It’s a double parking whammy as underutilized downtown surface area parking lots are replaced by new housing developments with more people than parking spaces.

“Parking demand in San Francisco is rising daily,” [City Park CEO Tim Leonoudakis] said. “The ‘Manhattanization’ of downtown parking will be complete with the opening of the residential towers in South of Market, which are all ‘under parked.'”

Legislation passed last summer limits parking at new residential projects in the city’s downtown to one space per every four units — though developers can secure up to three spots for every four units under certain conditions.

Leonoudakis said most tenants need more than one space and that demand is not being satisfied on site. Tenants, he said, will overflow into the surrounding neighborhood and “that’s going to impact commuter parking.”

“There’s a dynamic under way that we should all be paying attention to,” he said.
The issue has already gotten attention, in part due to a controversial measure to increase parking allotments all over the city that is likely to appear on the ballot in November.

The measure would boost the number of allowed spaces at new multi-unit residential projects downtown from a maximum to a minimum of three slots for every four units, according to Jim Ross, a political consultant who’s running the campaign for the initiative. It would also increase parking to a minimum of one space for each new residential unit built outside of downtown, and “allows for but doesn’t require” minimum numbers of spaces for new retail and other commercial projects, Ross said.”

And regardless of your position on this issue, there’s likely one thing on which we can all agree: the cost/value of parking in the city is going up. Now about those $225,000 parking spaces in Manhattan
S.F. parking in tight spot [Business Times]
For Parking Space, the Price Is Right at $225,000 [New York Times]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Mike S.

    The revitalization of downtown SF is one of the rare occasions in which a North American city has the opportunity to right the wrongs of car-centric urban planning. Policies that require parking minimums will reverse the progress we have made towards a pedestrian-friendly downtown core.

  2. Posted by SFhighrise

    I agree that the parking issue should be addressed, but I don’t think that this article is telling the entire story.
    Those current lots that are in place are a terrible use of space. Not only are the expansive and detrimental to the creation of a new urban neighborhood, but they are only really utilized for about 1/3 of the time (business hours). I viable solution would be to get rid of all of these stand-alone public parking lots and replace them with a few multi-story parking garages, possibly with office space or residential above it. Better yet, make these garages underground (like Union Square) and use the entire above ground space for residential and commerical development, combined with public open space.

  3. Posted by cb650

    I wish I had a few spare million $ to invest in parking spots. What an ideal investment. Zero maintenance. No tenant/landlord issues. A strong opportunity for appreciation, even more so if parking spaces are further restricted.
    If the referendum fails it will significantly increase the value of units that come with parking.

  4. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    The measure’s supporters want to screw up the good thing we have going downtown and in SoMa. All of the developments we’ve seen in SoMa (Foundry Square, Rincon Hill, etc etc etc) and in Mission Bay have been approved and built under a regime of careful balance between parking and other needs of the city. In fact thousands of parking spaces have been added as high rises with multi-level garages have replaced inefficient surface lots.
    If we’ve had so much success, why do the initiative supporters want to change the regime? Simply because it will funnel money into the pockets of contractors who build parking garages. Forcing developers to build 3:4 and 1:1 parking ratios will obviously increase the demand for parking garages. If a developer chooses to build less than 1:1 (or 3:4 downtown) then this initiative will force that developer to pay a $15,000 fine per space unbuilt, and that money will be used to build parking garages elsewhere. So the initiative is basically a very large tax on new home buyers which directly benefits contractors.
    Ask yourself this simple question to see if you support the parking initiative: would 1 Rincon Hill be better, or worse, if it had more parking and fewer living units? Would the living units cost less, or more?

  5. Posted by anono

    while I certainly understand wanting to remove cars from the road, people spending the money to live in S.F. want a parking space. All you accomplish by severely restricting parking is to force those cars onto the street to look for parking, which increases traffic congestion and negatively impacts those who cannot afford private parking spaces. I think it is very naive to think that simply limiting the number of parkings spaces in these SOMA towers means that the buyers will not have cars. This will put a premium on existing spaces and makes units that come with deeded parking more valuable. I suppose this is just fortunate capitalism for those- including myself- who have a deeded space.

  6. Posted by Brutus

    anono,
    Or it could cause people who don’t have/want cars to move to those places – or gasp! Lower the price of the places there. To say that all rich people will own a car no matter what is to completely ignore Manhattan – along with Europe, Japan, etc. Will many people still have cars? Sure. But as the price for parking rises, along with the lack of an easy spot for homeowners to park near home – the people buying the places will change. Worst case scenario? The places don’t sell, and the prices drop – allowing more housing for those that can’t afford housing there now.

  7. Posted by zig

    “All you accomplish by severely restricting parking is to force those cars onto the street to look for parking, which increases traffic congestion and negatively impacts those who cannot afford private parking spaces”
    With regard to the issue of the people parking on the streets this is easy enough to eliminate downtown with severely restricted street parking laws. I think it is easy to imagine a downtown that reaches critical mass where many people will simply live without a car and many others will do fine with one
    Of course for those that don’t like this there is always 99.99999% of the rest of the US (including most of SF). If we let this happen I think we are all going to be ok

  8. Posted by zigq

    And with regard to buying spots as an investment it sounds interesting. Does anyone have an idea of how this might work now? Can someone buy a deeded spot in SOMA or Rincon now and then rent it out?
    I have heard of this in Boston

  9. Posted by Melinda

    San Francisco won’t be like manhattan until there is real public transportation. That’s why Manhattanites can forego cars–Affordable, clean, effective, convenient Public transit and city density make it impractical to own.

  10. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    It is colossally arrogant to assume that anyone buying a house in San Francisco wants to own a car and a garage. A full third of San Francisco households do not own cars. The majority of San Francisco households do not have a garage.
    This measure will essentially force everybody to pay for a parking space regardless of whether they own or want to own a car. Under our current system (which, if you open your eyes and look around, is working very well) the number of parking spaces is set by a combination of market forces and governmental authority. If you look at the developments going up today, not even all of those are building the maximum permitted parking.
    If you boil it down to the basics, this measure will remove the market forces from the equation and simply insist that all housing units must include a parking space. That is not a wise use of the planning authority.

  11. Posted by Brutus

    Real public transportation can’t exist as long as all traffic decisions slant towards cars. Make a couple streets (or lanes of streets) transit only and voila! Muni runs twice as fast.
    Subways criss-crossing the city aren’t going to happen – so no one needs to bring it up. NYC wouldn’t be able to build subways en masse today either – costs have just gone up soooooo much in the past 100 years. Look how long it’s taken them to build the 2nd St subway.

  12. Posted by Parking Spacecadet

    On the parking topic… perhaps for you agents out there: If two units/condos/ SFRs for sale are identical in every way, but one has a single car garage, how much more of a bid would the one with a garage fetch? Can anyone offer an legitimate guess?

  13. Posted by james

    what’s the average deeded parking spot going for these days? i remember someone at watermark and 88 townsend asking around 90k a few years back.
    the folks at rincon are in for a rude awakening when they all move in and it sells out. the reduced spaces will be a nightmare to maintain with valet and abuse by the other owners lending out parking access to something they don’t have a legal right to lend or lease.

  14. Posted by Brad

    I am all for making one parking space per unit. Too many times I have walked away from developments because of their lack of parking (310 Townsend comes to mind). If I am looking @ a 1 bedroom condo for $700k it better have parking for 1 car. We are a family of 2 with one person working in the city, and one on the peninsula. We have one car which is normally only used on the weekends for recreational activities, because we both use transit on a daily basis, and I still would never buy a unit without parking. 1 spot per unit will not encourage there to be any more cars in the city. Better transit service will encourage people to leave their cars parked more often though!

  15. Posted by zig

    Bard I think you are missing the point of decoupling the parking from the unit price
    If you can purchase a unit with for 700K or without for 620K what difference does it make to you? I think this is the idea in theory. The hop if there will be a small marker for the cheaper unit without and will give people more choice

  16. Posted by anon

    I dunno. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if places without parking didn’t appreciate as much as those with parking? If someone is willing to sell their car and commit to a car-free lifestyle, there are only a few places you can do that – so wouldn’t they be more likely to be someone staying here for the longterm? Aren’t we trying to build more housing for San Franciscans to LIVE in rather than just invest in? If places with parking will appreciate even more, isn’t that good for everyone here who wants a car? Faster appreciation? I’m sorry, am I missing something?

  17. Posted by cb650

    If you were buying a condo and don’t own a car (and money no object), why wouldn’t you want the parking spot so you could lease it out. Especially if you’re going to sell the unit down the road, it would be much more valuable with a parking spot then without. People that are buying million dollar units own cars, nice cars, and often more than one! All restricting parking is going to do is ensure that less affluent people can’t afford to park downtown. It’s car-gentrification!

  18. Posted by zig

    And this isn’t a new thing in SF. Old school SF had many well to do people in Pac Heights, North Beach and Nob Hill who didn’t have cars
    Hell my uncle lived on Dolores in the 1970-2000 and never had a car. They just rented one when they needed it. My grandparents on one side never drove
    With carshare and rental places it is doable for some

  19. Posted by james

    i can’t find the debate we were having on rents in the city a week or so back. this is a cool single page with lots of listings in desirable neighborhoods:
    http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?page_id=680

  20. Posted by zig

    And this isn’t a new thing in SF. Old school SF had many well to do people in Pac Heights, North Beach and Nob Hill who didn’t have cars
    Hell my uncle lived on Dolores since the 1970’s and never had a car. They just rent one when they need it. My grandparents on one side never drove
    With carshare and rental places it is doable for some
    It is possible even for the affluent

  21. Posted by zig

    cb650
    should we set public policy on what rich people want?
    Should we allow 2 spots per unit if thats what they want? (rich people can buy two cars) Maybe massive parking stuctures in North Beach for the new monied people who live there?
    Most normal people already don’t drive downtown and garages owned by the city have fixed rates

  22. Posted by sidney W.

    Even if the region redoubled its commitment to public transit (which it clearly hasn’t… the schizophrenic and dysfunctional non-interlinking mishmash of transit solutions in the bay area is a joke…), it still wouldn’t take into account the fact that it’s just not reasonable to assume that somebody buying a million dollar condo wouldn’t have a vehicle, even if they didn’t drive it but once a month.
    “Encouraging use of public transit” through the slow torture of those for whom the stupid transit system doesn’t work is just wrong-headed. Look at major European cities… the transit systems are comprehensive, interlocking, cheap, and ubiquitous… and as a result people *want* to use them, they’re not *forced* to do so.
    If public transit were efficient or cost-effective for me, I’d gladly leave my car parked… but a 3.5 hour daily roundtrip commute across 3 distinct and not-very-coordinated regional transit systems makes gas prices look attractive. I just wish the city planners could consider, you know, REALITY! before making bone-headed decisions that have real consequences for livability.

  23. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    It’s not just an old-school thing. The _current_ San Francisco has tons of wealthy people with no cars and/or no garage. The apartment below mine rented out last week for $5000, no garage, to a couple with no car. There is a car share right down the street, though, and the three spaces there support hundreds of households easily.
    Go here and look at this map:
    http://mullinslab2.ucsf.edu/craigstats/data/mapall.html
    The most valuable neighborhoods are also the ones with the highest density and the fewest cars: North Beach, Marina, Mission, SoMa. Notice that the parking nirvana in the Sunset does not lead to valuable real estate.
    Our existing planning regulations are working perfectly to create livable neighborhoods and high value real estate.

  24. Posted by zig

    Reality is you can still buy parking so what the issue?
    As I stated there is a tradition of affluent people living is SF without cars

  25. Posted by anono

    So it is now “colossally arrogant” to observe that people spending almost $1M for two bedroom condos likely own a car? Seriously?
    You must hang out with a different group of very affluent people than I am familiar with. All of these new downtown developments are very expensive, and in my actual experience and observation, people with that kind of money are actually more likely to own cars.
    Also- the fact that 2/3 of S.F. households own cars underscores my point. This parking restriction is targeted at a population more likely to own a car, likely even more than one car (except for the out of town rich foregin investors of course) and will simply result in more cars out on the street instead of being driven straight into underground parking spaces. I may be wrong, but limiting off-street parking- in my opinion- will turn SOMA into Russian Hill (think 30 min. looking for parking) before it becomes some great pedestrian neighborhood.
    And for crying out loud, downtown S.F. is not Manhattan or Tokyo. Those public transit systems are world class. We have Muni- and basically nothing to the North Bay. Preventing developers from building a few hundred parking spaces also seems very unlikely to end up dragging down prices of real estate. These buildings will just valet like One Rincon.

