In their ongoing series about the sharing economy, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) is having a meeting this Thursday, July 9th to talk about dedicated parking spaces for car-sharing companies.
The debate around taking public parking spaces and privatizing them for car share programs has been heated from the get-go. Before the pilot program even began, the neighborhood was papered with fliers urging people to turn out to a public meeting to oppose the plan. Shortly after the pilot program was expanded, two opposing Change.org petitions appeared, one decrying the spaces as an attack on the working class of San Francisco, and another championing the program as a godsend for those who don't own cars. Ultimately, the program soldiered on amid contentious debate from the Hoodline commentariat.
This Thursday, HANC will reopen that particular wound, with guests Elliot Martin, from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center; Andy Thornley, SFMTA on-street car-sharing analyst; and a representative from City CarShare. If you've got opinions, now's the time to make them heard.
HANC's position, as stated in their most recent newsletter, seems to be anti-car culture, while not quite totally in favor of car-share parking spots. "While many drivers would bristle at any plan that removes parking spaces, many of us also recognize that the liberal provision of free parking has sustained a car culture in the United States that has been a major contributor to all sorts of problems, from congestion and urban sprawl to climate change."
HANC added that they've got some questions about the pilot program that need answering, listed here:
- How strong is the evidence for the environmental benefits of car sharing?
- How much difference does carsharing really make when many people own cars to commute to jobs outside the city?
- What should be our guiding principles in balancing car-share spaces with other uses of our streets?
- How do we coordinate planning with other programs that are taking up street space?
- What is the right process to ensure local communities are notified and have input before spaces are approved?
- How can we best ensure equal access for low-income residents?
- Can we support car-sharing without letting VCs and large corporations make a killing off public land?
- How much compensation is fair?
- Is it fair to give people a guaranteed parking spot in exchange for agreeing to rent out their vehicles?
- How do we evaluate the public benefits and costs of the program?
- How much data should the CSOs provide and who should have access?
- Should we move from a pilot to a permanent scheme and if so under what terms?
They'll address these questions, in addition to yours, on Thursday at 7pm at the Park Branch Library (1833 Page St.).
What do you think? Any major concerns that they missed? Take it to the comments.