November 13, 2013
If Off-Street Parking Is Limited, Should On-Street Parking Be Limited As Well?
The construction of a four-story building with 13 new residential units and no off-street parking spaces on the undeveloped parcel of land at 468 Clementina has just been approved for development down in SoMa between 5th and 6th streets.
While one school of thought believes that building without off-street parking in San Francisco results in fewer cars on the road and more affordable housing, others believe it simply forces more cars out onto the streets and increases congestion as cars are shuffled between on-street parking spaces. And it leads to a neighbor's wondering: "Is there a way we can make sure those buying these units on Clementina Street will be exempt from applying for Residential Parking Permits?"
If a building is approved for development with a limited number of parking spaces in San Francisco, should the number of on-street parking permits for its residents be limited as well?
First Published: November 13, 2013 8:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I love it. Should this happen, it will now be a crime to park your own car in front of where you live.
Posted by: Mystery Realtor at November 13, 2013 8:49 AM
Beyond ridiculous idea.
My main problem is not so much discouraging driving, but with San Francisco's utter refusal to live in reality. Do you want people to take public transport? Instead of investing in an efficient system that people want to take, let's make it so people can't have cars as an alternative and then have to take our inferior product!
People in this city will complain about anything. Too much off street parking, THE TRAFFIC! Too little, THE PARKING NIGHTMARE! Can we stop caving to a populace (to be fair, a very vocal minority of the populace) who is not bothering to educate themselves or think of the future, and instead relying on misguided fear (at best) or manipulation to selfishly keep their neighborhood they way "they" want it (at worst)?
Posted by: JWS at November 13, 2013 9:04 AM
Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster) at November 13, 2013 9:06 AM
I guess I understand the neighbors' "I got mine so screw you" attitude. but, of course, they have it backwards. Public street parking is a public asset that should benefit the public. Permit prices should be far higher than they are currently, as they just amount to a public give-away to car owners.
I have a garage, but readily pay the cheap $109 fee ($9/month -- 30 cents/day) so I can park on the street and have someone else use my garage space when visiting. Silly. An auction would make the most sense.
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 9:08 AM
Just like rent control- I got here first, so screw the rest of you! How about raising permit fees to market prices and allowing people to buy all day visitor parking passed online for residential neighborhoods to tape in the driver window? Parking permits could apply in all neighborhoods by the price would depend on demand - so say $10 per year to park in park side, but $600 or whatever to park on the street in Russian Hill. Give the proceeds to contracted transit services instead of Muni.
Posted by: CAB at November 13, 2013 9:13 AM
@anon: do these permits let you bypass metered spots? I feel like around 18th and mission where I live, trying to find unmetered parking is so futile, I don't even bother trying to free up my garage space for people visiting because I can never pull it off. I just have them park in a nearby structure on 16th. The spots on 18th are all metered with dynamic pricing during day light hours and parking there is more expensive than parking in the nearby structure...
Posted by: chitrana at November 13, 2013 9:23 AM
This does not seem entirely ridiculous to me. It is consistent with building units that do not contain parking. Street parking is a shared resource. Units that do not have their own parking are likely unfairly to monopolize street parking.
I also think that limitations on parking except in a few neighborhoods will increase congestion, not the reverse. For the most part, San Francisco is simply not a city where it is possible to live without a car.
Posted by: Anon at November 13, 2013 9:36 AM
chitrana, no I can't park free in metered spots. But parking in my neighborhood (duboce triangle) is not terrible most days, and there are no meters. So I have my garage, the space in front of it, and then for $109/yr a spot on the street if I so choose. Three parking spots in a busy city - not bad.
I like CAB's proposal. I would probably pay up to about $250/yr for the street permit just for the night or two a month when a guest needs to be able to park. Others in this neighborhood with no garage (or street spot in front of it) would easily pay far more.
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 9:38 AM
I used to live in an old apartment building that was thirty yards off of Clementina Street. The six-unit building had zero off-street parking. Seems it was quite common place in the past to build apartments without off-street parking in this area. But I guess it was okay for us to get residential parking permits and not new buildings because, um, well, logically, city's full, no newcomers welcome!
Posted by: Rillion at November 13, 2013 9:39 AM
In the core of SF we just need to make it impossible to park on the street overnight with no parking regulations 2am-6am
The problem is then fixed as neighborhoods will not feel they own public space on the street and people will not choose to live downtown if they need a car without off-street parking
Posted by: Zig at November 13, 2013 9:46 AM
"For the most part, San Francisco is simply not a city where it is possible to live without a car."
For much of it's history it was in fact a city you could live in without a car. Many of my relatives did it both well off and poor. My uncle was a corporate lawyer and had no car for decades. He just took the J downtown and rented cars. Not that hard to un
Posted by: zig at November 13, 2013 9:55 AM
In this flat neighborhood bicycle transport is truly viable. This kind of infill development is exactly what the city needs. Walk to Costco, walk to Target. Who would want to park a car on the street in that neighborhood, anyway?
