SFpark would micromanage city’s scarce spaces

I’ve spent up to 45 minutes looking for parking in North Beach, this is interesting…

Under the program, which will focus on 10 neighborhoods, the city will adjust hourly parking rates based on demand – the price will go up when spaces are scarce and go down when plenty are available.

People may be less inclined to drive during peak times if they know it will cost them more.

It’s the same congestion-relief concept the Golden Gate Bridge district is preparing to impose on southbound drivers during peak commute times. San Francisco also is studying the idea of charging motorists a fee for driving on certain city streets during rush hour.

SFpark won’t stop at tweaking parking rates. It also will adjust time limits. Drivers, for instance, may be allowed to park for no more than an hour in a particular neighborhood commercial district during the day, when shopkeepers benefit from high turnover, but may be able to park longer at night, so they can linger at a restaurant or catch a show. Hours of meter operation might be expanded.

Demonstration parking program

City officials picked these locations – which have a variety of parking issues – to test a range of parking policies and technologies.

Downtown: Garages, on-street commercial loading zones.

Civic Center/Hayes Valley: Balancing needs of short-term visitors and workers looking for all-day parking.

Fillmore: Nighttime demand due to clubs and music halls.

Fisherman’s Wharf: Major tourist hub on weekends and holidays.

Southern Embarcadero: Special-event parking tied to the ballpark.

Chestnut and Lombard streets: Relaxing time limits and pricing parking by time of day and length of stay.

Mission and Valencia streets: Metered parking and lots, commercial district active day and night.

Union Street: Impact new meters have on parking availability.

Clement Street, Geary Boulevard and West Portal Avenue: Status quo control areas for comparison with areas where parking changes are enacted.

By the numbers

11,677

Parking spaces in city-run lots

6,425

Curbside metered spaces affected by the pilot project

$23 million

Parking test program’s budget

$18 million

Federal government’s share

[From SFpark would micromanage city’s scarce spaces]

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