  26. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Sidney: I’m not seeing your point. If you want a condo with parking you can find one very easily. Nobody is trying to outlaw parking.
    The ballot measure will force people to build and buy parking even if they don’t want it. Transit may not work for you but it works for hundreds of thousands of people. Why should they be _forced_ to buy parking just because that’s the solution you prefer?
    I don’t want to force you to live without parking so you shouldn’t try to force me to live with parking. If we can agree on that then we can agree to the existing planning code and to oppose the ballot measure.

  27. Posted by Brutus

    I find the argument “People paying $700,000 for a home demand a parking spot” to be absolutely hilarious!
    If that’s the case, why are developers being so stupid to build new units (some costing much more than that) without parking? Yes, the city made them do it, but if they can’t make money on the units, why would they not just walk away?
    And the points from Jeffrey and Zig are obvious as well – some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city have the lowest car-ownership rates.

  28. Posted by Jamie

    Selfishness had a good chance of prevailing over common sense when it comes to this increased parking measure. I hope everyone who is staunchly against inviting more gridlock, pollution, and injuries to pedestrians/bicyclists will devote time and money to defeating this inappropriate measure.
    I don’t mind underground parking so much – but parking garages at street level are invitations for graffitti, trash, and it kills some of the incentive to actively walk around. We all could use more exercise, so we should be thinking of ways to make walking more appealing – not less.
    All the complaints about MUNI are moot if you live near your job and have other services/markets that you need for daily existence within a few blocks. Flexcar/Zipcar/City Car Share are there in the parking garages of these new luxury condo high rises if you need to drive to Costco and buy 1000 hot dogs in one shot and 2000 tube socks in one shot (thanks for saving the environment via less packaging by buying in bulk at least).
    3 years of living in San francisco, and I’ve never even dreamt of driving to the neighborhoods I usually visit – the Mission, Castro, Fillmore/Western Addition, Inner Sunset, North Beach, Chinatown, Union Square… even if I had the spare money to pay for parking in those areas, I still wouldn’t want to deal with the hassle.
    We need less parking downtown. The other neighborhoods outside of downtown can figure out their own solutions, but hell no, we don’t need more parking in Rincon Hill or SoMa.

  29. Posted by Exchicagoan

    Here is a challenge for you all. I cannot think of any other “city” that can be so difficult to navigate with public transportation. I am NOT talking about the Bay Area, but the city itself. Try going from the Palace of Fine Arts to the Ferry Building in less than an hour. Try going from the Marina to the Castro (a short distance that can take over 45 minutes on a bus!)
    I can zip from one end of Manhattan to the other in minutes. I can go from the Loop to Rogers Park(northern edge of Chicago) on an express train in 12 minutes.
    San Francisco and people who don’t own cars have NO RIGHT to force developers to not build parking until this city provides decent SAFE and CLEAN efficient public transportation. I did not own a car in Chicago, but I sure need my car here. I bought a car after only 2 months in S.F. when I realized it was impossible to get around this city. Also, when are they going to clean the busses and provide safety?

  30. Posted by anono

    perhaps we have a somewhat bifurcated discussion going on. I think that this ballot measure is stupid. But I don’t think it is unreasonable to allow a 1:1 parking ratio. I would prefer to see less cars on the street, I just don’t have faith that 1) public transit here will improve or 2) that most people won’t continue to have cars.

  31. Posted by james

    underground parking like they did under the new de young museum seems to be the best answer to me. restricting the developers only punishes the buyers whom get out marketed to that the 2/3’s required parking will never be a problem. yeah, and i have a bridge to sell you.
    maybe we need to take district elections to their next logical step and give the true stakeholders the ability to defend ourselves from the typical asinine legislation that comes out of the board almost daily (no pun intended).
    for local elections, i propose we give everyone a single vote for living in the city but then we also give you an additional vote for every 1k in property tax you pay.
    thoughts?

  32. Posted by Exchicagoan

    Oops, in my “challenge” I meant to say Palace of Legion of Honor, not Palace of Fine Arts. I believe from the Palace of Legion of Honor to the Ferry building is about 7.5 miles?

  33. Posted by Jamie

    There’s a SPUR Forum next Thursday, July 26th from 12:30pm – 1:30pm (at the SPUR office, 312 Sutter, Suite 500, cross street is Grant) where Tilly Chang from the San Francisco Transportation Authority will discuss “Road Pricing for San Francisco.”
    I would guess this discussion might cover congestion charges (tolls to drive into downtown San Francisco, with the goal being to reduce car traffic in the City) and increasing parking meter charges significantly – as well as enforcement – again, just my guess on topics.
    Hopefully, the HOAs will strictly enforce rules about parking spaces only for tenants and requiring registration – tow the cars that aren’t registered to try to prevent security issues (tenants selling parking spaces in their buildings, giving out security codes to enter the parking garage without consideration to the other tenants’ peace of mind).

  34. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Ah yes, only land owners have a stake in the city. Nice attitude. I’m sure next you’ll be telling me that renters don’t pay property taxes.

  35. Posted by james

    of course they do jeffrey but when a neighborhod goes to shit because some folks dont want cops on the street, who gets left holding the bag? renters or owners?

  36. Posted by Jamie

    Support less bus stops … and clearing the roads of cars … for faster MUNI service.

  37. Posted by anono

    james- you’re likely to be blogviscerated for that suggestion but I think you’re on to something. I think getting more San Franciscans into the category of homeowners would have a very positive impact on how this city functions and is run. I know I didn’t pay much attention to Supe Ammiano before I bought a home in his district. Now I am thankful for term limits, and endlessly frustrated by the poor quality of services and policing in S.F. That’s why projects like 3400 Ceasar Chavez have so much local resident support: having all of those new homeowners at that location will do more to improve the neighborhood in terms of attracting new businesses, making it safer, and keeping it cleaner, than any amount if absurd laws and ordinances passed by the Supes.

  38. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    The only public figure of whom I am aware who opposes cops on the street is the Mayor. Who are you talking about?
    There’s no doubt that crime in the city is running unchecked. This impacts all people who live in the city, whether they own or rent their home or even if they live in public housing. But how do you bring that around to this discussion about the parking initiative?
    You seem to be implying that parking is imperiled by some kind of uprising of the great unwashed masses, but the measure we are debating is backed by the founder of The Gap, Webcor (a large construction firm), Jim Ross (Gavin’s campaign manager) and Jim Sutton (the recipient of the largest campaign finance fine in the history of the city). It’s not exactly a left-wing movement.

  39. Posted by Jamie

    What, no vote for Tom Ammiano for State Assembly in 2008? :)

  40. Posted by Jamie

    How does crime relate to parking? Well, it would help kill off some of the commuter criminals who drive all the way in from Modesto to rob us, break into OUR cars, mug us, and occasionally shoot us (or run us over with their vehicle if they’re just plain crazy).

  41. Posted by SFAnalyst

    Despite the supposed tight restrictions on parking spaces in new residential developments, it seems like most of the new condo buildings going-up have managed to get approved with more than the maximum number of spaces. This seems to be a recognition that Californians (especially those with money)like their cars.===Other posters have noted that San Francisco does not have a good public transportation system. Further, many parts of the Bay Area and northern California are inaccessible without a private vehicle. Barring some sort of quantam leap in the local Muni system, increasing population density in SOMA is likely to result in traffic problems that resemble Manhattan.===Even those rich out-of-towners buying a place for occasional use are likely to want to drive. Best case scenario, they will rent when they’re in town. Worst case scenario, they will own cars and leave them parked in the garage when they’re away, making that space unavailable for valet parking. Car sharing might be a good solution for these occasional residents…I don’t have any data as to whether they would find that appealing.

  42. Posted by anonandon

    How can a city with only one subway line ask people to give up their parking space in a tower they paid $900,000 for a one bedroom and ride some of the slowest and dirtiest busses in North America?

  43. Posted by Jamie

    Easily.

  44. Posted by sonofsoma

    If it is possible for the anti-car/anti-parking cultists to put aside the dogma long enough to consider the direct relationship between automobiles (and the countless benefits they provide) and social prosperity.
    In the reality that is the modern World, the prosperity we enjoy requires automobile use and parking. Not so..you say? Well, twice in recent times Americans dramatically cut their automobile use. The results were disastrous! (if you’re not old enough to remember 1972 and 1979 – ask someone who is)
    Sure there are places that aren’t so car-centric. Cars are few and far between in Haiti. And Sudan is virtually car-free! A couple of Utopias for anti-car nuts..but not for other 98+% who can see the big picture.
    If one wants to see the kind of prosperity that results from embracing automobiles and providing plentiful parking… Visit Walnut Creek.
    Walnut Creek’s thriving and wonderfully walkable downtown has TONS of free – or very low cost – parking and excellent streets. Together they attract thousands to downtown WC day and night.
    * Check out an aerial image of Walnut creek and all the cars parked on the rooftops of downtown businesses — Well done

  45. Posted by Jamie

    How does the invention of the automobile turning us into the fattest, least healthy country in the world along with contributing to the destruction of the planet (yes, I’m going to global warming) figure into being the key to our prosperity?

  46. Posted by Gdong

    “We are a family of 2 with one person working in the city, and one on the peninsula. We have one car which is normally only used on the weekends for recreational activities”
    Why don’t you use a car share then? Besides being a huge cost savings the ability to choose a car for the task at hand is a nice plus (e.g. pickup, Mini, Prius, etc.)
    I’ve been without a car in SF for a year, and man do I wish I did it sooner. On bike I beat friends with cars just about anywhere by at least 10 minutes (this includes parking time). Shopping is faster (once again, no time spent parking). Life is more fun. Muni and car share are backups.
    “people who don’t own cars have NO RIGHT to force developers to not build parking until this city provides decent SAFE and CLEAN efficient public transportation.”
    Yes they do, just like nonsmokers have the right to not be harmed by the choices that smokers make. Why should I breathe more cancerous particulates, get slowed down by congestion, listen to the din of traffic, etc. because some people CHOOSE to own cars? Why do I have to pay an extra $50 – $100k for a condo with a spot I don’t want to deal with leasing out? I agree that Muni sucks. And I complain to my supervisor and Muni about it. You should too.
    The more expensive parking gets here in the city, the more people will come to their senses (like I did last year), sell their cars and join a car share. Having cheap parking is like giving candy to fat whining children — in the long run, and after an attitude adjustment, the kid will be better off without the instant gratification of the candy. Parking will ALWAYS be available to whoever wants it for a price.

  47. Posted by anono

    There is absolutely a connection between transportation policy- of which parking restrictions are a component- and the safety and cleanliness of neighborhoods and overall livability of neighborhoods.
    I don’t think parking is imperiled at all. Frankly I don’t even care whether SOMA condo owners have parking. But as a public policy matter, I question the logic of limiting parking when the city is not doing the other things necessary to create a more liveable and walkable city. Where is the effort to improve public transportation? Reduce crime? Clean the steets? Improve pedestrian safety? I walk everywhere- except when I take Bart to work- and this city has a lot of work to do. It seems like they’re saying “only parking for people willing to pay 100K, the rest of you just walk through our dirty, unsafe streets, take our unreliable and inefficient transportation, and deal with it.”

  48. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    You must be on crack, sonofsoma. If the car is so central to prosperity, why are only 32% of trips to downtown San Francisco made by car? Single-occupant car trips to downtown are a distant third after BART and Muni. Would you claim that the other 68% are not prospering, simply because they did not arrive in a car?
    In the winter I ride the 1BX bus to work and it’s packed with professionals who I assure you consider themselves prosperous. I am certain that they would scoff at the notion that their choice of transit has doomed them to a Haitian standard of living.

  49. Posted by zig

    sonofsomas post is so odd and illogical I am not even sure if it is a parody or not. Lets just start with correlation does not imply causation
    But to a larger point why would you even want to live in SF when thriving Walnut Creek beckons? SF could be that much better if we just had more parking?
    The downtown that SF has would not be possible with abundant car parking nor would the Giants ballpark nor would the new Westfield center
    With each people predicted failure yet somehow folks manage to get to all three. All three with parking would be greatly degraded in many ways
    Again I think people have a very knee jerk reaction to this measure because they grew up in suburbs and now work in the South Bay, live in SF and have never really lived without a car. I understand the reality of this yet consider that as the measure is written it seems anyone who wants to buy parking could. Why are you so fearful that some people might live without a car. I know people who have (I’m related to them) Many rich people already do in Nob Hill and North Beach. Why not a small minority in SOMA/Rincon too?
    Its all going to be ok i promise. Nobody is saying you can’t have a car

  50. Posted by Kenton

    zig is exactly right. The proposed measure sounds good because it has the illusion of creating more freedom. I.e., people like it because they don’t want the city telling them where they can park. In reality, the measure DESTROYS choice by forcing parking to be built even if it is inappropriate or undesirable. There is a good overview here:
    http://www.parkingforneighborhoods.com/

  51. Posted by M

    My read is that there are two main sides to this debate fighting over how to regulate the parking problem. The pro-parking side says that it’s ridiculous to limit parking in new development when SF has provided a very poor alternative (Muni). The anti-parking side doesn’t want to be forced to pay to construct parking they won’t use. I know this is heresy for a city full of people who want to regulate every aspect of life, but why regulate parking construction at all?
    If Muni and car shares are as convenient as people claim, then consumers can make the decision to buy a condo without parking, which the market will price lower than condos with parking. The opposite is true for those with cars who purchase a condo with parking.