Posted by: Pioneer at November 13, 2013 9:55 AM
Um, the correct answer is simply to market price on-street parking permits.
Why are we even having this discussion with such an obvious fix?
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 10:16 AM
What is startling with the zealots who have actually infiltrated Planning and the SFMTA is their arrogance. They are so immature and rude in their dealings with the people affected by their schemes du jour that I have seen tax paying, decent citizens reduced to fury, tears, etc. All because some fool with no idea what he's talking about is overseeing massive changes to neighborhoods he knows nothing about -- and he sees the people who live there as an inconvenience -- rather than his employer. Well guess what. The EMPLOYERS are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore from the zealots.
Posted by: Arrivi$te at November 13, 2013 10:44 AM
Reminds me of the article in the chron from forever ago, about how Danielle Steele had about 20 Permits for her address. Even though there is quite a bit of parking at her house.
Posted by: BDB at November 13, 2013 10:54 AM
Yes, anon, that would be a very logical system. But how do you define "market"? An auction system? Flexible prices decided by the SFMTA every year? It could be tricky to set up and even trickier to make it a really fair system.
If we ever set up a system like this, expect more pitchforks in the Mission, because prices will increase due to the high demand / current gentrification. An engineer can afford $2000/year for his car, but not a burger flipper.
This will make permits unaffordable to the less affluent who are already quite vocal about the changes forcing them out of "their" neighborhood. The ones who have car-dependent activities will have a big wake-up call.
When living in Santa Barbara, much of the cheap labor was driving from Lompoc or Oxnard. With gas around $1/gallon in the late 90s, it was viable. Then gas more than tripled and they couldn't fill the positions at McD or Wendy's and had to raise the wages.
Posted by: lol at November 13, 2013 10:58 AM
Personally I'd conduct a "census" of the number of parking spots in each zone. Then auction off 90% of those each year, with the remaining spots available to sell throughout the year at a pro-rated amount +25%.
As far as "fairness" goes, if subsidies or other distortions were needed after the auction, that's fine, just keep the auction free of those.
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 11:23 AM
My experience is that the real parking nightmare is in the evening when cars come and go less. I think it would be legitimate to ban overnight parking by non-residents (residents could get a limited "guest permit" to loan to their guests). That's how it's done in Cambridge Mass (and many other places). As for letting the market dictate the price, perhaps each address could get just one permit for the current cost (or a bit higher) and any additional permits are sold at a market rate or highly enhanced fee. Heck, why not make the fee variable based on the length of the car.
Posted by: wonkster at November 13, 2013 11:31 AM
What they need to do is limit the amount of permits one can buy per building. So annoying people with no garage have 3 cars parked on the street for a SFH. Also annoying are the people with a two car garage full of crap parking 3 cars on the street. These people are also the first to complain about any new development that does not have over a 1:1 ratio of units to parking because newcomers will take "their" spots.
Posted by: S at November 13, 2013 11:40 AM
Set a target of permits sold for each zone that created a desired car to spot ratio and set the price accordingly. Adjust the price over time as necessary. It's not rocket science. It would improve congestion, improve street safety, and have no impact on people not owning cars, who are most of the low income population.
Posted by: CAB at November 13, 2013 11:47 AM
This same issue exists in Upper Market with all of the new buildings under construction and recently finished. The Market Octavia plan which was approved several years ago reduced the amount of parking that developers are allowed to build to a .5:1 ratio (one parking spot for every two units.) (Technically it's possible to get up to .75:1 approved, but anything over .5:1 spaces requires significant extenuating circumstances, and I don't believe that any of the projects that have tried to get more than .5:1 have been successful.)
The rationale behind this drastically reduced parking mandate was to reduce the number of cars being added to our roads. No parking, in theory, leads to no cars. But the new residents of these buildings are eligible to buy street parking permits and compete for precious spaces on the inner blocks of the adjacent neighborhoods, completely defeating the intent of the reduced parking cap, and essentially punishing the existing area residents, who suddenly have hundreds more cars competing for "their" spaces.
Of course, MTA will sell parking passes until the cows come home, there is no cap on those — and no relation to the actual number of spaces available.
To me, this is unfair and goes against the transit-first policy which inspired the parking limits. But Sup. Wiener doesn't seem interested in solving the problem (residents of these new buildings with intentionally limited parking could be made ineligible to purchase street parking permits, thereby ensuring that residents who don't have parking would basically be unable to own a car; they'd have to rely on transit and car share, which is exactly what was intended).
Posted by: Dubocian at November 13, 2013 12:20 PM
So the poor, or relatively poor, must buy or rent an apartment without a garage, and now the oligarchs can torture them further by restricting their rights to an on-street permit.
These policies pose as leftist but they have the same effect as those of the extreme right. We are richer and better than you are.
Common sense would allow parking in the building to get the cars off the street.
This has been discussed countless times on socketsite, directly, ironically, wittily or not -- so it must be that no one is listening or if they are, they intend to continue this policy.
Note that the rich, whether they live on Russian Hill or nowadays in the MIssion, all have garages, and always will, forever and ever, amen.
