondences indicated that parking meters were no longer part of the agency’s proposal.

A second option to impose four-hour (instead of two-hour) limits on the all-day spaces was dropped by the SFMTA because a “four-hour time limit would…do little to dissuade the use of private motor vehicles for commuting,” Rose said, highlighting the intent of the agency’s citywide campaign to discourage automobile commuting in favor of greener transit alternatives.

“It would be fairly easy for someone to park in the morning, move their vehicle during lunch time, and thereafter continue a habit of driving to campus,” Rose said of the four-hour parking option. “One of our missions is [to] create an environmentally sustainable transportation system by encouraging a transit-first mindset for commuting.”

The two-hour time slots would probably be in force from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., similar to the limits that currently exist on streets around the main campus. However, unlike these side streets,  Tom Folks,  senior engineer at the SFMTA, stated via e-mail that the new two-hour spaces would not allow cars of any letter parking permit to park for more than two hours at a time.

Another parking hearing, organized by San Francisco supervisor Mark Farrell, will take place today, May 2, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in room 201 of the Board Chambers in City Hall. The meeting will address citizens’ concerns with SFMTA proposals citywide, and will likely include discussion and input on the University Terrace plan. The hearing will also be attended by San Francisco supervisors David Campos, Eric Mar, and Malia Cohen.

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