Meter-happy MTA targets Zoo, SF State

The head honchos behind San Francisco transportation seem to be pulling out all the stops to get anyone with cars to pay for parking. And not just in the bustling downtown area.

SFGate reports officials for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are in talks to install parking meters around the San Francisco Zoo, and possibly near San Francisco State University as well.

Their goal? In MTA’s words: To “manage” the “parking and traffic demands” in those areas.

In other words: Get drivers so angry about paying for parking that they choose to take Muni everywhere instead. Duh.

MTA spokesman Paul Rose told SFGate that the plans to install meters in these areas “are not revenue driven.”

Do I believe him?

Not really. Neither does District Seven Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who represents the area around the zoo and SF State:

“The MTA is putting meters all over. They’re not just increasing rates, but also the areas where they go.”

Elsbernd points out that the zoo already has a paid parking lot, along with plenty of parking along Lake Merced and in the nearby neighborhood.

Ask any member of Team SFBay — since we’re a ragtag bunch of SF State alums — and you’ll hear horror stories about finding parking around campus. I don’t see adding parking meters as a solution to traffic. I see it as creating a new problem for students: Being late for lecture due to scraping up change to feed their meters on Holloway.

MTA hasn’t set a timeline or exact plan for installing these magical meters yet. But they may want to rethink this unpopular plan before they add to the parking problem, and claim it isn’t to raise funds for themselves.