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Meters Coming to 18th Street Commercial Strip

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will install parking meters along both sides of 18th Street between Connecticut and Texas streets by the end of the year. The meters will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with four-hour time limits, charging $1.50 for sixty minutes.  

Residents and businesses located along the 18th Street business corridor can purchase parking permits. Vehicles with residential permits will be exempt from posted time limits. Residents are allowed up to four permits for vehicles registered to a specific eligible address.  Businesses can purchase one personal vehicle sticker, as well as up to three additional permits for vehicles registered to the enterprise with commercial license plates. The annual fee for permits is $144 for passenger vehicles; $108 for motorcycles. 

In September SFMTA’s Sustainable Space Division held a public hearing to discuss the plan at San Francisco City Hall.  At the meeting, operations manager Tom Folks stated that the division believes it has “general neighborhood support” to install meters.  When asked by the View how the neighborhood consensus was determined, transit planner Mari Hunter replied, “it started with a request from the merchants along 18th Street on these two blocks. We went out to the neighborhood and communicated, knocked on doors, and spoke with everyone if they were there … created a proposal, sent it back out, and have continued to receive support.”

However, neighborhood consensus doesn’t appear to be as solid as SFMTA indicated. When asked to comment, multiple business owners and workers along the 18th Street business corridor expressed varying degrees of support for meters.

“I’m against it!” said Mary Petrin, owner of Collage Gallery.  

This sentiment was echoed by staff at Bell and Trunk Flowers and Provender Coffee, who said that many people who labor along 18th Street drive to work.  Currently, the business corridor features parking with no time restrictions, save for Monday morning street cleanings, a rarity in San Francisco. The surrounding streets have Residential Permit Parking with two-hour limits. Finding long-term free parking in the area is becoming impossible. 

“I’m all for it,” stated Aran Healy, owner of Ruby Wine.  Healy said that because of the lack of a time restrictions along the business corridor many people park their cars for hours or even days.  Healy favors meters and has voiced his support for them to SFMTA, believing that they’ll enable more customers to park. “Turnover is good for business.” 

“It is what it is,” said Dominic, who works at Christopher’s Books.  While Dominic doesn’t support meters, he believes they’re inevitable in San Francisco’s constantly changing landscape.  

Tee Minot, owner of Christopher’s Books, has mixed feelings about meters, but said that the proposal is a good one if it provides comfort to her customers. 

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