As Marie Antoinette did or did not say, "Let them ride bikes."
Posted by: conifer at November 13, 2013 12:24 PM
Ridiculous policy. It's been ably demonstrated that a significant portion of urban traffic is simply people driving looking for a space to park - if they had off-street parking, they'd get off the street right away and not create more "traffic".
And even if 12 of the 13 units are filled with non-car-owners (a ludicrously high ratio, compared to reality!) then that's 1 more car on the street that this building will generate. Developers should be *required* to have *at least* 1 space per 2 units - not have that be the maximum.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 13, 2013 12:35 PM
Since private parking space rent for $200+ per month, the poor would probably rather save that money and get a cheaper apartment.
Now private parking spaces typically cost $50,000+ to build, so if you are poor you'd probably rather not pay $50,000+ dollars extra to buy a parking space
And if they are really poor they can't afford a car anyway, or you cant' afford the high cost of living so you leave SF entirely. So they are probably really annoyed at all these rich folks forcing them to having parking spaces they can't afford, thus increasing their cost of living.
Given that the poor are far more likely to not own a car, depend on public transit, and that parking and driving are highly subsidized, the poor are not the beneficiaries of the American addiction to driving.
The claims that the poor are hurt by limited parking is a joke. The higher you are on the social ladder, the more you benefit from auto subsidies. Conversely, the lower you are on the ladder, the more you are hurt by them.
You are welcome to want to keep your subsidized parking, but don't pretend that you are looking out for the interests of the downtrodden.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 12:36 PM
"Public street parking is a public asset that should benefit the public. Permit prices should be far higher than they are currently, as they just amount to a public give-away to car owners."
I agree. All parking in the city should be metered in busy areas and by MONTHLY permit in less busy areas. Monthly permits should begin at the exact same price as monthly MUNI fastpasses. Street parking belongs to the city and should be making money for the city. If you can't afford the parking, sell your car.
Posted by: moz at November 13, 2013 12:38 PM
"It's been ably demonstrated that a significant portion of urban traffic is simply people driving looking for a space to park"
The answer is approaches like SF Park, which price parking at the market rate, thus leading to an average of 1 available spot per block at all times.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 12:41 PM
"Developers should be *required* to have *at least* 1 space per 2 units"
Interesting, since for decades parking minimums have been double that and we haven't yet reached parking utopia. Perhaps parking minimums are not the solution to all our problems... Perhaps we should try a market based approach...
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 12:45 PM
OMG! NO!!! You don't own your street parking space!
I don't have a garage. I don't own a car. (Yes, it's possible in SF.) I don't get to take up 200 sq ft of PUBLIC space (the street) to store my ugly, broke down $#!& for free. You don't have the God-given right to do so either!
Posted by: extra at November 13, 2013 12:46 PM
"So the poor, or relatively poor, must buy or rent an apartment without a garage, and now the oligarchs can torture them further by restricting their rights to an on-street permit."
Oh yes, lets think of the poor. Lets make sure that their housing is more expensive by including parking. Lets encourage them to spend their scarce funds on one of the most expensive modes of ground transport.
The rich will always have easier access to expensive things. And parking in dense, popular, and expensive cities is ... expensive.
As for lack of parking leading to congestion, that's easily solved with market pricing as others have noted. Just phase in the RPP cost increases over time so people have time to adjust and adapt.
This really boils down to the question of growth. The dense parts of SF have plenty of room to add more people but have reached their limits in auto-dedicated street capacity. Those in the 1-1 parking camp are really anti-growth because natural street congestion will eventually snuff out the room for further growth long before reaching the limits of making more space for people. It doesn't matter whether the parking is underground or not, those cars still need the street network to get around.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 13, 2013 12:47 PM
There's an easy way to obtain an efficient allocation of parking permits while protecting vested interests: the city would determine the number of permits per residential parking zone, divide that number by the number of existing residential permits in the zone, and award "parking permit credits" in the same proportion to each existing holder of a residential permit. The permit credits would be freely transferable. To obtain a parking permit, you would simply have to show the city that you own a corresponding number of credits.
Unlike rent control, this would protected "insiders" and old timers without gross market distortions going forward.
Posted by: observant neighbor at November 13, 2013 12:53 PM
"In this flat neighborhood bicycle transport is truly viable." --Pioneer
In the past three months alone, two bicyclists in SoMa have been struck and killed by vehicles, one by a bus (October 18) and another by a semi-truck (August 14). With such a high fatality rate in this area, I don't agree with your characterization.
Posted by: Tim Bracken at November 13, 2013 1:02 PM
^^^ Tim, that's a great case to limit the number of motor vehicles on the street since they are the cause of the lethal danger.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 13, 2013 1:19 PM
@Milkshake of Despair
I'm sure you're right about fewer cars on the roads leading to fewer collisions with bicycles and fewer fatalities. (Though note that the two vehicles that struck and killed those bicyclists in SoMa were not cars but a bus and a semi-truck).
