SFMTA eyes parking overhaul

The City is finally catching on that its parking situation — to put it plainly — sucks.

It is now looking for ways to address the spidering mess that emerged from its residential parking program, which started 35 years ago.

The program lets residents of certain streets and areas park for 72 hours without moving if they purchase a handy $104 annual permit. The point was to keep out of town commuters and tourists from cramming in to residential areas and abusing their parking time.

What ended up happening was a bunch of inconsistent parking zones throughout the city. Some areas take up huge chunks of parking spaces around Market Street while others are so tiny, they only take up one side of one street, according to Sonali Bose, the SFMTA’s chief financial officer:

“Right now, we just have a hodgepodge of different zones. As the parking management entity of San Francisco, we should be proactive about establishing more strategic residential zones.”

As of now, the only way to get a resident parking zone created is for a group of concerned residents to petition the city for it.

The SFMTA is looking for ways to make its new program more uniform to eliminate confusion. Bose told the Examiner that the agency will reach out to the community before it makes any big decisions on the restructuring.

This has got residents in applicable areas concerned, such as Tony Kelly, a Potrero Hill resident who created a community group to protest parking policies in eastern neighborhoods. He believes that the move will take away from the core of the program:

“If the SFMTA is in charge, they’re going to reverse-engineer their findings from community outreach to match their policies. It’s the same approach they’re taking with parking meters, and we can clearly see that’s not working.”

The SFTMA will discuss possible next steps at its Board of Directors meeting later this month.