Panhandle parking permits approved

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors today unanimously approved the creation of a residential parking permit area in the neighborhoods surrounding Alamo Square Park and the Panhandle Tuesday.

The plan was approved despite concerns expressed by residents at today’s meeting that the permit harms faith-based organizations and low-income residents, among others.

Residents who opposed the residential parking permit for the neighborhood, referred to as Area Q, said during a public comment period at the meeting at City Hall today that charging residents to park their vehicles is unfair to those who cannot afford to pay the $110 a year to keep a permit.

Many individuals from faith-based organizations said the permit would not accommodate their parishioners. Other community members noted that caretakers for disabled and elderly individuals would not have access to free parking and would need to obtain permits as well.

A member of the Missionary Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 1455 Golden Gate Ave., said his church provides daycare to children and housing to elderly residents nearby. He said he felt that “requiring parking permits for the elderly was ludicrous.”

In support of the permit plan were numerous residents with small children who said finding parking has been impossible in recent years and that they often have to park in other neighborhoods or circle the block for long periods of time with a child in tow.

Numerous residents on both sides of the issue urged the board not to vote on the issue today and urged them to make changes to the residential parking permit process first and consider groups and businesses with special needs.