Will building more buildings with zero parking achieve such a traffic reduction? I don't know. Judging from this site, there's a lot of disagreement on that point. All I'm saying is that I'm not so sanguine about the "it's fine, the residents of 468 Clementina can just bike everywhere" argument, given two dead bicyclists in SoMa in just the past three months.
Posted by: Tim Bracken at November 13, 2013 1:48 PM
And also how many pedestrians? Are we going to discourage walking because of pedestrian fatalities?
The answer is quite easy: make sure motorized vehicles do not prevent other means of transportation. This means a better distribution of the street space, better public transit options, etc...
But saying we should not encourage cycling is akin to saying that we shouldn't discourage smoking because someone who gives up smoking is likely to fall into a food addiction. That wouldn't be a problem if we didn't have that problem to begin with and our world has to be built so that it doesn't encourage undesired behavior.
Posted by: lol at November 13, 2013 1:54 PM
"If a building is approved for development with a limited number of parking spaces in San Francisco, should the number of on-street parking permits for its residents be limited as well?"
No, this is anti-American
Posted by: Spencer at November 13, 2013 2:07 PM
Why can't we just have 13 spaces of off street parking provided with this development?
Posted by: Willow at November 13, 2013 2:24 PM
Why can't we just let the developer build what they want?
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 2:28 PM
1:1 parking should be in the building.
Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 2:45 PM
People who live in the SOMA may want a car to get on the freeway to work down the Penninsula. Not all of them want Caltrain or the big bus.
Posted by: noe mom at November 13, 2013 2:47 PM
lol nailed it. SF will NEVER implement a sensible plan to price the very valuable public asset of public street parking at an appropriate price. This is because any good mechanism to discover the market price (like an auction) will be met with howls from various interests who want some other mechanism, and anything that results in raising the price will be met with further howls of "unfair to deny cars to the poor and make it so only the rich can park!"
So I will continue accepting my annual share of this public give-away, getting a very underpriced annual permit - although I suppose I'm "giving something back" by parking the car in my own garage most of the time.
As for the car/bike/walk/public transit discussion, my family and I use all four of these modes just about every day. But there is no way I would give up our car -- simply a necessity in SF for anyone whose time is worth something to them. Very glad I have a garage plus two other parking spots so I can avoid the parking headaches.
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 3:08 PM
I look forward to the completion of this zero parking building, and the similar projects under way, or soon to be constructed, as well as the many less than 1:1 parking ratio buildings.
I'm happy to see the successful market based parking programs like SF Park spreading across the city.
It's good to see SF moving in the right direction of less subsidies for drivers.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 3:16 PM
If you don't want cars parking on your "public ASSet" then you need to allow them to park in a private off street parking space. Restricting off street parking in new residential projects, and then complaining that cars are using "valuable" street space for parking is bizarre logic.
Posted by: Huh? at November 13, 2013 3:19 PM
In tokyo, you can't even own a car much less park one if you don't also own a parking space. Looks like we're heading to a new reality.
Posted by: Rincon Hill Billy at November 13, 2013 3:23 PM
The "free market" and "SF public policy" are like matter and anti-matter. Both exist, but when they meet each other, impossible-to-predict-and-control consequences ensue.
As new developments are built with less off-street parking spaces than the number of cars owned by the building's residents, parking nightmares will ensue. Perhaps many neighborhood residents will throw in the towel and get rid of their cars. BUT, when they have numerous errands to run and can't complete them via Muni, more efficient taxi services (perhaps like Uber car) will sprout up as a free market solution. And then....
I can see the luminary SF planners doing what Hollande did in Paris, where parking is impossible, and taxi service is a 20-minute wait after you call for one. A new business popped up - I guess similar to Uber car (I'm not real familiar with how Uber car works), but in Paris, this new business allowed people to use their mobile phone to place an online request a ride from point A to point B - and was so efficient that these new "taxis" were arriving within a minute or two!
This led the existing inefficient taxi services to be "outraged", and they got a new regulation enacted - these new "taxis", once they got their request for a pick-up (and could be there within a minute or two) were, BY LAW, required to wait 15 minutes before picking up their rider, thus making them as inefficient as the entrenched taxi companies.
I have no doubt that SF can match their idiocy.
Posted by: jeremy at November 13, 2013 3:25 PM
The proposed Folsom & Rausch project takes away a significantly sized parking lot. Where will those cars go? On the street.
Posted by: Gary Keim at November 13, 2013 3:33 PM
1 parent +1 toddler + 4 grocery bags - 1 car = HELL
Posted by: Jane at November 13, 2013 3:42 PM
1 parent + 1 child + 4 grocery bags - 1 car + 1 xtracycle = JOY
Posted by: Justin at November 13, 2013 3:52 PM
In reality, it seems to be a fairly small group here and in the public realm whose opinions are reaching a fever pitch regarding cars/driving/parking.
This is a relatively "new" phenomena, that of harassing, degrading, and deriding those who choose to own a car here in SF, or need a car here. People here, similar to certain types in Manhattan LOVE to tell people how to live.
