Why not promote a problem that doesn’t exist


Why not promote a problem that doesn’t exist

The headline says:

Parking in SF: You’re in a tight spot

Downtown Mall to Double, but no new Spaces Planned

But if you read the story, you find that there is plenty of parking in downtown San Francisco — The garages are NEVER filled, and only one approaches full (90%). The rest are running at 50-60%.  So why the headline?

The reporter even searched the streets to find someone who complained about parking and found one person who said they drove to the ‘burbs" for the movies because of the parking problems downtown. However according to the folks that operate the garages, there is no parking problem. There are plenty of spaces.

This is one of those famous "oh but there is gonna be a problem" stories.  According to what I can read, there isn’t gonna be a problem any time soon. Much of the on street issue in San Francisco, is due to the fact that it costs much more to park off street than on street so people quite naturally drive round and round looking for space when they could simply drive into a garage and park.

The Local shopping center than is expanding isn’t worried. They aren’t building a garage. They know that there is plenty of parking.

So why is the headline above not:

Downtown has a Abundance of Parking Available;
Shoppers Revel in Plentiful, Convenient Garages

I’ll tell you why — Its because the "drive by" media doesn’t sell papers telling people the truth. "If it bleeds, it leads"  In other words, bad news, even when there isn’t any, is what sells papers. And people believe this drivel.

Who is to blame — first the media, for not telling the story. Then the city, for not properly telling its story, and finally the parking community, for not demanding that the proper story be told.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Having scanned through your blog you constantly talk about all the laws others should obey or be fined, that they should pay more and the public be double charged, and yet constantly complain about all the rules on your business. Cities will send their traffic patrols out to harrass people who are required to do business at government offices but call the dogs off when certain political types are having a convention, arrest people for putting money in parking meters as random acts of kindness and allow goons in tow trucks to pratice economic terrorism by trolling for “violations”. This is why we need an active watchdog media and governments that work for all the people and not just the special-connected interests. As for the tow truck goons, if they practice their art before the police arrive to make a determination, then allowing citizens to protect their property, livelihood and lives with whatever force is necessary would quickly bring those practices to an end.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more — I think everyone should pack a gun or a ball bat and when a tow truck driver shows up without a cop there, then they are commiting and act of theft and people should protect their property.
    As for your “random act of kindness” — I rather agree — unfortunately the purpose of most onstreet meters it to “churn” the parking, so folks only stay a certain amount of time and then have to move on — this prevents, for one thing, an employee from taking a space all day long in front of a particular store (usually not their own. Feeding meters causes more problems than they help.
    Perhaps you could back off your invective a bit and describe how the city sends out patrols to harrass. As usual, I feel if someone breaks the law, they should pay, and if they don’t they shouldn’t. Pretty simple, consistent, and fair.
    I was three minutes into the “don’t park after 2PM” and the officer was standing there at my car. I ran up, waving my arms, and he frowned, but then simply drove away. Seemed like a genuine chap —
    I have also received parking tickets and deserved them.
    It does all even out.

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