Thursday, July 09, 2015

Parking in San Francisco

Yesterday I had several hours to kill between appointments. It might have made sense to drive near to the distant upcoming event and while away some time in a cafe, a pleasant prospect. But I didn't do this. Why? Parking!

Parking in San Francisco is a very fraught subject. My car was parked in a space in my neighborhood for which I have a sticker that allows long term occupation. I wasn't about to surrender this and go somewhere else where I might have had to practice my parking juggling skills. This kind of consideration probably supports neighborhood businesses, but it also has the interesting effect of segmenting us into local enclaves or promoting resignation to the inefficiencies of (fairly good) public transit.

For the moment, my scope is quite wide. I'm willing to walk about 1.5 miles to get somewhere I want to go, if public transportation isn't convenient and I have the time. But I can't assume I'll always be able to be so mobile.

If driving were not an option, I would never have made an appointment for a class across town at 5:30 pm. But driving is an option, so I did.

More fraught parking does reduce some the frequency with which I choose to drive, probably a good development for sustainability. This isn't a bad thing, but it is an ever-present reality in this booming San Francisco.

The boom is driving the parking shortage, as it is much else. Since 2010, San Francisco has added some 50,000 residents. That's a lot of cars as well as people. Also, Uber (without taking its competitors into account) has signed up 15,000 drivers in the city. From the look of the cars Uber drivers use, these aren't the beaters their families count on. These are new or newish vehicles. All those cars have to go somewhere.

San Franciscans think a lot about parking. And we express ourselves. These examples were collected while walking 596 Precincts.

Maybe we'll someday get to this.


Hattie said...

What a field day for the polite and the passive aggressive! I say put up a no parking sign and let it go at that, following through if necessary. Of course I live in a place where there is ample parking and little public transportation. Seattle's bad, really bad, though probably not yet nearly as bad as S.F.

Anonymous said...

I always tell anyone going to SF, don't take a car. Use public transportation.

Brandon said...

The first sign was nice. Signs 2 and 7 were the most obnoxious, followed by the verbose sign 6, left by a "concerned citizen." Sign 3 was hard to understand; a simple "Don't Block Driveway" would suffice. Sign 4 was unctuous. Sign 5 was apologetic; the "Please Don't Park Here" is enough.