Castro area drivers should start saving their change. Starting January 6th, the SFMTA will require drivers to pay for metered parking on Sundays. Traditionally (meaning, since the 1940's), parking at metered spaces on Sundays was free. MTA noted, however, that it needed to bring SF parking into the modern age as businesses are no longer closed on Sundays and finding parking is too difficult because parking has been free with low turnover rates,
The primary goal in charging for parking is to make sure that motorists can easily find a place to park in commercial areas, which is currently very hard on Sundays. Making it easier to find a parking space on Sundays is good for business, motorists, and the transportation system. By reducing the amount of time motorists search for parking, we can achieve a variety of other benefits, including:
- Reduced frustration for all motorists.
- More successful neighborhood commercial districts, which rely on parking availability for many of their customers.
- Reduced traffic congestion, which in turn results in faster Muni travel times.
- All meter revenue returns to the SFMTA to help fund Muni. Investing in Muni speed, frequency and reliability improvements can help reduce parking demand, freeing up more spaces for those who need them.
While it's nice to think this may help improve Muni, we're dubious this change will actually improve Muni's reliability. Only time will tell.
San Francisco's more faithful residents should also take note as they will need to pay for metered parking during religious services that fall between noon and 6PM. MTA noted that if your service starts at 11AM, for example, and doesn't get out till after noon you can still prepay the meter and it won't start counting against you until the clock strikes 12.
More details can be found on the MTA's website.