SFMTA Proposes Pilot To Cut Number Of Residential Parking Permits

SFMTA Proposes Pilot To Cut Number Of Residential Parking PermitsPhoto: Robert Ennals/Flickr
Nathan Falstreau
Published on September 28, 2017

At next Tuesday's San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors meeting, the agency will consider cutting the number of residential permits issued per household. 

According to the Examiner, the consideration is part of a pilot program the agency is floating that would target Bernal Heights and the Dogpatch. Should the program prove successful, it could eventually be implemented citywide. 

The proposed program comes in response to the number of permits currently issued in relation to the actual number of permitted spaces available in San Francisco. There are roughly 95,000 permits issued each year for about 78,000 available parking spots. 

“It’s been over forty years, and we haven’t changed [the program] at all since then,” Kathy Studwell, residential parking permit program manager at SFMTA said. “The City has changed drastically.”

Photo: Florian/Flickr

Current rules allow for households to receive up to four residential permits. In the two pilot neighborhoods, the number will be limited to only one per driver and capped at two permits per household. 

Households have been able to apply for an exemption, allowing for five or more parking permits, however, those rules may be scrapped as well. But the agency said that this rule change will have little impact, as only 12 households currently hold five or more permits. 

The program was created in 1976 to protect coveted parking spaces in residential neighborhoods, but hasn't changed to keep pace with new driving habits, ongoing real estate development and other factors.

SFMTA is also toying with the idea of using a mix of paid and permit parking spaces in the pilot areas. Parking meters in residential parking permit zones could give business customers an option to pay to park as long as they want, while residents with sticker permits could park for as long as they liked.

“What we’re proposing is to have paid plus permit parking, where the resident with the permit still parks for free with no time constraints,” Studwell said.