Guess what? I don't care. Cars are not going away. Traffic runs reasonably well across the city. Yes, we have some traffic jams, sometime. I don't see those cars ALL OVER SF being replaced anytime soon by more bikes, walking, public transit, donkey, rickshaw, rocket sled, or any other type of motorized contraption.
What seems to be important is to make vehicles, bikes, walking and public transit work in a safe, smooth, efficient way, giving people choices.
And yes, creating the BEST public transit system in the country would be amazing here. Possible?
I'm not sure.
Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 4:00 PM
@jeremy - I assume you support a free market in the building of parking then? In other words, in the 85% of the city where 1:1 parking is required, developers would be allowed to build less if desired?
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 4:00 PM
I routinely carry both children and four bags of groceries from Trader Joe's on 9th Street to my home in Upper Noe. I really don't see how this can be such a big problem for people.
30% of San Francisco residents survive without a car, so it must be possible. I did it myself for 15 years.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 13, 2013 4:04 PM
The answer to the problem is to stop this ridiculous policy of not having at least one space per unit. Just like rent control, it artifically drives up the price of parking. Build better public transportation and more people will take it, but not everyone, even if the train stoped in front of their house and dropped them off in front of their office. Besides, a car parked in a garage does not necessarily mean that its owner doesn't use public transportation--it may just mean that they want to own a car for travel on the weekends, like I do.
Posted by: MoneyMan at November 13, 2013 4:08 PM
^that's hilarious. The city not forcing 1:1 parking "artificially" drives up the cost of parking.
Someone needs to take an economics course.
Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 4:19 PM
Carrying TWO children and FOUR bags of groceries? Is this some sort of joke NVJ, or is your alias the naked BART station acrobat? A YouTube video of you carrying all of this at the same time would be a hit! "San Franciscan will do anything not to be seen in a car!"
Why NoeValleyJim would you try to carry two kids and all those groceries when you also own a car? Does the wife not let you use the car or are you just too ashamed to be seen driving one of those "death machines"? The shame!
Posted by: 7 x 7 at November 13, 2013 4:21 PM
"And yes, creating the BEST public transit system in the country would be amazing here. Possible?
I'm not sure."
Me neither. But I am sure that the obstacles between the status quo and a world-class transit system are political and neither economic nor technical.
I'm also sure that making space for more cars in a dense area works directly against improving transit service. Increased street congestion degrades surface (bus, tram) service which is the majority of the city's transit. The worse you make transit the more you increase demand for private autos and the death spiral continues. The ways out are:
1. massive efforts to build an underground subway network. Nice idea, but needs a lot more political support to make happen. No the Central Subway doesn't really count for much.
2. constrain and control the number of vehicles on the street. There are many ways to accomplish this and market rate parking is one. The status quo is basically free street parking for most of the city.
... oh wait, one other possibility:
3. make it more attractive and comfortable for people to get around under their own steam. Build denser neighborhoods (parking works against this), create bike facilities, solve traffic issues which endanger pedestrians. This is one of the cheapest ways to make streets flow smoother for transit. And it is also complementary with transit, especially walking. All you need is a small mode shift of ~ 10% to make a big difference. And that works both ways: adding 10% more traffic to a street network that's already stressed could bring gridlock. So you can see why the city is just fine with allowing new buildings without parking in locations like this.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 13, 2013 4:21 PM
"If you don't want cars parking on your "public ASSet" then you need to allow them to park in a private off street parking space. Restricting off street parking in new residential projects, and then complaining that cars are using "valuable" street space for parking is bizarre logic."
Huh?: You summed up the entire 'you can't have a car or parking space' mentality in that one concise paragraph. Post of the year!
Posted by: Willow at November 13, 2013 4:27 PM
Here is the bike I use, with two kids on it:
See the panniers? You can put 4 bags of groceries in those, two on each side.
I prefer to get the exercise and fresh air and I really do try and use the car as little as possible. It actually takes a little bit less time on most Saturday Afternoons, since the parking lot for TJs is so hellish.
Here is a guy carrying even more stuff!
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 13, 2013 4:28 PM
"You summed up the entire 'you can't have a car or parking space' mentality in that one concise paragraph."
Actually, no, it's just the typical misrepresentation the car fanatics always use.
Saying people should pay market rates to use a public asset is not anything like saying they shouldn't use the public asset.
The people saying they don't want others to park on the street are the neighbors opposing the approved development, not those of us who believe that drivers should pay the market rate for the valuable public asset that is street space.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 4:50 PM
Anon, you need to take a course in capitalism, since you seem to know socialism so well.
Posted by: MoneyMan at November 13, 2013 4:53 PM
@ NVJ: I applaud you for doing those tasks on your bike. Remember, it's a choice that YOU make.
It's not for everyone, in fact I would say that idea of kids and groceries on a bike is for the very few. Going up steep hills in Noe or similar neighborhoods? Impossible.