  52. Posted by Kenton

    I should also point out that a lot of the debate has to what IS rather than what COULD BE. I agree that Muni is a mess, but it doesn’t HAVE to be. If we can muster the political will, we can fix Muni in

  53. Posted by Fedup

    This is all so “cart before the horse”. Fix Muni, clean up the streets, provide better safety, and build new transit and you would be suprised how many of us car owners would gladly give up our cars. I bought a car after being attacked on a bus coming home late one night back to the Marina. The driver did NOTHING! but pull over and wait for assistance. I bought a car within two weeks. Now how is it that other “World Class” cities can provide safe clean trains and busses? How dare anyone force me to give up my safety for their political agenda. My unit already had a garage space which I had rented out before I had bought a car (Prius btw).
    I have lived in London and Chicago and never had anyone attack me on their busses and subways.

  54. Posted by anon6

    Perhaps the following will add some insight to the previous parking comments from many intelligent folks.
    I recently reserved a one bedroom condominium at Infinity. I had a choice when I signed the contract: take the designated (deeded) parking space that was assigned to the condominium or decline the space and have the purchase price of the condominium reduced by $75,000. I took the space and so did (according to the sales person) all previous persons who signed contracts for condominiums at Infinity.
    I am sure that some of those who signed contracts, like me, do not have plans to own a car
    in the city but having the parking space gives me options that I want to maintain.

  55. Posted by Brutus

    Fedup,
    I know several people who live in the Rincon Hill and South Beach areas that don’t own a car AND never use public transportation. They walk to work and take taxis or carshare to go everywhere else. That isn’t a good option for everyone, sure, but to hear it from many people here – it’s either give me a car or force me to spend six hours a day on Muni – which is entirely untrue for a LOT of people that can/will live in the Rincon or Transbay areas.

  56. Posted by Fedup

    This is beyond crazy. Who are you to tell me how to live in safety? You have to have lived in some other cities to understand how unsafe Muni is.
    If I want to go from the Marina to the Mission, do you know how long it would take on MUNI? Would you feel comfortable taking the bus home at midnight? You WOULD if you lived in London, Chicago or NYC. This city does not have the public transportation infrastructure developed to demand people to ride the current broken down fleet of busses.
    As for moving to RinconHill. Dear Brutus, I like my home (condo) in the Marina. My friends live here, and my dog loves the waterfront. I do NOT have to move so you can satisfy your anti-car agenda. BTW, I walk everywhere here in the neighborhood, and still take the bus in the daytime to work.

  57. Posted by zig

    How is this an “anti-car agenda” but parking minimums (or height or density maximums), simply sound planning? Never could figure that one. Is it your agenda to keep building under a certain height in the Marina fed up? Or is that just common sense policy because you agree with it
    Is the Giants stadium, the Financial District, Westfield and Nob Hill also part of this anti car agenda? none could exist with ample parking

  58. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Fedup, what the hell are you shouting about? Do you realize that the current regime of parking in the city has allowed you to do exactly what you wanted: own a car and a garage and live in the neighborhood you like! That’s what’s great about our current planning system. Every neighborhood is treated differently and the people who live there get to choose the customary amount of parking and driving.
    The ballot measure would erase this balanced system. It would enforce uniform parking requirements across all neighborhoods, regardless of the wishes of the people who live there.
    I say we keep our current system, which has allowed you to have a car and a garage and me to not have one, and you and I live in peaceful harmony. Why should we want to obliterate our current system which works perfectly well?

  59. Posted by Brutus

    Fedup,
    I never asked you to get rid of your car. I never asked you to move. I’m confused at why you seem to think that me talking about people who may not want/need a car on Rincon Hill has anything to do with you owning a car in the Marina. As others have said, the current system allows different people to live different lifestyles – the question is: Why do you feel that you must force your lifestyle on everyone else?

  60. Posted by mimicat

    I guess I just don’t understand why we need public policy to limit the number of parking spaces in new residential projects. What’s wrong with use the market-price determine what people are/are-not willing to pay for parking?
    If a condo unit comes with a parking spot and you don’t want the parking spot then that’s fine – don’t buy the unit. No one is FORCING you at gunpoint to plunk down 1M USD for that condo unit.
    Vote with your wallet ….. and eventually, if developers start having too much inventory on their hands because they’ve built too much parking, they will then know to build more under-parked projects.
    I just don’t understand why people are so vehemently anti Adam Smith.

  61. Posted by anon

    Yet another reminder – this ballot initiative MANDATES a parking spot for every unit. It is MORE interference with the “free market” than what currently exists. Developers will not be able to build units without parking. It is incredibly anti-Adam Smith.

  62. Posted by Melinda

    One other thing…
    SOMA also has several attractions which draw out of towners nearly every day: Moscone Center, AT&T Park, MoMA, Zeum, Academy of Sciences in its temporary home, etc.
    The fact is that on many days of the year, SoMA is overrun with Bridge and Tunnel. These people need a place to park as well—for safety and traffic reasons. There is not nearly enough room to accomodate these people (For example, I don’t drive when the giants are in town, because my leased spot in the public garage will surely be filled with a minivan full of drunk suburbanites when I come home).
    When I buy a condo in SoMA (and I will, very soon), one of the amenities I am most looknig forward to is a deeded space. MY space. Yes, I’d love to live without a car. But until Cal-Train has more frequent and faster service to work, it’s just not an option. In the meantime, I don’t want to be tied to my home just because Oracle or Apple are having a convention.
    I too, have lived in Manhattan and Chicago and happily car less. There is no possible way to live without a car in SF unless you are one of the few thousand who work downtown. MOst of the high paying and upwardly mobile jobs are in silicon valley. We have family in the inner sunset and Marin county. It is nearly an hour on public transport to the Sunset, and Marin county, are you kidding? Taking public transport from Marin to SF at 11pm on a Saturday night? Maybe some of you ARE breathing too many car fumes.
    I do like the idea of requiring the space to be built, but the owner should have the option to decline it. The developer can just then lease the space out. At the Infinity for example, I”m sure a few GAP employees would be interested.

  63. Posted by Gdog

    I guess I just don’t understand why we need public policy to limit the number of parking spaces in new residential projects. What’s wrong with use the market-price determine what people are/are-not willing to pay for parking?”
    Because regulating parking can the stimulus to get people to make better free-market decisions. Sure, for a while some will whine about how The Man imposed this evil regressive tax on the city’s working class and they’ll cry about how they’re forced to sell their cars to make ends meet, but in the end many will realize how much money that saves them and how it simplifies their lives. It’s kind of like mandating energy efficient appliances that work better and cost less in the long run in addition to being more ecologically sound.
    There’s a lot of irrational inertia in car ownership. Before I sold my car I was saying things like “but it’s nice to be able to keep CDs and my unbrella in the car” and “I need it for groceries and weekend trips” which was just idiotic. I’m not saying that everyone should be car free, but there are tons of people in SF that would be better off without cars, and their parking spaces can go to people that need them. They just need a stimulus.
    “If I want to go from the Marina to the Mission, do you know how long it would take on MUNI?”
    Compared to driving and looking for parking for 6 hours??? You check nextmuni.com, hop the 22 Fillmore and you’re there, inside Limon with a mojito, in 30 minutes. For far less than a round of drinks you could take cab and get there even faster.
    Would you feel comfortable taking the bus home at midnight? You WOULD if you lived in London, Chicago or NYC.”
    I take Muni home after midnight quite often (12 mission, 38 Geary) and have never felt unsafe, and quite often I’ve been amused by my fellow riders. Often I take a cab and BAM I’m home without having to worry about how many drinks I’ve had.
    Do you have hard facts comparing crime on Muni vs. other cities or is this confirmation bias? I’ve seen some serious freaks on the London tube and in NYC.
    “The fact is that on many days of the year, SoMA is overrun with Bridge and Tunnel. These people need a place to park as well—for safety and traffic reasons.”
    Absolutely: at their local BART station. Driving into the city is nuts. What would be AWESOME is if we created some sort of a congestion charging system, or something that had the same effect. Compare London today vs. before the congestion charging: cleaner air, cars and buses move way faster, and businesses’ earnings growth inside the congestion zone are higher than elsewhere despite their Chicken Little-esque protests before the plan was implemented (sounds like the anti-BRT businesses on Geary.)

  64. Posted by AdamSmith

    I am at a loss to understand why people in this city will do anything they can to control other people’s lives. Here is an idea. You don’t want a car, don’t need a parking space, and like to walk, GOOD for YOU. My questions is why do YOUR choices need to be forced on the rest of the city? Condos on the market without deeded parking tend to be at least 8% less expensive, I ask that you take advantage of these cost savings while people like me choose units with parking. What drives me crazy is that those who do not need cars to get to work want to force their lifestyle on me. This conversation has reinforced my belief that the Infinity (which has deeded parking) will become one of the best investments of all the new projects in SOMA. Let the market decide whether or not people would like deeded parking in their buildings. I would rather have all of these cars parked underground than driving around and around looking for rare parking spaces.

  65. Posted by anon6

    Follow-up on Adam Smith at 9:24 am: Amen.

  66. Posted by AdamSmith checker

    AdamSmith,
    Why do you want to force your lifestyle on me? The current system builds plenty of parking in most buildings. The new MANDATE would force parking to be built for every unit, thereby destroying my choice. You are forcing your lifestyle on me.

  67. Posted by anon

    There is no possible way to live without a car in SF unless you are one of the few thousand who work downtown.
    Correction: Hundreds of thousands of people work in the financial district.

  68. Posted by M

    RE: 9:32am
    I did not see any endorsement of the proposed parking mandate anywhere in AdamSmith’s comment. Maybe he meant exactly what he said: Let the market (not activists or politicians) decide how much parking is necessary. There is a third group of people out here who want neither restrictions or mandates on parking (among other personal choices that are regulated).

  69. Posted by zig

    To all you free marketers (and I am one too almost all of the time but not in this case) take a quick thought to what you are really saying
    All zoning is regulation and all zoning, in a way, in anti unfettered capitalism.
    Without regulation we wouldn’t have a financial district as we do. There was a concerted effort to plan this without parking to replicate the districts of the East Coast. Would you have preferred we let the market build one like San Jose’s (and it would have)? Without an effort to regulate at some point in the past this city would be covered with Safeways like the one at Church and Market, fast food restaurants with drive thus and parking everywhere. More Houston by the Bay than what you moved here for. North Beach would be covered with high rises and parking garages. ugly but think of the access!
    Would you be willing to allow condo towers to go 2:1 on the parking since rich people like to have two cars? How about parking garages next to Market. I am sure the Giants, if they could have would have built surface parking lots on King street
    If you want to take this even further how about a 10 story building in the inner sunset with no parking? How about a homeless shelter or workshop next to your place? Or maybe a McDonald’s with a drive thou next to whatever precious neighborhood you live in? Still want Adam’s Smiths hand to take care of everything?
    If you are the true free marketer follow this all the way through. It can’t just be zoning you personally agree and parking regulation is one of the most basic

  70. Posted by zig

    For everyone who is against parking maximums (though I am sure you all support minimums as sacrosanct but I digress) read the parking initiative very carefully
    it mandates 1:1 parking and doesn’t allow debundling and ALSO greatly increases the allowable parking a business downtown can build by many times
    though you don’t realize it at most we are arguing over a relatively small number of spots. The difference between 1:1 and what is being built is not that great. I think the intent of this initiative is much more serious and is preying on peoples knee-jerk reaction but is very insidious
    Please read it

  71. Posted by james
  72. Posted by anom

    ” This is good public policy because if you can live Downtown, you should not have to own a car”
    From posted article above.
    All I have to say is B.S.!
    I do not want the government telling me whether or not I can own a car, motorcycle, or boat. I don’t need planners in San Francisco pretending this is Manhattan or Paris, when we have a completely disfunctional mass transit system. IF I were to buy downtown, what would I do? Our offices are in Sausilito and Palo Alto. There are many days I am in Marin in the morning, followed by a meeting on a project I am managing in Sanoma, followed by dinner with clients in Oakland. Should I just hire a driver because some do-gooders don’t understand that not everybody works all day in one office? (I am an architect).

