For nearly two years the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has been meeting with Dogpatch community members to develop a parking management plan for the neighborhood amidst increasing parking demand. Much of Dogpatch’s curbside is unregulated, resulting in a scarcity of spots within the context of a growing residential population and heavier commuter traffic. SFMTA’s plan is intended to increase parking availability.
“We’ve been meeting fairly regularly with engaged neighbors, such as with the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association,” said Hank Willson, principal analyst, SFMTA. “We’ve presented a proposal based on feedback from the last two years and to give a sense of what the next steps will be. The proposal is close to getting done, but we’re making a few tweaks based on what came out of the open houses. Some modifications were desired for clarity.” Officials expect to implement the final plan next year.
SFMTA held two open houses in September to solicit input from community members. Following several previous meetings, SFMTA representatives presented a draft of the parking management plan at an October DNA meeting. In response, several neighbors who’ve been tracking the plan’s emergence over the past two years distributed an illustration of an alternate proposal they’d developed. Other attendees posed questions to officials about plan details, and expressed opinions about regulations for certain blocks.
“In Southern Dogpatch we are 24/7 unregulated; no restrictions on curbside,” said Bruce Huie, DNA president. “We have a very strong opinion that we need to have restrictions on curbside. Others have various opinions about curbside restrictions, and we want to make sure that as we roll things out we respect the North, we respect the South and we also respect what’s in the middle, which is Central.”
Based on two studies conducted last year covering neighborhood areas divided into North, Central and South sections, SFMTA officials found that blocks with parking regulations had a significant mix of vehicles registered both locally and non-locally throughout the day. On blocks lacking regulations, the number of vehicles with local registrations was substantially lower.
SFMTA’s draft proposal spans from Mariposa Street south to Cesar Chavez Street and Iowa Street east to Illinois Street. A mixture of paid, permit, and various forms of time-limited parking regulations would cover most of the area, leaving a minuscule amount of unregulated parking. Parking regulations on most blocks within that area would consist of a combination of permit parking with one or two-hour time limits for those lacking permits, four-hour time limited parking, four-hour time limited paid parking, and paid parking with no time restrictions geared towards commuters. While the rules would vary on different blocks, much of Southern Dogpatch would be subject to four-hour time limited parking, while North and Central Dogpatch would be covered with ample amounts of time-limited permit parking, along with many blocks utilizing the other array of proposed rules.
While there’s some overlap between SFMTA’s plan and the neighbors’ alternative, the community plan calls for greater use of paid and permit parking. For example, under SFMTA’s plan Cesar Chavez Street would be subject to time limited parking, whereas the neighbors’ plan reflects paid parking. In Central Dogpatch, SFMTA’s concept is a mixture of time limited, four-hour time limited paid and permit parking for 22nd Street. Conversely, the community’s plan would implement a predominance of paid and permit parking measures for that street. On the neighborhood’s north end, Esprit Park would be bounded by four-hour time limited and permit parking with two-hour time limits for those without permits under SFMTA’s proposal. Neighbors want permit parking surrounding the park.
Other requests by community members include that 610 Illinois Street residents be granted Residential Permit Parking, and that SFMTA not retract any existing blocks with RPP. SFMTA is exploring RPP program modifications, including limiting the number of permits issued to one per driver, two per household. The agency also proposes to define the RPP eligibility area to roughly include large sections of Northeast and West Central Dogpatch, as well as a smaller section in the Southwest. Dogpatch neighbors don’t want any additional individual parking meters on poles, but rather pay by phone and parking station kiosks.
“We’ve been at this for about 24 months, so at some point we’ve gotta make a decision on something,” Huie stated. “We may have a difference of opinion about that decision, but for some of us we are urging the City to do something.”
“There may be a few blocks where there’s not 100 percent agreement, but that’s natural,” Willson added. “Nothing involving parking will have 100 percent agreement in San Francisco. There’s no doubt that the City is growing, with more and more people wanting to live, work and visit. We’ll be taking a holistic approach by implementing bike and pedestrian improvements, transit improvements and discussing transportation needs with the community.”
At the October DNA meeting, Andy Thornley, SFMTA senior analyst, announced that the agency will no longer pursue the paid plus permit pilot program, also referred to as the permit overlay. The pilot program would’ve implemented hybrid parking spots that combine Residential Parking Permits with paid parking. Many residents had expressed opposition to the experimental measure.
“We think it’s an interesting option that’s been done in other cities but we won’t push it in the Dogpatch,” said Thornley.