SF Park — Brilliant or Boondoggle
We have a two page article in this month’s PT about SF Park — it is an opinion piece and I take the program to task on a number of levels — You can read it on line here. My concerns are far reaching, but primarily I am worried that the program, which is actually an 18 month long test, will come to naught. That there will be no real results, $20 plus million will have been spent, and the entire thing will sort of creep away into the night, never to be heard from again.
The latest news from Baghdad by the Bay seems to bear that out. We are four months from the end of the program and rate adjustments are nearing the maximum that they can be set. Read about it here. The local pols have set $6 a hour as the maximum for on street parking rates. And it seems that they are at $5.25 now. The question is that with all the rate changes and variable hour by hour charges, have there been any noticeable changes in the habits of parks in San Francisco.
The goal was to ensure that there is a space or two always available on every block face so that a parker can quickly find a space and not have to cruise around looking for a space and cause congestion. This is a laudable goal. But do we have any information that tells us if the changes in parking rates have done anything except increase the revenue for the city? Or lowered it?
It may be that the reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle have been remiss in asking that question, or it may be that the SFpark managers simply don’t know.
My concerns voiced in the op ed piece in PT this month are that SFpark isn’t getting the feed back information they need to understand whether this is working or not. Also, be changing rates in various blocks monthly and also by time of day, the parkers don’t get good information about what the rates are. After all, I may be willing to walk a block if I know it will save me ten bucks, but if I don’t know that, I will pay the ten bucks and simply be ticked off about the high parking rates, which I expect in a city like San Francisco anyway.
Note that the article I reference from the Chronicle doesn’t mention any changes in parking behavior, and I would have thought that such information would be at least the second lede.
Time will tell, but SFpark is missing a bet if it is adjusting rates and has no clue whether or not those adjustments are doing any good.