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San Francisco Initiative a Setback for Progressive Parking Policy

San Francisco's voters are continuing their trend of deciding complex and difficult planning issues at the ballot box. Last time it was height restrictions—this time it's parking.
September 12, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Kim-Mai Cutler's early coverage of San Francisco's so-called "Restoring Transportation Balance" initiative trades on the proposition's famous financial support—Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame. Parking policy wonks will find more distressing news in the details of Proposition L, which Cutler describes as "pro-parking and pro-car."

Among the policy changes at stake in the initiative (as quoted from the text of the initiative [pdf]), which will appear before San Francisco voters in November:

  • "Commencing July 1, 2015, fees for parking garages, meters, parking tickets, and neighborhood parking permits should be frozen for five years, allowing the City to annually adjust thereafter only for Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases."
  • "The introduction of parking meters or variable meter pricing into neighborhoods where they currently do not exist should be allowed only upon petition by the majority of the affected households and merchants."
  • "A portion of any additional parking or motorists’ fees and new bond monies earmarked for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) should go to the construction and operation of neighborhood parking garages."

Cutler goes on to state in no uncertain terms that free parking is bad policy, and provides a few of the arguments that back up the claim. The comments on the article, however, show that Shoup isn't exactly a household name in San Francisco.

Aaron Bialick is providing updates on SF Streetsblog about the gathering political opposition to the initiative, most recently in a resounding rejection of the initiative by the SF Democratic County Central Committee. Bialick also reported that the "No on L" campaign is leading with the tagline "Do you really want more gridlock?" 

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, August 14, 2014 in SF Streetsblog
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