  73. Posted by Brutus

    anom at 1:03pm:
    No, you should buy a car and use it. No one here is telling you not to. You should also buy one of the places that comes with a parking spot. Again, no one here is telling you that you can’t do that.
    Now, are you going to tell me that “everyone” needs a car and force me to buy a parking spot with my unit? That’s the real question of this ballot initiative. It eliminates choices that already exist. The current situation doesn’t do anything to change your situation – there are plenty of places being built with loads of parking.
    M @ 10:40am –
    Start drafting something along those lines and we can debate that – right now the debate is between choice of buying parking and being forced to buy parking. Period.

  74. Posted by Kenton

    anom,
    I understand your sentiments, but the are misplaced. Nobody is telling you you can’t have a car. In fact, you can have as many cars as you like. The only restriction is on where you park your car(s). Namely, the number of spaces in the financial district is limited. (Note that I say limited and not zero.) If you want to park in your own condo building, all you have to do is buy a unit with parking!
    In the worst-case scenario that you can’t find a unit downtown with parking, you can always use offsite parking and a valet service. This shouldn’t cost you anything extra: The money you save by buying a unit without parking should offset the costs of offsite parking.
    This solution seems very reasonable to me, but maybe it doesn’t work for you. In that case, you always have a second option: Don’t buy a unit in the financial district. Nobody is forcing you to live there! You can always live in a different part of San Francisco that has more parking.
    For that matter, if parking is so important to you, why bother living in the city? If San Francisco doesn’t suit your lifestyle, why would you expect the city to change? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for you to change where you live?
    In short, I don’t think the current zoning shortchanges anybody. Anybody who needs or wants to own a car has plenty of ways to make it work, whether they live downtown or somewhere else.

  75. Posted by james

    SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) – A Board of Supervisors committee will hold a hearing Monday on parking issues throughout San Francisco.
    Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier requested the hearing, which will include discussion on how parking availability impacts neighborhood small businesses and the feasibility of creating a one-to-one parking ratio per housing unit.
    The Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee will meet Monday at 10 a.m., at City Hall, Room 250.

  76. Posted by AdamSmith

    Here is the problem when governments try to regulate people’s lifestyle choices, they just go around the rules. I am positive, that there will be people who in the future will buy units just for the parking space. They may be on the 55th floor in a 3bd. and buy a one bd. with parking and use that space for the second car and rent out the 1bd for income. So now they are still a two car household living downtown.
    Why not instead let the market decide. It seems from my looking at various neighborhoods, there are plenty of units for sale without parking. My fascination is why someone who lives out in the Richmond would get all upset over whether or not some condos are built downtown with parking? Imagine the nerve of those developers giving people what they want!
    Why not pass laws about air conditioning and second bathrooms? Why not pass laws that say no more balconies as it is “wasted space”. How about a law that downtown buildings cannot have swimming pools. Where does one stop?

  77. Posted by Brutus

    Here is the problem when governments try to regulate people’s lifestyle choices, they just go around the rules. I am positive, that there will be people who in the future will buy units just for the parking space. They may be on the 55th floor in a 3bd. and buy a one bd. with parking and use that space for the second car and rent out the 1bd for income. So now they are still a two car household living downtown.
    And there’s a household renting without a car – what’s your point? That there are households that want more than one car and will do anything to get it? They can do that now. Nobody is saying that we should limit the amount of cars someone owns if they can find a place to park them.
    Why not pass laws about air conditioning and second bathrooms? Why not pass laws that say no more balconies as it is “wasted space”. How about a law that downtown buildings cannot have swimming pools. Where does one stop?
    I’m confused. Are you now saying that we should definitely NOT mandate parking minimums? I agree – it would be ridiculous to force developers to build parking for every unit. If you’re saying that we shouldn’t have any zoning laws or regulations to limit the all-powerful market, then I guess we do away with height limits, fire codes, seismic codes, etc. If people want a safe building – the market will surely provide. If people want views of any kind, they’ll buy all the land around their house and build low-rise buildings. Let the market decide!
    You can’t use the “free market” BS only to support your argument.

  78. Posted by anon94123

    I’m confused. Does some of the possible new guidelines forced on developers mean that a project would be restricted to the number of spaces each unit could have? In other words, a one bedroom and a four bedroom penthouse would both only have one parking space in the garage?
    Also, since tower garages are usually underground and no larger than the footprint of the building, why should someone care if the tower has 300 spaces or 400 spaces for the 300 units in the building?
    Strange what we worry about in this city. No time to deal with the trash, crime and homeless problems I guess until we get people to stop owning cars. You have to love the insanity that is San Francisco.

  79. Posted by Brutus

    I’m confused. Does some of the possible new guidelines forced on developers mean that a project would be restricted to the number of spaces each unit could have? In other words, a one bedroom and a four bedroom penthouse would both only have one parking space in the garage?
    The new guidelines would mandate a minimum of one spot per unit and force the bundling of parking and housing – meaning that someone who has no need for a parking spot would be forced to buy one.
    Also, since tower garages are usually underground and no larger than the footprint of the building, why should someone care if the tower has 300 spaces or 400 spaces for the 300 units in the building?
    This legislation would eliminate that requirement. New towers could buy a lot across the street to build a seven story parking garage if they wanted to. People care about the number of spaces because more cars = more congestion. It has nothing to do with being “anti-car” or wanting people to sell their cars. Congestion is already choking this city to death – and we want to make it worse? I’m fine with larger parking garages if we start along NYC’s current path of congestion charges, but until then…

  80. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    Re:”Or it could cause people who don’t have/want cars to move to those places – or gasp! Lower the price of the places there. To say that all rich people will own a car no matter what is to completely ignore Manhattan – along with Europe, Japan, etc. Will many people still have cars? Sure. But as the price for parking rises, along with the lack of an easy spot for homeowners to park near home – the people buying the places will change. Worst case scenario? The places don’t sell, and the prices drop – allowing more housing for those that can’t afford housing there now.”
    SF is not, and probably never will be NYC. The cities are not compatible. NYC is flat, has an extensive subway system, more density, and almost every amenity within walking distance. SF has hills, a limited subway system, not nearly the density, and lacks many of the amenities that make NYC the Big Apple.
    Neither of us knows what the typical SOMA buyer wants. It would an interesting survey. My bet, based upon obvious anecdotal evidence, is that most buyers, and not class specific, want the utility of a car. (I lived in a highrise in Chicago for 17 years and often didn’t drive for a week at a time. Nevertheless, I would never have bought in a building without available parking.)
    Your analysis that, in the worst case, if parking were highly valued, property values could fall, is weak. (If prices fall, developers will likely look elsewhere to build) Housing and parking, while connected, are separate as well. More likely, the “legislated” parking limitation will drive up the price of parking spaces more than the rate of housing.
    Cary

  81. Posted by Gdog

    “Also, since tower garages are usually underground and no larger than the footprint of the building, why should someone care if the tower has 300 spaces or 400 spaces for the 300 units in the building?”
    Because those cars will enter and leave the garage via the streets of SF, causing pollution and congestion. This causes a significant negative impact in reduced productivity and health costs. Also, a more livable neighborhood will probably have higher real estate value. Taking this to the extreme, imagine if we banned cars from the Bay Bridge entirely — then the 1Rincon bashers’ complaints about it being squarely atop a highway ramp would go away. Now imagine a more realistic scenario where we removed a few lanes of traffic from Folsom, Harrison, etc. and replaced them with wide sidewalks and trees? This can’t be done without reducing both the number of cars in the city and the number of cars that enter and leave the city each day.
    “There is no possible way to live without a car in SF unless you are one of the few thousand who work downtown.”
    That’s totally preposterous. I work in Menlo Park. I have friends in SF that work in Sunnyvale, Oakland, SSF, Mountain View etc. and none of us have cars. Ironically, the friends (some not 100% rational) I have with cars tend to work in SF.
    “You don’t want a car, don’t need a parking space, and like to walk, GOOD for YOU. My questions is why do YOUR choices need to be forced on the rest of the city?”
    This is an echo of many of the above comments, but to be clear: they AREN’T. Reducing parking maximums benefits just about everybody whether they like it or not. ;^) Car drivers will be able to go about their ways just like always.
    “Condos on the market without deeded parking tend to be at least 8% less expensive”
    The current system is totally unfair to those without cars. If parking is deeded it’s never priced fairly so I have to deal with buying a damn spot and leasing it out. Parking needs to be fully decoupled from condo units. If parking is leased through a HOA then it’s almost always below market (The Hayes charges $100/month — WTF?!?!?) It’s a bunch of crap that I’d have to subsidize other people’s parking spots in that case.

  82. Posted by Brutus

    Your analysis that, in the worst case, if parking were highly valued, property values could fall, is weak. (If prices fall, developers will likely look elsewhere to build) Housing and parking, while connected, are separate as well. More likely, the “legislated” parking limitation will drive up the price of parking spaces more than the rate of housing.
    Cary, I am not advocating more legislation. The current legislation is what I am talking about keeping – and there seems to be plenty of building going on under the current legislation. Under the new proposed legislation, parking and housing would no longer be separate in any way – every person would be forced to buy a parking spot – in effect forcing those that don’t want to buy to subsidize the spots of those who do want to buy one. Developers could build fewer spots only if they pay $15,000 per spot to the city. The car-less should not be forced to subsidize those who want cars any more than they already do.

  83. Posted by Cary

    Space Cadet,
    Re: “On the parking topic… perhaps for you agents out there: If two units/condos/ SFRs for sale are identical in every way, but one has a single car garage, how much more of a bid would the one with a garage fetch? Can anyone offer an legitimate guess?
    In Chicago, on the Northside, where I was an agent, parking is difficult but probably not as challenging as in SF. Listing a property without parking, was very problematic. I would estimate, lack of parking could cost 15% and add substantially to market time. To be fair, most properties in Chicago include parking.
    Cary

  84. Posted by anonwalker

    Cary, your input is very interesting. The hills of San Francisco are a huge problem for some like the elderly. Also, where are all the subway lines in San Francisco that are going to lure me away from my car!? I don’t think it is reasonable to pass Manhattan style laws regarding parking when we do not have the ammenities of NYC or Chicago.
    Speaking of Chicago, it is interesting that their buildings include parking since that city has a huge rail and subway system. I like the idea that in Chicago you are given a choice regarding transportation. I also remember Chicago having plenty of parking garages downtown so that you could park and then walk, take the subway or El, and enjoy the city and then return to your car at the end of the day.

  85. Posted by Cary

    Jeffrey,
    Re: “The most valuable neighborhoods are also the ones with the highest density and the fewest cars: North Beach, Marina, Mission, SoMa. Notice that the parking nirvana in the Sunset does not lead to valuable real estate.
    Our existing planning regulations are working perfectly to create livable neighborhoods and high value real estate.”
    You’ve used a logical fallacy. Those neighborhoods could be priciest for a host of other factors.
    BTW, maybe the density is a contolling variable and the lack of cars, resulted from the density!
    It’s kinda…..which came first.
    Cary

  86. Posted by james

    i believe we have some socialist legislation in place today restricting developers to less than 1 parking space per unit. that needs to go. that’s what this is about.

  87. Posted by Brutus

    Cary, your input is very interesting. The hills of San Francisco are a huge problem for some like the elderly. Also, where are all the subway lines in San Francisco that are going to lure me away from my car!? I don’t think it is reasonable to pass Manhattan style laws regarding parking when we do not have the ammenities of NYC or Chicago.
    We aren’t looking to pass Manhattan-style laws regarding parking – we’re currently looking to implement Houston-style parking where space for cars becomes more important than space for people. Again, nothing in the current system prevents you from getting a parking space. The new system would force me to buy one. Why do you want to take away my choice?
    Speaking of Chicago, it is interesting that their buildings include parking since that city has a huge rail and subway system. I like the idea that in Chicago you are given a choice regarding transportation. I also remember Chicago having plenty of parking garages downtown so that you could park and then walk, take the subway or El, and enjoy the city and then return to your car at the end of the day.
    It is nice that Chicago gives you a choice. That’s what I want to continue to be offered here in San Francisco – instead of forcing me to buy a spot for a car I won’t own. This new parking legislation is about as anti-market as you can get. Why not force me to buy a car as well? Where does it stop? For those of you that keep complaining about San Franciscans telling you what to do – why would you let Don Fisher tell you that you must buy parking? Why would you let him tell you how to live your life?

