Hundreds of San Francisco residents attended a recent hearing at city hall to oppose the plan designed to add parking meters to several San Francisco neighborhoods, including Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, the Mission and Mission Bay. This is not isolated--the Municipal Transportation Authority has added meters in several other neighborhoods in the city over the past year. This week, they met with organized opposition and have put plans on hold, as reported by the Chronicle article.
The city, under the guidance of the Municipal Transportation Authority, has been adding meters, raising prices and raising revenue for the city--both by increased ticket prices and increased ticket revenue. They have been espousing the the goal of reducing congestion and air pollution by increasing the number of parking spots available in each neighborhood, thereby improving air quality because drivers will not need to circle to find parking spots.
The problem? Many in San Francisco can not give up their cars because our public transportation system is highly inadequate. Our rail system is designed to move people downtown. Buses move people between neighborhoods, but rarely is this a pleasant experience. Buses don't reliably run on schedule and are often dirty. Not a pleasant experience.
Adding meters to neighborhoods forces residents without parking, who leave their cars on the street when they are navigating the city on foot, bike or MUNI to move their cars or feed meters. Or, they can get in their cars and drive around until they find a new place to park. Doesn't this reduce the quality of life and increase air pollution, too?
Hey, MTA, please focus on creating terrific public transportation. That's the solution.