And in all honesty, I do worry for the safety of little kids on a bike like that. It may be very eco-friendly, it may be uber-cool, it may be fun, it may even feel Amsterdam-ish.
But this is SF. And with our dense traffic and sad statistics of bike injuries and deaths, that really would scare me.
I would even go so far as asking: "Should parents really take small children on a bike like that in SF?". The kids have no choice.
Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 4:58 PM
"1:1 parking should be in the building."
What about those who choose not to own a car?
"And in all honesty, I do worry for the safety of little kids on a bike like that."
Given that cars are the number 1 cause of death for children, I think you worries are misplaced. Let's worry about actual danger, rather than imaginary danger.
I would even go so far as asking: "Should parents really take small children in a car in SF?". The kids have no choice.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 5:05 PM
Agree with Futurist. Links were recently posted here that over half of all bike accidents are solo accidents not involving pedestrians or vehicles. Be Careful NVJ!! I myself have painfully broken a couple of bones after hitting a small hole in the pavement of the parking lot near the St Francis Yacht club when out for a bike ride. My best friend took quite a spill on Hyde street after getting partially caught with his front tire in the CC tracks and had to be hospitalized. It's not only cars and trucks that one needs to watch out for when on a bike. Be safe.
Posted by: 7 x 7 at November 13, 2013 5:08 PM
Of course lyqwyd, I would expect you to come back with that snappy retort.
1. It's my opinion. It's not misplaced. It's not imaginary.
2. If I were a parent I would NEVER do it. It's just flat out dangerous.
3. My friend who have kids in that age range have said many times they would NEVER do that either.
Like I said, it's a choice and my opinion is that it's a very dangerous choice to do what NVJ does.
Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 5:17 PM
MoneyMan's right - I walk 30 minutes each way to work, and love it - but I still want to have a car for weekend trips to the beach, Napa, Tahoe, or even major shopping trips.
And no, ZipCar doesn't cut it - firstly, I want to be able to control my ride and its maintenance; more importantly, I want to know that I can take my wet dog at the beach, or my muddy ski boots, and not get chastized by a hipster for abusing my ZipCar.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 13, 2013 5:24 PM
Futurist - You should ponder the cognitive dissonance of both having concern for the safety of people on bikes and wanting encourage more driving which increases the danger on the streets. If you are really thinking of the children then you should be working towards reducing auto usage. Not only do autos bring danger to the streets, they also pollute the air which disproportionally affects children.
NVJim is actually making the streets safer by leaving his two ton vehicle at home when it isn't needed.
7x7 - Do you realize that the recently posted link claiming that most bike accidents are solo includes recreational cycling? Mountain biking and amateur racing produce a lot of solo accidents. I personally know of two MTBikers who have lost their lives. This sort of recreational accidents have little to do with utility cycling. That's not to say that utility cyclists don't have solo accidents, they certainly do just as anyone else on the road does.
[Editor's Note: And now back to topic of parking and cars...]
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 13, 2013 5:28 PM
It's perfectly appropriate for this neighborhood.
Yes it will be a pain to do on-street residential parking. The U residential parking zone is pretty limited, all patched-up and it's a dense area anyway.
If people do not want to move to these units, they'll have to make them cheaper because either occupants will plan to spend extra for private parking off-site or it will attract less candidates in the first place. That's how the market works. If a parking spot actually costs $50K to build, and the units sell for a $50K+ discount, future developers will not make the same mistake twice.
Posted by: lol at November 13, 2013 5:57 PM
Futurist, how does your insistence on a minimum of 1 parking spot per unit coincide with your claimed support for choice? It appears you believe that those who choose not to own a car should still be required for parking.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 6:01 PM
Sure it's a choice.
One can choose not to live here because there is no parking.
If you don't own a car and CHOOSE to live here, you could rent the garage space out and help pay for your mortgage.
Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 6:12 PM
" iwould even go so far as asking: "Should parents really take small children on a bike like that in SF?". The kids have no choice."
Agree with futurist here. I think it's totally irresponsible for a parent to carry a small child on a bike. You cannot control what is happening with traffic and your kid is exposed. It's ok for golden gate park when closed to traffic, but bordering on child endangerment on city streets.
As far as parking goes, it's clear that less off street parking leads to more onstreet parking. Seems like a simple solution
Posted by: Moto mayhem at November 13, 2013 6:14 PM
And those that don't want to deal with the hassle of renting out a parking space they have no interest in? Those who would prefer to just pay less?
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 6:18 PM
Large Japanese cities handle this situation by requiring car owners (not home owners) to provide evidence of off-street parking at time of vehicle registration. Annual renewals require annual re-proof of parking. Proof in the form of garage space lease, deeded home space, etc. Each space is recorded and can only be referenced by a single registered vehicle. You are still allowed to park on the street, but no one else could then use the lease of your garage to register their vehicle (presuming you used the garage as an off-street space for your own car).
Obviously wouldn't work here because the DMV isn't a City agency, but it nicely resolves the issue of a homeowner with 3 cars and a 2-car garage converting the garage to an in-law for tenants with their own 2 cars. Thus putting 5 cars on the neighborhood street every day. Yes, this is a real situation and DBI -- for whatever reason -- didn't see it as worthy of pursuit.