  88. Posted by Brutus

    i believe we have some socialist legislation in place today restricting developers to less than 1 parking space per unit. that needs to go. that’s what this is about.
    You believe wrong. In some neighborhoods, parking is limited to less than one space per unit, but not in the vast majority of neighborhoods.
    This new socialist legislation would force everyone to buy a parking spot with their unit and fine developers for not building it. The market is being completely tossed out the window, and the nanny state (through Gap’s Don Fisher) is telling everyone that they must buy parking. What’s next? Telling us we must shop at the Gap?

  89. Posted by Brutus

    BTW, maybe the density is a contolling variable and the lack of cars, resulted from the density!
    It’s kinda…..which came first.

    Sure, places without parking came first. But many people were arguing that places without parking will never appreciate or be worth beans – and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Several of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city have many places without parking. It doesn’t matter which came first – the places still appreciate at very high rates, which according to many here shouldn’t happen.

  90. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    Zoning has a consequence. We are all trying to find a workable zoning law that will protect as many of us as possible. My personal preference is to leave parking out of the equation and let the developers build what the market wants in the various neighborhoods.
    Zoning with too little parking drives parking prices sky high. Mandating too much has the developers screaming at the cost of providing unwanted parking spaces. I’m uncomfortable with the thought my public officials know best.
    If the goal is a greener SF, government needs to provide better alternatives to the automobile. They aren’t there now.
    Cary

  91. Posted by Brutus

    Cary,
    We could be having that conversation if what you speak of is an option – it’s not right now. The option is to either:
    A. Stay with what has worked for many years – and allow individual neighborhoods to determine the amount of parking.
    B. Allow Don Fisher and his cohorts to decide for us.
    There is no C where the market decides. If you want something like that, the current system is closer than a mandated parking level that forces everyone to buy and destroys any market choices.

  92. Posted by anonwalker

    Brutus, if you don’t need a parking space, rent it out. One thing you will see in the “Mail Room” of all of these buildings is other owners notices looking for “an available parking space to rent”. They usually are willing to pay far more than what your monthly payment would be on the portion of your home loan that went to the parking space. Just think, you get to make a profit, and who knows, some day you may need a car and you can have the option of using your own space.

  93. Posted by Brutus

    anonwalker,
    Thanks for the hint. That still doesn’t give me a good reason as to why I should be forced to buy one in the first place. That’s like McDonald’s forcing you to buy fries with a burger, then saying “Hey, you don’t want it? Sell it then!”
    Legislation should have no part in forcing people to buy things – especially when dealing with something as expensive as a home. I should be able to choose what to buy, not told “Hey, if you don’t need it, rent it out!” Should we force everyone to buy four bedroom condos and if they don’t need the space, well – rent the other bedrooms out! I like choices, not the nanny state (or rich businessmen) telling me what I can and cannot buy.

  94. Posted by anono

    “Legislation should have no part in forcing people to buy things-”
    Does that apply to insurance or safety devices as well? We force people to buy things all the time- California’s governor want to force everyone who can afford it to buy health insurance- because we’ve decided that everyone is better off if the thing is used. Off street underground parking is better than having people drive around and clog the steets looking for parking, so it makes sense to build it.
    However, I do think this particular piece of legislation is stupid. Just eliminate the 3:4 ratio in SOMA/downtown and a lot of the posters on this board would be satisfied. Decoupling parking is also a great idea, and many projects are starting to do it- 3400 Ceasar Chaves will do it in the Mission of the City ever stands aside to let it get built.

  95. Posted by Frederick

    Brutus at July 22, 2007 12:43 PM
    “Thanks for the hint. That still doesn’t give me a good reason as to why I should be forced to buy one in the first place.”
    Perhaps the market is speaking. My guess is that developers generally do not propose building’s that will not sell or lease. Therefore, they make market analysis of what the public will buy.
    Up until recent political decisions got involved with the planning process, most developers addressed the public’s needs. Now some SF politicians want to tell the public what they can have.
    Two small examples of the public saying “I want parking or I will not buy without parking” are 201 Sansome Street (The Royal); still 16 of the original 46 units are still for sale, after 1 1/2 years of being for sale, with no parking. And 733 Front St has 36 of the 69 units in contract, all but two with parking, with the majority of units without offers, having no parking.
    After representing Buyer’s and Seller’s for 35 years in SF, most owners of residential real estate, ask if a property has parking, before they even look. The vast majority of Buyer’s will not look at a building or unit without parking, not just because they may not want to use a car, but because they are considering the possible future re-sale of their home.
    If our city had safe and reliable public transportation, you might find the public’s viewpoint more receptive to housing without parking. Until then, the present parking requirements for developers will continue to create personal revolts in each neighborhood and among neighbors and stimulate proposals like the one on this November’s ballot.
    Frederick

  96. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    RE: “We could be having that conversation if what you speak of is an option – it’s not right now. The option is to either:
    A. Stay with what has worked for many years – and allow individual neighborhoods to determine the amount of parking.
    B. Allow Don Fisher and his cohorts to decide for us.
    There is no C where the market decides. If you want something like that, the current system is closer than a mandated parking level that forces everyone to buy and destroys any market choices.”
    Agreed the choice is between A or B. I sure wish C was a choice.
    Given A or B, I would reluctantly vote for B. My reasons is as follows.
    Personally, I hate getting into my car. I long for a Bay area lifestyle, mostly carless, like my previous in Chicago. (Chicago highrise parking laws seem to be effective)……
    But…..the car isn’t going away anytime soon. It is, for better or worse, the dominant method of travel for the foreseeable future. Parking and competition for space on the roads is a tremendous social and economic issue. The market, affected by zoning and legislation, speaks clearly. Parking is rising in value because collectively, after evaluating supply and demand, social costs, and ecological issues, we’ve determined it’s still a good value. The current zoning restricts the supply of a valuable commodity, therefore I’d like to see supply increased.
    Framing this as choice versus lack of choice is disingenuous. All zoning, indeed almost all legislation, favors one party over another. We are hoping for an imperfect solution which will benefit as many as possible.
    Cary

  97. Posted by Brutus

    Framing this as choice versus lack of choice is disingenuous. All zoning, indeed almost all legislation, favors one party over another. We are hoping for an imperfect solution which will benefit as many as possible.
    Is my choice not being restricted? Certainly it is. What is disingenuous is the initiative being called “Parking for Neighborhoods” and preying on the fact that parking is hard in places like the Haight or Mission – this initiative will do nothing to help parking problems in those neighborhoods.
    Listen, I am fine with additional parking being allowed to be built in some buildings. I don’t care. I do care about the long term implications of everyone being forced to buy a parking spot. This takes choice completely out of the hands of neighborhoods, potential buyers, politicians, etc.

  98. Posted by Brutus

    Does that apply to insurance or safety devices as well? We force people to buy things all the time- California’s governor want to force everyone who can afford it to buy health insurance- because we’ve decided that everyone is better off if the thing is used. Off street underground parking is better than having people drive around and clog the steets looking for parking, so it makes sense to build it.
    Please find me any place where the addition of off-street parking has freed up spots on street. If you want less people driving around looking for spots on the street to park in, you should make meters and neighborhood parking permits market rate. Imagine this:
    We take a neighborhood with 100 on street parking spots. We build a 30 car garage in neighborhood. Now, 30 cars are in the garage. Does this mean only 70 cars are now on the street? Of course not. Even if the garage were built for free use by residents of the neighborhood, before too long people would figure out that this neighborhood has “easy” on-street parking. Landlords would advertise it – “Easy street parking plus parking for one car free in garage”. Families with two cars migrate to the area. Induced demand (as I’ve stated before) is very real with parking – and it has nothing to do with current car-free residents going out and buying a car. Easy parking convinces those with cars to come to the area – and those who might have before chosen a different mode to get to the area (walking, transit, taxi, etc) to now drive instead.
    However, I do think this particular piece of legislation is stupid. Just eliminate the 3:4 ratio in SOMA/downtown and a lot of the posters on this board would be satisfied. Decoupling parking is also a great idea, and many projects are starting to do it- 3400 Ceasar Chaves will do it in the Mission of the City ever stands aside to let it get built.
    I agree with you. I would be ok with more parking downtown – it’s not ideal, but I could handle it. However, you should know that this legislation OUTLAWS decoupling of parking – so projects like the one you mention would not be allowed to decouple parking. If a building wants to build 300 units and 300 parking spots – it would be impossible for anyone to buy zero parking spots AND it would be impossible for anyone to buy two parking spots.

  99. Posted by zig

    I do see the argument that current regulation is wrong and 1:1 parking is more appropriate for new condos but am having a harder time accepting the market argument regarding parking as any more valid than a market argument for high rises and parking lots in North Beach and density in the Sunset (in laws etc).
    Does your argument apply to commercial parking downtown and parking lots such as what we have at Church and Market Safeway? The city would be very different place today if not for restricted parking. I am curious how you would reconcile this in your argument. The city might of indeed developed so differently that you might have chosen to move here

  100. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    I would agree zoning for parking should probably be neighborhood specific. I would worry with legislators tinkering with every little detail.
    The only way to absolutely solve all parking issues is to ban all cars. The absurdity should be obvious. We are searching for a percentage that will have the most positive and least negative affect on the population as a whole. Given a choice between A or B, I still fail to see how restricting parking will make it less expensive and since lower costs are pro-working class, I can’t see to downside.
    If developers are required to provide one parking space per residential unit, there will still be a shortage of parking in SF. The shortage will only be less acute.
    If you don’t want to buy a condo with parking why can’t you buy one of the existing supply without?
    Cary

  101. Posted by zig

    We could we solve much of the parking issues also by building massive parking garages in neighborhoods where parking is difficult

  102. Posted by Brutus

    Perhaps the market is speaking. My guess is that developers generally do not propose building’s that will not sell or lease. Therefore, they make market analysis of what the public will buy.
    Exactly. That is perhaps why we currently have had no problem findings developers to build under the current system. Why change it? Have you seen many vacant parcels sit vacant because developers don’t want to build without parking? I’ve seen some whine, but they’ve still built. Am I wrong?
    Up until recent political decisions got involved with the planning process, most developers addressed the public’s needs. Now some SF politicians want to tell the public what they can have.
    Oh, c’mon. Weren’t you recently quoted regarding the height limitations on the port land near Telegraph Hill? It’s okay for you and your political groups to limit the market in some way – but not okay for other political groups and politicians to do it? Would developers not like to build higher on those parcels? It’s okay for you to determine what is in the public good, but not others?
    Two small examples of the public saying “I want parking or I will not buy without parking” are 201 Sansome Street (The Royal); still 16 of the original 46 units are still for sale, after 1 1/2 years of being for sale, with no parking. And 733 Front St has 36 of the 69 units in contract, all but two with parking, with the majority of units without offers, having no parking.
    Sure, they may not have offers at current prices. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t if prices were lowered – and it doesn’t mean that the developers still wouldn’t profit at lower prices. Developers set prices based upon what the market will bear – if it ends up being lower than what they thought – they may lose money on certain units, but if they make money on the overall project they will continue to build. Just because something doesn’t sell for as high of a price doesn’t mean it’s not worth building and selling.
    After representing Buyer’s and Seller’s for 35 years in SF, most owners of residential real estate, ask if a property has parking, before they even look. The vast majority of Buyer’s will not look at a building or unit without parking, not just because they may not want to use a car, but because they are considering the possible future re-sale of their home.
    True. And people who want parking are free to buy it. As I’ve stated in other posts, I don’t care if people want parking or if developers build parking. I have a problem with legislation forcing everyone to buy parking.
    If our city had safe and reliable public transportation, you might find the public’s viewpoint more receptive to housing without parking. Until then, the present parking requirements for developers will continue to create personal revolts in each neighborhood and among neighbors and stimulate proposals like the one on this November’s ballot.
    The more congestion we have, the worse public transit will get – more parking = more congestion. And I’ve also stated many times before, the question isn’t car or public transit. I rarely use public transit. I car-share, I take taxis, I walk. Those options make even more sense for a building with 200 units – car-share vehicles will be in the actual building, taxis will often be parked out front, and walking to more things is an option. On Telegraph Hill, sure it may not make sense – in a neighborhood full of 400-600 foot towers, it does.

