San Francisco

Do We Need More Permit Parking?

Earlier this week, the brouhaha over the Fell and Oak Bikeway Project shed light on an interesting issue: parking in the neighborhood. Or, specifically, the challenges thereof.

The now-approved project will mean the loss of 55 parking spots in the area roughly bounded by Oak, Fell, Scott, and Baker Streets. Many commenters noted how difficult it already is to find parking in the area. Even if you don't own a car yourself, if you've ever had visitors come to the neighborhood via auto, you've probably listened to them grumble about how long they had to spend "circling." One solution proposed at Tuesday's meeting: more permit parking. As you can see via this handy SFMTA map, parking in a big chunk of the area from Page Street northward currently doesn't require a residential permit.

As the theory goes, folks who don't live in the neighborhood (or city, perhaps) see this as a prime area to park their cars for the day/night, as they go enjoy the city's many delights and/or employment opportunities. If residential permits were required, these four-wheeled squatters would stop plaguing our fair neighborhood, and the streets would be lined with glorious, available parking spots. Of course, there's a trade-off: parking permits would cost residents $104 a year. Back in May, the SFMTA tried to gauge community support for such a plan, and there was significant resistance from folks in the Alamo Square area. But now that the Oak and Fell Bikeways are happening, and those 55 spots are going bye-bye, we figure it's worth revisiting. So. What say ye, neighborhood motorists? Is it time we filled this free-parking donut hole with a creamy permitty center? Or are things fine just the way they are? Or is there a third solution that bears considering? Do tell, do tell...

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