Posted by: Average Joe at November 13, 2013 6:20 PM
"I think it's totally irresponsible for a parent to carry a small child on a bike. "
As I pointed out earlier, the CDC recognized that cars are the number 1 cause of death for children. [Removed by Editor]
"As far as parking goes, it's clear that less off street parking leads to more onstreet parking. Seems like a simple solution"
I assume you mean leads to more demand for onstreet parking. And of course the response is to raise prices, which will result in lower demand, and return to equilibrium.
The free market is quite simple.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 6:24 PM
I cannot think of another west coast city with more housing units WITHOUT parking available for purchase or rent than San Francisco. I really don't see this so-called problem of buyers being "forced" to pay for garage space. On Russian Hill, finding any housing available with deeded parking is a very difficult task and I would imagine 3 out of every four units for sale or rent do not come with parking.
Where I live in the Marina, I know of two neighbors who are now renting their garage space out and parking on the street!
Posted by: PradoStreet at November 13, 2013 6:31 PM
My initial reaction was horror that long-time San Francisco residents would find yet another way to screw over newcomers. But after thinking about it for a while, I really don't see why not.
If people living here could not get a parking permit, they would either really have to live car-free or rent a parking space elsewhere. If there is anywhere in The City that is easy to life car free, this is it. It is not really family friendly though.
We desperately need more housing and this location and car-free is probably going to be the absolutely cheapest market rate housing we can build. If this is the only way to get neighbors on board, why not? Can anyone think of a good reason to be opposed other than some notion of "fairness"?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 13, 2013 6:59 PM
The answer is NO, if you limit On Street Parking it should be for all and not just those in a development, ELSE , Allow Off Street Parking to be built :)
Posted by: Joseph A at November 13, 2013 7:31 PM
"But after thinking about it for a while, I really don't see why not."
Part of me feels the same, but I have a fundamental problem with people who think just because they got there first, that they have some sort of increased rights over those that arrive later.
Additionally, if they were truly concerned about ease of parking then they would be willing to set prices that would create easy availability of parking. What they really want is easy parking that is subsidized by others.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 7:36 PM
What a totally illogical idea: people that have garages should be allowed to park on the street but people without garages should be prohibited? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I can't believe this is even being discussed. If anything it should be the reverse. Streets are public space and everyone has the right to use them. The RPP program has also totally gone rogue zombie and is out if control - creating haves and have-nots arbitrarily between neighbors and perpetuating the perverse notion that the curb space on you block is "yours" and the curb space on my block is "mine."
Posted by: Hmmm at November 13, 2013 10:26 PM
I have a fundamental problem with people who think just because they got there first, that they have some sort of increased rights over those that arrive later.
Practically, though, this is the case, and it's hard to see how it could be otherwise. When it comes down to it, plans with widespread public support will probably happen, and plans without it won't. And the public consists of people who are already here.
One feature I'd insist on is to make the permits transferable. It makes no sense to refuse a resident of a new building a parking permit, if they want one, when someone else, who lives in a an old house but doesn't drive, can get one but doesn't need it. Let them sell it to the new guy.
Yeah, it's a windfall for current residents, but so is the status quo.
Moto Mayhem: While we're at it, let's just make it illegal to be poor. If you can't afford a car, stay out of the city, or you're endangering your children.
Posted by: Alai at November 13, 2013 10:32 PM
Let's make it illegal to walk too, since that is more dangerous than bicycling. Then the car-crazies can have their paradise where anyone on the public streets outside of an automobile is breaking the law and subject to arrest.
That actually describes most of Los Angeles.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 14, 2013 12:39 AM
Seriously, why don't we just outlaw car ownership altogether in San Francisco. Everyone can get around by walking (there is no excuse even if you have a physical handicap), biking or utilizing the comfort and convenience of mass transit. Anyone who is caught owning a car in San Francisco will result in mandatory jail time and their vehicle confiscated. It will be a win-win solution to reduce traffic congestion, reduce parking shortage, generating big income for the MTA, and possibly creating more housing availability in the city.
Posted by: CooCoo4TransitFirst at November 14, 2013 12:56 AM
NVJ's posts are, I think, pretty emblematic of the issue. He (like me) prefers to walk or bike or take public transit. But he still owns a car! Why? Because you really need one in SF unless your time is not all that valuable. And if you own it, it has to be parked somewhere, and if you don't own a garage that generally means the street.
We don't drive a ton. Our 2000 Toyota only has 60,000 miles on it. But (for example) my 11-year-old plays in a string quartet with her friends and they practice in the Marina where one lives. I could take the 24 both ways and spend a little over an hour after an 11 hour workday to pick her up. But I instead hop in the car and it is about a 20 minute round trip. Saves me 40 minutes twice a week -- and that time is gold to me. Most bike preachers I know also own (and park) a car. So you have to take that all with a grain of salt.