  103. Posted by Cary

    Zig,
    More public parking woud be helpful but difficult to do. Would you want a “massive parking garage” next to your house?
    Would you be willing to park your car two or three blocks from the new garage? Couldn’t you see your community fighting for/against access to the new garage?
    I believe the real solution lies in a combination of smarter zoning and better and more public transportation. Even then, I imagine many reasons to own a car.
    Cary

  104. Posted by Brutus

    If you don’t want to buy a condo with parking why can’t you buy one of the existing supply without?
    Why should I have to? The vast majority of new places will have parking – which gives everyone who wants parking plenty of options. Why should my options only be to buy a new place with parking, buy an old place with parking, or buy an old place without parking when the options could be buy a new place with parking, buy a new place without parking, buy an old place with parking, or buy an old place without parking. I just don’t see the rationale behind this legislation.
    I still fail to see how restricting parking will make it less expensive and since lower costs are pro-working class, I can’t see to downside.
    This legislation does restrict parking – to a minimum of one space per unit. If you need an example of parking reducing cost, look at the towers on Rincon Hill where you can spend $75,000 less on a place without parking. Is paying $75k less not less expensive – people need a place to live, so we should make lowering costs on living accomodations a higher priority than lowering the cost of one particular mode of transportation. People can get to work many other ways.

  105. Posted by zig

    Cary,
    I was being facetious. I was pointing out (sort of obtusely-not my best) that the very city everyone here loves (or loves/hates) is the result of parking regulation. If we allowed the market to determine parking over the last 60 years this place would look very different. Maybe like Lombard St.
    Personally I think the idea of restricted parking has more merit in areas like in-law units and infill in middle class and poorer areas (where there are builders happy to build) but this is politically untenable. So instead we are applying this to luxury housing and I admit it is somewhat questionable

  106. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    “Why should I have to? The vast majority of new places will have parking – which gives everyone who wants parking plenty of options. Why should my options only be to buy a new place with parking, buy an old place with parking, or buy an old place without parking when the options could be buy a new place with parking, buy a new place without parking, buy an old place with parking, or buy an old place without parking. I just don’t see the rationale behind this legislation.”
    “Your” choice restricts another’s choice. Existing zoning already provides parking. We are only debating how much is needed and how to pay for it.
    Re: “This legislation does restrict parking – to a minimum of one space per unit. If you need an example of parking reducing cost, look at the towers on Rincon Hill where you can spend $75,000 less on a place without parking. Is paying $75k less not less expensive – people need a place to live, so we should make lowering costs on living accomodations a higher priority than lowering the cost of one particular mode of transportation. People can get to work many other ways.”
    It’s cheaper for the person who doesn’t want or need parking but more expensive for those that do. Since, many more of us need and want parking, more supply should lower the cost for most of us. We are only trying to determine the most cost-effective way of providing transportation to the most people.
    Cary

  107. Posted by Brutus

    Then clearly Cary, if our goal is to make parking as cheap as possible – we should be building parking garages instead of housing.

  108. Posted by Brutus

    “Your” choice restricts another’s choice. Existing zoning already provides parking. We are only debating how much is needed and how to pay for it.
    No, my choice is simply that – a choice. The alternative is no choice at all – buy a parking spot or don’t buy new housing, period.

  109. Posted by Anonlurker

    Zig, San Francisco’s density is not the result of parking regulation. It is the result of many areas being built before the car was invented. What I do not understand is cars do not take away from the density of other cities neighborhoods. Do you think they ban units having parking in Vancouver or Chicago? Brutus , brings up the Safeway on Market, but just give that place time, that garage will go underground, and there will be shops on Market with housing above. (Are we going to fight that future developement from providing unit owners having a parking space also?)
    Brutus, what happened in your youth to make you so anti car? Your anti-car views are beyond logical, plus you claimed to live in the Richmond, so why are you concerned with Rincon Hill?
    I think the Marina is an example of density, walkable streets with shops and PARKING, all built after the car was invented. One of the reasons for the Marinas popularity is the fact that so many of those units have parking. I live on Prado in the Marina and there are weeks, where the car does not come out of the garage, and I walk/bike/bus to everywhere, BUT, when I need to go to Palo Alto to see my parents, the car comes out since BART and Caltrain do not have a station at the Marina Green.

  110. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    RE: “Then clearly Cary, if our goal is to make parking as cheap as possible – we should be building parking garages instead of housing.”
    Parking or parking garages are an appurtenance to housing or work spaces. We only want “cheap” relative to live/work.
    No, my choice is simply that – a choice. The alternative is no choice at all – buy a parking spot or don’t buy new housing, period.
    You’re restricted in your choice of so many things. You can’t “choose” to yell “fire” in a darkened theater.
    Why can’t the zoning require the developers to provide one parking space per unit, but NOT require buyers to purchase it? That’s the way the law reads in Chicago. As a practical matter, all my clients bought parking but if they didn’t need it, rented to others in their building.
    Selling a condo in Chicago without parking is problematic.
    Cary

  111. Posted by Brutus

    Anonlurker,
    I am not anti-car! If we want the market to decide, then let’s do it! This current legislation requires parking to be built, with no regard for the market.
    What happened in my youth? I grew up in a suburban “paradise” where you had to drive to everything, including a park. Other people may have posted in my name, but I don’t live in the Richmond, I live near the corner of California and Powell.
    The Marina is a fine example of what I am talking about – I have no problem with the amount of parking/cars in the Marina. Rincon Hill will be several times as dense as the Marina, and close to BART and Caltrain, meaning not as many cars should be needed. Also, car-sharing should be much easier in Rincon Hill (though I don’t know why you wouldn’t consider it if you only use your car as sparingly as you mention – would save you a ton of money)
    Parking should considered on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis – what works in the Marina may not work in Rincon Hill which may not work in the Richmond which may not make sense in Ingleside. Some neighborhoods need more than one parking space per unit, some need one space, some need some other number. This legislation’s attempt is to shoehorn the city into a one size fits all approach.

  112. Posted by Brutus

    Why can’t the zoning require the developers to provide one parking space per unit, but NOT require buyers to purchase it? That’s the way the law reads in Chicago. As a practical matter, all my clients bought parking but if they didn’t need it, rented to others in their building
    Cary, if you draft a ballot proposal that reads like this, I would vote for it. This current proposal is so full unintended consequences (or intended, who knows?) that the full horrendous effects will be felt fairly quickly and be impossible to reverse for decades.

  113. Posted by Brutus

    Why can’t the zoning require the developers to provide one parking space per unit, but NOT require buyers to purchase it? That’s the way the law reads in Chicago. As a practical matter, all my clients bought parking but if they didn’t need it, rented to others in their building
    Cary, if you draft a ballot proposal that reads like this, I would vote for it. This current proposal is so full unintended consequences (or intended, who knows?) that the full horrendous effects will be felt fairly quickly and be impossible to reverse for decades.

  114. Posted by anon

    “What I do not understand is cars do not take away from the density of other cities neighborhoods. Do you think they ban units having parking in Vancouver or Chicago?”
    Vancouver has incredible restrictions on parking, what are you talking about? They restrict the number of spots, where the parking can be, what streets the garages open up onto, the type of parking (whether it can be valet, stacked, independently accessible), and much else! I’m sure any of the anti-car peeps here would die for parking regs like Vancouver!

  115. Posted by zig

    Anonlurker
    Though you are correct that there are obviously older areas built before the car our financial district was planned and built to be modeled after East Coast districts after WWII. Without effort what you see on Church at Market and Lombard would be repeated many times over all over the city (indeed there are many examples where this is the case and we are still waiting as you say for them to put the parking underground).
    I am not sure about Chicago but Vancouver, Seattle, Portland are experimenting with small areas in or adjacent to their downtowns with less than 1:1 parking. Of course this is pretty common on the East Coast already

  116. Posted by Brutus

    I would gladly take all of Vancouver’s policies on just about everything, but especially cars, parking, transit, and walkability issues.
    The main difference in Vancouver is that streets/neighborhoods/buildings are built for pedestrians first. We have some hopes of that if the full Rincon/Transbay plans are implemented, but who knows? One major problem with ped first planning is that many things that are best for pedestrians are an impediment to cars and parking. If we built all neighborhoods, sidewalks, and streets like they are in Vancouver, I wouldn’t have a problem with every building having a 2000 unit parking garage.
    The problem is that here, if you’re not building for absolute efficiency for cars, you’re labeled anti-car, anti-free market, etc, etc.

  117. Posted by Chris

    Comparing Chicago parking and SF parking is problematic for one major reason:
    Chicago (and especially downtown Chicago) is the center of economic might (and jobs) in the Chicago metro. SF is a major part of the Bay Area economy, and depending on how you classify it – the number one or number two job area, but not far and away the captain. (There are more jobs in Sili Valley, but they’re spread out over 40 or 50 sq miles instead of a couple, like downtown SF)
    So…Chicago can build more parking downtown, because the vast (overwhelming) majority living there will not be commuting out of Chicago, causing absolute gridlock. For SF, there are now large numbers of people commuting in, as well as out, by car. You build more easy parking, you convince more Sili Valley commuters to move here – because many enjoy the type of living offered here. The increase in cars in SF, as opposed to Chicago, would result in MUCH more gridlock, because the entry points to and from SF are much more constricted and there is already a big amount of commuting in and out.
    Comparing the two is apples to oranges. Seattle is a better comparison, because a similar thing happens there with Seattle vs. the Eastside (Microsoft cities). And what do you know? Seattle is putting in place many parking restrictions like ours (and in some cases more so) in new developments. And just so we’re clear – Seattle transit is worse than transit here.

  118. Posted by zig

    curious what pro parking opinion is on the Trinity Plaza development with the projected 1,900 rental units and 1200 resident spots? Obviously much needed rental housing. Should we be compromising the number of units here for more parking?

  119. Posted by anon

    zig,
    Renters don’t matter. Why would we care about the proletariat masses. I say rent the units with no parking and leave the garage for us homeowners that really matter. I like to go to Market Street sometime – I should have a free spot to park my and shouldn’t have any traffic. After all, I just spent a million bucks on my condo.

  120. Posted by james

    brutus,
    my point was that it’s socialist to have legislation dictating anything about this. the market should be deciding, not the board of loopyvisors.
    not having 1:1 parking in any high rise will create a miserable situation for the owners and renters when that building sells out.
    i’m living in one. 231 units, 156 parking spaces. we spend 200k per year of our hoa budget on valet parking only for coveraged during a graveyard shift. in the morning you have to go the front desk, get your keys and then go find your car.
    it sucks!
    we have other issues like abusive absentee owners lending out or illegally leasing their spots while they don’t use them.
    all of you buying into any building with less than 1:1 deeded parking are going to hate it, trust me.

  121. Posted by Brutus

    James,
    You may have some points, but calling some regulations “socialism” while advocating for other regulations that also restrict the market makes no sense. Restricting the market is restricting the market. I would argue that this new legislation interferes MORE with the market because it takes away personal choice. What is more socialist than laws that take away your choice in buying things? Just because you happen to like something does not make it “free market”. You may like it more, and you may support it, but this new legislation is less “free market” than what currently exists.

  122. Posted by Fedup

    Brutus, you wrote in the past that you were a renter. Why is it you feel you should have a say in what people are choosing to purchase? With most of us spending over $700,000 for a small unit, many are in need of a car because we work in locations not served by public transportation.
    This reminds me of what happens when I bring in projects for public review. The immediate neighors to the project (usually a high end custom home) never show up at the meetings, instead I get people who live 4 blocks away and rent some apartment that does not even have a view of the house I am trying to build. They stand up and go on and on about the noise, congestion, etc. and yet they do not own a home nearby, nor are they truly impacted. Why do you care so much whether or not a neighborhood 4 miles from yours gets to have parking included in new projects?

  123. Posted by zig

    Fedup if I may.
    Parking restrictions downtown was a mediated compromise between Planning, the mayor and the BOS
    Brutus and I (and you) have our say when we elect our representatives. Though many on here think this is some left wing plot by the BOS I am pretty certain this is widely supported in planning and by the Director as this is in vogue right now in planning circles and academia. Its also not an only in SF thing many units of the East Coast as well as Seattle, Portland Vancouver are looking at the same

  124. Posted by Cary

    Chris,
    I can’t follow your logic. Are you saying Chicago suffers less or more gridlock because they zone one-to-one parking? And Chicago is not comparable to SF because it’s more centralized? Please explain.
    I’m not aware of the economic statistics, but I think Naperville, Oak Brook, and Shaumburg are three suburbs with sizeable economic prowess. In my own experience the commute to the suburbs, while not as bad as the reverese commute, (which didn’t really exist twenty-five years ago), is still slow and time consuming. In fact, I recently saw on local TV, Chicago’s commute times were second worse, behind NYC, in the nation.
    Cary

  125. Posted by Cary

    Brutus,
    RE: Why can’t the zoning require the developers to provide one parking space per unit, but NOT require buyers to purchase it? That’s the way the law reads in Chicago. As a practical matter, all my clients bought parking but if they didn’t need it, rented to others in their building
    Cary, if you draft a ballot proposal that reads like this, I would vote for it. This current proposal is so full unintended consequences (or intended, who knows?) that the full horrendous effects will be felt fairly quickly and be impossible to reverse for decades.
    Cool. A little respectful dialogue and we come to agreement.
    Still, if I were your RE agent, I would be urging you to buy the parking though I’m very synpathetic to the walking lifestyle.
    Cary

  126. Posted by Brutus

    Cool. A little respectful dialogue and we come to agreement.
    Still, if I were your RE agent, I would be urging you to buy the parking though I’m very synpathetic to the walking lifestyle.

