Ah, if I need some fodder, I simply look to see what Rachael Gordon at the SF Chronicle has written this week, and there it is. (No, Rachael reports the facts just fine, its the facts that boggle the mind.) For those that don’t know, it looks like all things parking have been assigned to her desk. This week is a great one. Read it here.
It seems there are dueling proposals going in the city by the Bay. First of all there is the "Tony Bennett" proposal, that will ensure that the local public transportation system keeps running even though it seems it can’t pay for itself. The little cable cars climbing halfway to the stars, the municipal railway, and the bus system will be preserved by continuing a ban (or at least severe limits) in new parking garages in the city. What this means is that there will continue to be no parking available in many areas where parking is desperately needed. The idea is to force people who wish to live, work, or play in the city to sell their cars and take the bus, train, or cable car, or walk.
The other proposal sponsored by local business folks, wants to relax the parking restriction so the private sector can build garages and parking spaces to support the housing and local businesses where needed. Now I’m sure that the local business folk are not stupid. They aren’t going to build more spaces than they need. The new parking will relieve the stress on the street parking, will support the businesses, and may actually solve some problems.
Ben Franklin said (yes, that Ben Franklin, look it up) that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. San Francisco is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to solve its problems. Well, DUH.
Its soooo simple — Remove the parking restrictions, set on street rates at market rates, and take the money generated and plow it back into the local neighborhoods. The free market will take care of the rest.
San Fran is restricting parking, has incredibly low on street rates, and takes the money and uses it to run a train that doesn’t go where a lot of folks live and obviously can’t pay its own way.
Is it any wonder we named our award for most incredibly brain dead parking ideas after this beautiful, fun, and exciting city. Too bad the parking is chaos.