Posted by: anon at November 14, 2013 8:19 AM
^No one is suggesting that you get rid of your car.
I still don't see why people can't see the difference between "forcing people out of cars" and building housing without parking. There are people NOT LIKE YOU who do not have a car. Not all housing needs to be built for everyone. Some can be specialized for specific demographics. Like, say, non-car owners (of which 30+% of SF households belong).
What's wrong with choice?
Posted by: anon at November 14, 2013 8:29 AM
All those cars parked on the street look bad. Build more off street parking and charge for parking on the street in all neighborhoods. Sick of seeing 5 cars parked on the street, 2 of which never move except on street cleaning days, all belonging to the residents of one SFH.
Posted by: anun at November 14, 2013 8:52 AM
"Practically, though, this is the case, and it's hard to see how it could be otherwise. When it comes down to it, plans with widespread public support will probably happen, and plans without it won't. And the public consists of people who are already here."
It's certainly true that people that are here decide the rules, but that is different than people who are here getting better treatment than newcomers. The people already parking their cars on the street do not want new residents to be able to have the same benefits that they currently enjoy.
Newcomers should not be second class citizens.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 14, 2013 11:06 AM
"why don't we just outlaw car ownership altogether in San Francisco"
You may want to force people to do something, I do not. I prefer to give people choices. Such as the choice of a developer to build without parking. I'm also fine with a developer who wants to build units with parking. Right now, in the vast majority of areas, developments are required to have a minimum amount of parking, and these requirements have been in force for decades. It hasn't solved the parking problem, so maybe it's time for another approach, such as the market based approach.
We've recently begun doing that on a small scale, it's called SF Park, and has been very successful. It both brings in additional revenue to the city, as well as creates increased parking availability. Time to expand it throughout the city. Wherever parking is constrained and difficult to find, the price should be increased. Wherever parking is easily available, the price should be decreased.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 14, 2013 11:15 AM
Can somebody show me where there is ANY evidence that this city has a shortage of housing without parking vs. housing with parking? Ask a realtor, buyers want parking. I have no problem with units not having parking but I do have a problem with FORCING builders to not provide parking. Why not let the market decide? (It already has, and that is for parking)
And yet here we are, not allowing private off street parking to be built, and then complaining that cars are taking up space parking on streets.
San Francisco deserves its dysfunctional reputation.
Posted by: OnAndOn at November 14, 2013 1:02 PM
1. In most of the city, builders are still forced to build parking.
One thing which hasn't yet come up, is what the rules were for the property which is the subject of the article. Can someone clarify? How much parking could they build? Why did they not choose to build it (space limitations, presumably)? Was there a special exemption made?
2. Of course buyers want parking. They also want fancy appliances, lots and lots of square footage, maybe a pool. Views! They definitely want some very specific neighborhoods. Oh, and of course, they want it at an affordable price.
Should the city government step in to mandate all these things? No, it would be a absurd.
Posted by: Alai at November 14, 2013 1:13 PM
Why not let the market decide?
Yes, why not? Why are mandating 1:1 parking in the entire western and southern 3/4 of the city, along with several portions in the last 1/4 as well? You say that you "know" that developers would build more, but we've seen several developers propose even less parking than they are currently required in some areas of SOMA that have 1:2 or less parking. Why are you ignoring the facts?
Posted by: anon at November 14, 2013 1:24 PM
Have you noticed all of the remodeling occurring in Noe, Glen Park, Bernal or Upper Market, where houses are being put up on cribbing, digging down to create NEW GARAGE SPACES?
Buyers want, need and EXPECT off street parking.
And that's a good thing.
Posted by: Futurist at November 14, 2013 1:30 PM
^Except those that don't. That's mainly what we're talking about. Choice for developers that are currently REQUIRED to build parking regardless of demand.
Posted by: anon at November 14, 2013 1:39 PM
Sure. If buyers wanted apartments in Noe Valley, those remodelers would be adding apartments instead, right?
Posted by: Alai at November 14, 2013 1:44 PM
As evidence of developers requesting less parking than is required, I submit this new post from SS: http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2013/11/plans_for_an_upscale_sevenstory_sro_building_at_market.html
Posted by: anon at November 14, 2013 2:06 PM
Remember "Streets of San Francisco"? Steve and Mike never had any problem pulling up in front of the building they were visiting. Those were they days . . .
Posted by: Jane at November 14, 2013 2:42 PM
As further evidence of developers requesting less parking than required, I present 468 Clementina, the subject property of this thread.
The zoning allows for up to 1 spot per 4 units (and up to 3 spots per 4 units with a conditional use permit) which would allow up to 4 parking spots on this development (or 10 with a CU permit), but the developer chose to build 0.
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 14, 2013 2:51 PM
I am not missing the 70s. The only thought of people moving around in polyester shirts makes me cringe.
Posted by: lol at November 14, 2013 2:51 PM
Remember "Star Trek"? Those were the days when when we were exploring the galaxy...
Posted by: lyqwyd at November 14, 2013 3:05 PM