    Good stuff. I agree on the investment portion too – I would buy a place with parking as it will likely appreciate better than a unit without. You, as a realtor, would be correct in recommending that your clients buy even if they may not use a car. But – that still doesn’t mean it’s good public policy to force everyone to buy one.

  127. Posted by Brutus

    Fedup,
    It does not matter that I rent here (I own a condo in Seattle) rather than own. Here in the good ‘ol USA, renters have the same rights as landowners. Parking requirements for places anywhere in the city have a huge impact on me for several reasons:
    1. I will buy at some point in time.
    2. I live here – congestion, pollution, etc impact me at the same levels that they impact someone who owns.
    3. Poorly planned parking regs make public transit worse, which convinces more people to drive, which makes public transit worse, etc.
    As much as you might like, you do not have to own a home to “matter” here, and not everyone who does or will own a home must own a car.

  128. Posted by james

    if memory serves, my own stupidvisor chris daly actually put up the original less than 1:1 parking legislation, didn’t he?
    brutus,
    please tell me you are not trolling here as a renter.

  129. Posted by Brutus

    James,
    I rent in San Francisco, I own in Seattle. When I find the right place, I will sell my place in Seattle and buy a place here. I don’t feel now is the right time to buy.
    Less than 1:1 parking is a part of several different plans, some of which Daly was involved with extensively, some which he wasn’t. The primary motivator in most of this was the SPUR reports of the past few years that have shown that parking increases costs significantly in new developments, as well as a general change in opinion on a national level.
    As zig mentioned, we are not the only city with plans in place to build neighborhoods with less than 1:1 parking. Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, New York, Providence, Washington DC, Savannah, Philly, Atlantic City, St. Louis, and Toronto are also either already building or are in the planning stages to build less car-dependant neighborhoods with less than 1:1 parking. Vancouver actually has stricter requirements on some developments than does New York.

  130. Posted by Jamie

    A Yes vote on this measure is a vote for more pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths.
    A Yes vote on this measure is an invitation for more commuter criminals to drive into the City and rob us, mug us, and shoot us before heading back home to the East Bay, South Peninsula, or elsewhere.
    A Yes vote on this measure will increase problems for asthmatics and others with breathing problems in the City.
    A Yes vote on this measure is a vote against the planet and the future of our children because it encourages more pollution in the air.
    As someone who lives in Rincon Hill, I know that this measure will disproportianately affect my neighborhood more than any other because of the bay bridge entry ways and close proximity to downtown offices.
    Please visit the discussion at SFCityscape.com to help us stand up for pedestrian safety, bicyclist safety, safety from criminals, health, and the environment in San Francisco.
    http://sfcityscape.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=270&sid=47525031a5bd76cf309863faf6f4cef2

  131. Posted by zig

    my goodness Jamie I don’t think you need to go here to defend zoning:
    “A Yes vote on this measure is an invitation for more commuter criminals to drive into the City and rob us, mug us, and shoot us before heading back home to the East Bay, South Peninsula, or elsewhere.”
    We have plenty of local criminals and the rest I assure you don’t pay to park in garages

  132. Posted by Gdog

    “my point was that it’s socialist to have legislation dictating anything about this. the market should be deciding, not the board of loopyvisors.”
    No! If the market is left to decide then we enter a positive feedback loop that takes us in the exact opposite direction of quick and reliable public transit. One of the main things that slows Muni to a speed far slower than I jog is all the cars in the way. That also leads to bunching up of buses. Additionally, cars are by far the major source of air pollution, and idling cars are worse than moving cars. More cars in garages = more cars on the roads. With fewer cars on the road then that means that YOU will be able to drive to, say, the Mission or Hayes Valley faster and spend less time hunting for parking.
    “not having 1:1 parking in any high rise will create a miserable situation for the owners and renters when that building sells out.”
    Not when people who are able to go car-free come to their senses and ditch their cars. That number is much higher than you think. If you only drive once a week then car sharing makes much more sense than owning a car.
    Mandating parking minimums sets an awful precedent for the future time when Muni doesn’t suck (in addition to greatly hindering its ability to not suck). In addition to the “stick” of limiting parking, there needs to be a “carrot” offered at the same time where SF does something REAL to fix Muni. Muni is nearly the slowest surface public transit in the world, there’s no reason we can’t fix it.
    As young people move into the city many will not bring cars with them. As older people retire and move out of the city they’ll take their cars with them. We won’t need all this excessive parking.

  133. Posted by Jamie

    Okay, nix commuter criminals… how about we shouldn’t be encouraging driving of cars because the oil revenue ends up supporting terrorist organizations who want to kill us.
    There is a rash of commuter criminals in San Francisco … they want a quick getaway back to Modesto too. Why not pay for parking if it is part of their “job” to rob others in the City? :) seriously… I only half kid here.

  134. Posted by zig

    I am guessing most commuter criminals come from Oakland, Richmond, Daly City, South City. Modesto is too far. Some guys who grew up in the projects and now live in places like Fairfield also come here
    I’ve know a two people who have been killed in San Francisco who grew up in Daly City (I knew them since they were little kids). Its not like you think where they are professional criminals or particularly sophisticated. We are taking about 18-20 year old kids. They are low level drug dealers who basically hang out here with gangs. Sometimes they end up getting killed

  135. Posted by anonconfused

    Gang Wars, murders, thefts, and drug dealing ALL because million dollar condos have a deeded parking space? I am at a loss to understand these comments sometimes.

  136. Posted by Jamie

    Okay, I’ll boil it down… more cars in the City equals
    1) Encouraging more oil use = more money for terrorists (big picture)
    2) More pedestrian deaths and injuries
    3) More bicyclist deaths and injuries
    4) Slower MUNI service times due to increased traffic congestion
    5) Deterioration of air quality and the environment in general
    These are the reasons to vote no on this parking measure that wants to create more parking garages in general – and there is the extra cost for building condos. Besides, how can you have vibrant street life if sidewalk is walking by parking garages instead of retail, restaurants, and parks?

  137. Posted by anonwarning

    Jamie, perhaps you would like to live in a village like Mammoth Lakes or some remote part of Maui? If you choose to live in a city, part of what you get is noise, congestion, and yes even cars, which is part of what modern urban life is all about. UNLESS you would like San Francisco to become a tourist island like the center of Rome or Venice Italy. Pretty views, good restaurants, and not a “good” job to be found for miles, but plenty of expensive second-home condo owners. I would rather have this be a vibrant place that allowed those with cars to come here to do their business which increases my business.

  138. Posted by Ranger Rick

    Okay, I’ll boil it down…more trees planted in the forest equals:
    1. Increased beaver deaths from falling trees.
    2. Increased fire hazards.
    3. Pollution when these high-density forests go up in flames.
    4. Obscured views from my log cabin.
    5. Possible pedestrian deaths (see beavers, #1).
    6. The terrorists like trees.
    These are reasons not to plant trees.

  139. Posted by Jamie

    If you want a vibrant streetlife, you should be against the parking measure on the ballot.
    A big reason why downtown San Francisco is vibrant right now is because 70%+ of the residents in this most densely populated area of the City do not own motor vehicles, according to a presentation provided by the City’s plannning department just a few minutes ago to the Supervisors Alioto-Pier and Elsbernd during a Government Audit and Oversight meeting.
    Studies performed by Tilly Chang’s group at the SFMTA show that most of the folks driving to merchants’ stores are the employees themselves …. customers go to stores via walking, bicycling, or public tranist. Those are the facts.
    The residents of San Francisco will not improve their quality of life by building more parking garages for commuters who refuse to use the very viable, safe public transit options that already exist (perhaps we need to work together to expand the hours of operation of these services?).

  140. Posted by anon

    UNLESS you would like San Francisco to become a tourist island like the center of Rome or Venice Italy. Pretty views, good restaurants, and not a “good” job to be found for miles
    Except for, you know, the hundreds of thousands of jobs a five minute walk away in the Financial District. But I know, I know, everyone needs a car for everything! I drove to brush my teeth this morning.
    I wasn’t aware that La Defense (the economic center of Paris) was a tourist spot, but it sure must be – because they severely constrict the amount of parking there! Gasp! Clearly, only Houston and Atlanta have a clue about how to build cities that people like – cause they have loads of parking and let the market decide!

  141. Posted by Jamie

    Thanks Ranger Rick, but perhaps if you’re 70-something year old mother was run over by a car on 19th Avenue, you wouldn’t be so glib about pedestrian safety.

  142. Posted by Ranger Rick

    Um, sorry about your loss. Obviously I’m not aware of your particular situation but now i see why you’re so devout about the whole no-car thing. I have to say that you are stretching with some of your listed reasons and they may detract attention from your main focus which seems to be pedestrian safety.
    With regards to the parking space argument, I walk to work. I also have a deeded parking space for my personal car. I wouldn’t buy another place without parking for the reasons others have listed above. I don’t advocate massive public parking garages downtown. My feeling is that if building 1:1 works out to be a benefit for a developer in their pro forma, so be it. There are plenty of incentives (such as LEED points which are becoming a reality, Arterra) that make the reduction of parking spaces attractive to a developer. It’s darned expensive to build underground parking so many will seek to reduce parking because it doesn’t pay off if there isn’t a demand. Developers with vision and the means to build in downtown SF, with all the oversight and restrictions should be up on the latest trends in urban planning and know how to accomplish this. They wouldn’t want to build faceless buildings with the first floor as parking, they would know how to work first floor retail into the façade and incorporate parking in other ways. Parking for residents in new developments doesn’t mean a lack of a neighborhood or pedestrian-friendly streetscapes.

  143. Posted by Anonlurker

    When I got out of college, I got a job here in the city and bought a new german convertible to go along with my new salary. The first day I was here in the city, I was driving with the top down, stopped at the intersection of Post and Powell and a woman came up to me and told me that “You ought to be ashamed of yourself”. What a strange place! She went on to lecture me about cars, smog, and starving people, while I “took more than I deserved from Mother Earth”. I should have known then that this is not a city of freedom, but quite the opposite, in that it is narrow minded, judgemental, and full of people who want to tell me how I should live, and what choices I should have. May I ask the car haters to worry about their own lives not mine. My car only comes out on weekends, and last year I only put 5,000 miles on it since I now work from home. I might be using less of the planet’s resources than someone who rides the bus 14 miles every day.

  144. Posted by anon

    Ranger Rick,
    You are 100% correct in your assessment, which is why you should vote no on this nasty ballot trash coming up. It would take all choice away from the developers on the amount of parking needed and force them to build 1:1 and encourage massive garages to be built downtown (new office buildings would have five times the amount of parking as now).

  145. Posted by Brutus

    Anonlurker,
    My distaste for this parking measure has very, very, very little to do with any environmental problems caused by cars. It has to do with the fact that it eliminates choices and moves planning from the planners to the ballot box. As Jamie mentioned, there are also serious safety issues – garages would no longer have to be configured to open on side streets, but could now open right onto a busy pedestrian street. Garages could open directly at bus stops. It essentially takes away rights of pedestrians – if you don’t want people messing with your right to drive, I should have a right to walk on a safe sidewalk.

  146. Posted by Gdog

    “I would rather have this be a vibrant place that allowed those with cars to come here to do their business which increases my business.”
    I’m pretty sure this is just wrong. I read recently that businesses inside the London Congestion Charging zone grew at a faster rate than those outside the zone. Do people on buses or on foot not shop? How many people/customers choose against going into SF because they don’t want to sit in traffic? When I lived on the Peninsula I would often not come to SF because of traffic. Get the cars off the roads so traffic can flow and Muni can run on time.

  147. Posted by Kenton

    A lot of the comments here are addressed by this very thourough document from the planning department:
    http://www.livablecity.org/campaigns/Appeal_Response.pdf
    If you read this and are still convinced Measure D is a good idea… well, I guess won’t know what to say.

  148. Posted by redseca2

    Buy a unit in the middle of a SOMA area where none of the developments have parking and the meagre on-street parking is impossible.
    Have irksome relatives from the ‘burbs who stop coming because they will only visit if they can self-park for free or next to nothing.
    Priceless.

  149. Posted by Jamie

    My example of the senior citizen being hit (and killed) by a car on 19th Avenue came from the newspaper – her name was Alice Wallace and she was 83 years old. You can read one eyewitness account here if you’re interested: http://www.examiner.com/a-775877~Eyewitness_to_tragedy_on_19th_Avenue.html
    However, it could have been anybody’s mom …
    The desire to have cars has a lot to do with the value of time. I agree that time is priceless – that’s why I bought a place that is a 10 minute walk away from my job in the Financial District.
    As it stands now, we have cars driving excessively fast with impatient drivers often breaking traffic laws, putting everybody at risk. I was almost hit just a few minutes ago trying to cross Battery Street (with full traffic signal permissino to do so), and drivers on Bush just couldn’t stand to sit and let me cross the street before charging towards me. If we put more cars on the streets, will that make drivers more patient and safer drivers? hardly.

  150. Posted by james

    from chris daly’ blog:
    # Chris Daly Says:
    July 23rd, 2007 at 9:16 am
    I completely agree about the importance of defeating that parking measure, Jamie. This is clearly downtown getting back for the C-3 parking limits that I originally authored. Community stakeholders will be meeting this week to discuss our strategy to defeat this measure. I can email you the information on that meeting.

  151. Posted by Jamie

    Fabulous!

  152. Posted by james

    parking is a real problem in our hood, south beach. we can’t get neighborhood permits here and the giants ushers abuse all our metered parking with illegally granted handicapped placards which they use for 12 hours of free parking whenever there’s a game.
    i’m not suggesting this proposition is the answer but it sure seems to be sparking a dialog, which is a good thing, about what to do with the lack of parking in certain parts of the city.

  153. Posted by Brutus

    James,
    What we need to fix parking like yours is market priced meters and market priced neighborhood parking permits (and the addition of permits in your area for any spot that is not metered). Meters that could go to $15 an hour on game days would help with parking in your hood, and permits costing $1000 a year could really help with parking in places like the Haight or Mission.
    A crackdown on anyone using handicapped placards ilegally is also a no-brainer – $500 first infraction fines and loss of $2500 second infraction would do the trick.
    Let’s let the market fix the parking problem, not mandates.

  154. Posted by Brutus

    James,
    What we need to fix parking like yours is market priced meters and market priced neighborhood parking permits (and the addition of permits in your area for any spot that is not metered). Meters that could go to $15 an hour on game days would help with parking in your hood, and permits costing $1000 a year could really help with parking in places like the Haight or Mission.
    A crackdown on anyone using handicapped placards ilegally is also a no-brainer – $500 first infraction fines and $2500 second infraction would do the trick.
    Let’s let the market fix the parking problem, not mandates.

  155. Posted by sarcasticsam

    I think we should ban all future developements from having two sinks in the master bathroom. How DARE they have two sinks when they only need one? Even though I have two sinks in my master bath myself, I feel that I should be able to control the choices and lifestyle of new buyers of property in the city. It is my “right” as a San Franciscan, even if I have only lived here for 2 years to be able to tell other people how they should live. Oh, by the way, did I tell you I rent?

  156. Posted by james

    good stuff. the handicapped placard abuse is affecting us all, btw. the parking downtown used to be metered and usable all day, everyday, before they zoned it all loading zones only to stop the abusive handicapped placards parking all day for free.
    i have no problem with them parking for the 1 hour allotted but after that, they should get ticketed or towed. how about adding that to this parking proposition?
    i’d support that in a second.

  157. Posted by sarcasticsam checker

    thanks for adding nothing to the debate [Removed by Editor]. parking is something that affects everyone, sinks are obviously not.

  158. Posted by cb650

    Quality public transportation (or lack thereof) should be the real focus here. In living in SF in various neighborhoods over the last 11 years, it has been 2x faster to drive and 5x faster to ride my motorcycle than to take public transport. Not to mention, the state of public transport is appalling. Standing room only, with half-chewed on chicken bones under the seat. Are you frekin’ kidding me? This is the alternative? I’ll pass, thanks!
    If Muni was clean, uncrowded and on-time, I would take it more. But right now I would much prefer riding the moto or even being stuck in traffic in a german car-coon. As is the case 95% of the time, people are trying to fix symptoms rather than the problem. If the problem is too many cars downtown, then build an awesome subway system (not buses!) and charge a congestion fee in downtown for non-residents of that area. When hundreds of thousands of cars come from out of town to SF each day, building a couple thousand fewer parking spots ain’t going to to jack squat to reduce traffic. Dream on!!!

  159. Posted by redseca2

    cb650,
    I hear you. I live in the upper Haight on Ashbury and work near 5th and Market. Co-workers from the East Bay as far away as El Cerrito beat me to work when it is BART (for them) versus SF MUNI (6, 7 or 71) for me.
    Like you, my epiphany and salvation has been the Moto. Puts in right back in SF circa 1957 for travel times.
    My own MUNI suggestion is to seperate the two communities MUNI tries to serve with each vehicel, and have FREE buses and $2 or $3 buses running the same route. Of course there will be a Peet’s Coffee on the pay buses, and complementary NY Times.

  160. Posted by cb650 checker

    So, cb650, I suppose you have an idea on where to find the $20 billion bucks it would take to build a decent subway system here?
    I’m all for the congestion charge though – but it doesn’t have an ice cream cones chance in hell because it too would be considered “anti-car”.

  161. Posted by anontransitlover

    Where is L.A. getting the money for theirs? I read recently in the Chronicle that they have now moved beyond the bay area in the number of miles of rail transit lines now constructed (both above and underground). But, please, let’s not get into an L.A. vs. SF. thing over which is more “world class”. Chicago (another favorite city on this site for raised tempers) is actually rebuilding EVERY ONE of their subway stations at the moment (new escalators, interiors, benches, bathrooms, etc.)
    My point is that cities can make transit a priority, and with all of the high income earneing San Francisco residents, many of which do not have children, you would think the city could find money somewhere to help fix Muni, and maybe build a new subway line or two. In the meantime, I do not think it is reasonable to expect many people to give up their cars.

  162. Posted by Dan

    LA is building rail lines, but they are also building garage parking.
    Next to the subway stop at Hollywood and Vine, a 1000 unit apartment complex is being built over a 2700 car garage!
    http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/la-fi-pantages18jul18,0,3189798.story?coll=la-home-middleright

  163. Posted by anon

    LA County – 10 million residents, very large percentage of total metro area.
    SF County – less than a million residents, very small percentage of total metro area.
    LA can tax every resident in the county and put rail transit where it is best needed. The Bay Area taxes several counties through BART, but cannot put BART where it is most needed (more lines in SF), because Alameda, CoCo, etc scream about them paying taxes and not getting service. That’s why we have BART to Pittsburg (!?!?!) but not a subway on Geary.

  164. Posted by anon

    anon @ 8:41 is right. In the Bay Area, the city residents subsidize the burbs – always has been this way.

  165. Posted by Jamie

    I’m afraid the retiree healthcare obligations of the City and County are going to be quite the drain on money in the City.

  166. Posted by AdamSmith

    Wow, imagine those crazy people down in Los Angeles! They are building new subways, and having housing and parking located above and next to the subway statioins. How could they do that down there? To actually give people the choice of whether to use the car, or walk or take public transit goes against everything we believe in up here in the magical city by the bay. The San Francisco way is to try to control the market and people’s choices, whether it be new housing construction, rents, and whether or not people even get to have parking when spending a million dollars on a one bedroom shoebox we can show those in the South that the best thing to do is limit choices, create hardship, and stop the free market from creating new housing and transportation options.

  167. Posted by AdamSmith checker

    So, AdamSmith, you would like SF to be more like LA. Noted…

  168. Posted by AdamSmith

    Nope. And please, could we keep away from the “S.F. vs. L.A.” and S.F. vs. Chicago” debates.
    I thought this was about urban policy and I believe the density of San Francisco was NOT casued be urban planners, but instead by the existing landscape and economic conditions of the area. We have water on 3 sides, and mountains to the south, AND, although this could have become Pebble Beach, it became a city because of the gold rush. What created the city that we love is a group of people who came here with nothing and had the FREEDOM to create without planners a “Dream City”. I believe some of the best architecture is done without planners input, and as for Los Angeles, good for them for allowing greater density, parking, and neighborhoods to develope around new subway lines. I am for a free market, period. Buyers will rush to quality, and bad designed housing would fail in a free enviroment.

  169. Posted by anon

    Perhaps we should dust off those Panhandle Freeway plans. Free marketers love freeways!
    By the way – why is the free market only valid when it comes to parking? Shouldn’t builders get to build any height, bulk of building that they want? Shouldn’t they have to build the roads coming to their buildings? The freeways? The subways?

  170. Posted by zig

    Once again Adam Smith conveniently ignores the downtown plan which resulted in the Financial District we have now (this wasn’t part of pre WWII SF). A big part of this was bringing in BART and restricting parking; all planned. Each individual developer would have benefited greatly from increasing parking in his building yet the external effects of this (think of the spatial effects alone) would have be greatly detrimental to the health of this little city.
    Would you have supported a more free market approach to this? How about parking lots around grocery stores and fast food restaurants in the neighborhoods?

  171. Posted by AdamSmith

    Zig, without the “downtown plan” this city had already had a “downtown” pre WW2. I think what would have happened after the war is that Market Street would have continued its reign as THE street in the city and over time been lined with towers from the Castro to the Ferry building. Instead, buildings and offices moved away from Market into the financial district.
    As for cars, look, who wants freeways? Not me.
    I think the anti-car people are actually rather anti-urban. Their complaints about cars sound more like complaints about city life itself. (noise, congestion, pollution, etc.) Why not instead help to promote alternative fuels and technologies to make cars quiet and less harmful to the enviroment? The best way to get cars off the streets is to fix MUNI and expand BART. BTW, when I lived in London I never owned a car because that city DOES have amazing public transportation.

  172. Posted by zig

    “…over time been lined with towers from the Castro to the Ferry building”
    Is this a good thing? High rises sounded by parking lots?
    You’re kidding yes? The neighborhoods would have never allowed such a thing…. or is this is a a complete libertarian fantasy where there is no zoning at all? Office space was doubled in the FD with little to no parking built. What you envision is more like what Houston looks like. I am guessing if it has come to pass you would have never moved here

  173. Posted by Adam Smith

    No, what I envision is what Banham wrote about, and that was the developement of LONDON. (His book on Los Angeles is required reading in Architecture School btw) Go figure. London is boulevards with housing behind. London is an unplanned mess, and yet it is GLORIOUS! I am also a fan of Rem Koolhaus and his book “Delirious New York” which talks about the magic of Manhattan is that it is NOT planned. There is a school of design critics who believe sometimes the most exciting results are not “planned”. I will take Hong Kong, London, and New York over the new Octavia any day. What will we do without the government telling us how to live?! Getting back to Banham, you must remember that cities like Los Angeles are very young and not “finished” yet (The Architecture of Four Ecologies), but I would bet you that if we could come back in 100 years, the Westside of L.A. will be far more pedestrian friendly and “urban” than any part of San Francisco.
    The BEST things about San Francisco were not planned! Telegraph Hill would have NEVER happened. How about the way our streets do not take into account the topography of the hills, but just shoot straight up them. Tourists flock here because of how glorious the whole UNPLANNED fabric of this city is. Victorians next to high rises, next to churches next to restaurants.
    Go to William Stour Architectural Books and see how many books show the faults of urban planning vs. the benefits. Planners are the enemy of good design.

  174. Posted by Adam Smith

    Now, I would give up my car if we did what Paris is doing. Paris FIRST fixed Public Transportation, and then SECOND, they began squeezing cars out of the their city. You can’t force people to give up cars until you give them another way to get around and San Francisco has a long way to go towards being able to get around this city easily and quickly on public transportation.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/26/opinion/26thu4.html?em&ex=1185595200&en=eb1641fd6b6f481d&ei=5087

  175. Posted by james

    you are so right adam. peskin sabotaged the muni reform we so desperately needed to head the rational parking measure off at the pass that legally gathered enough signatures to go before the voters. how sad is that?

  176. Posted by anon

    Um, no. Peskin is hoping that the “parking garages everywhere!” groups won’t sabotage the Muni reform bill.

  177. Posted by james

    where are you anti parking folks coming from? the current resolution says 1 spot per 4 in all these new developments. every developer has to get a variance to build 1 to 1. the new proposed law would allow them to build 3 for 4. what is your problem?

  178. Posted by anon

    james- you really need to read the proposed new law. Your facts about the one small section of the law are correct, but you’re not mentioning the other aspects of it, like allowing businesses and office buildings downtown to build 600% more parking! Gridlock here we come!

  179. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Luckily, the pro-parking folks got crushed two to one on this absurd ordinance that would have required everyone to subsidize their habit.

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