December 12, 2013

Modern Hayes Valley Development Breaks Ground, Opening 2014

DDG and DM Development have just broken ground on 400 Grove Street, the modern 34-unit Hayes Valley development designed by Fougeron Architecture to rise at the corner of Grove and Gough Streets.

Reaching a maximum height of five stories, the 400 Grove Street building includes a little over 2,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space on the corner and 17 off-street residential parking spaces with access on Grove. The building should open in late 2014.

First Published: December 12, 2013 11:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Same intersection as the new 300 Ivy development. What a difference a couple years make.

Posted by: Tim Bracken at December 12, 2013 11:47 AM

Not enough parking spaces. Should be doubled...

Posted by: Willow at December 12, 2013 12:33 PM

nice design

Posted by: mdg at December 12, 2013 12:34 PM

That's wonderful! Can whoever designed this please be hired to replace whoever else is doing every other new development in town??

I mean, things are getting petty bad when you're looking at an old gas station lot and the renderings for a new development, and can't make up your mind which one is better.

But this is terrific and proves that just because it's a small space, it doesn't have to be boring! SF needs more directional, statement-making pieces like this.

Posted by: Damion at December 12, 2013 1:21 PM

Nice to see 1 parking space per every two units... glad to see SF continue to prioritize humans and the environment over vehicles!

I agree it's a nice design, far better than most of the new buildings we are seeing.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 1:53 PM

a.k.a., glad to see the City of San Francisco shoving yet more resident parking onto already-gridlocked Hayes Valley streets.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 12, 2013 2:17 PM

The work by Ann Fougeron's firm is among some of the best, most interesting and sensitive new, modernist work being done in SF today. We need more talent like hers.

I do wish the parking ratio, however, were 1:1. Lack of off-street parking will only add to congestion for those looking for a space in the neighborhood.

Posted by: Futurist at December 12, 2013 2:17 PM

@Sierra

No, I'd be even happier with no parking at all, but the de facto standard has been 1:1 parking so anything under that is a step in the right direction.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 2:47 PM

Yes, because people who can afford $1m+ condos value their time so little that they will spend 30 minutes looking for a spot every time they use or move their car. The sensible thing to do is decouple housing from parking, and allow garages to be built with market rate parking spots, with the possibility to redevelop these again into housing at some point in the future.

Posted by: outtahere at December 12, 2013 2:51 PM

Why does everyone hate cars?

You can't force people out of their vehicles unless you give them some other way to get where they are going. It is similar to how smokers have been shunned and legislated away, only a car has never been considered a vice outside of this one city. But it is easier to make the lives of thousands of residents more complicated than to improve Muni apparently, so the zealots pursue the first course of action.

The reason so many New Yorkers don't own or contemplate owning cars is because they can walk out their door and go forty or fifty miles before they might ever need one, and they can do it with efficiency and speed. This is a battle against the law of diminishing returns, and eventually we will need to spend that money on solutions that work-- so we may as well spend it now. Better that than to build our way into a parking nightmare.

And nice design, can't wait to see it go up.

Posted by: Adam at December 12, 2013 2:59 PM

The sensible thing to do is decouple housing from parking, and allow garages to be built with market rate parking spots.

If you're willing to pay, you can find parking. It's $8 a month parking that there's a severe shortage of, not $300 a month parking.

Posted by: Alai at December 12, 2013 3:16 PM

The reason so many New Yorkers don't own or contemplate owning cars is because they can walk out their door and go forty or fifty miles before they might ever need one, and they can do it with efficiency and speed.

Um, no. It's because owning cars in New York is expensive. Availability and pricing of parking is far more of a causal factor than "good transit".

London has great transit (better than Manhattan in the vast majority of areas), yet auto ownership rates much higher than Manhattan.

I'd certainly love to build better transit, but the idea that if we only had great transit people would give up their cars is ludicrous.

Posted by: anon at December 12, 2013 3:22 PM

@Adam

I don't hate cars. I own two and drive every day.

I dislike that developers are forced to build more parking than they want, which drives up the price of housing.

I also don't like that private autos have been subsidized to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars of the last few decades, and continue to be massively subsidized.

Cars are one of the top 5 causes of global warming.

Cars are the number 1 cause of death for people 30 and under in the US, killing about 35,000 per year.

So while I don't hate cars, I certainly don't think they should be encouraged by subsidies and be forced on people by regulations such as requiring minimum numbers of parking spaces.

@outtahere

I'd be happy to see market rate parking spread throughout the city. I'd love it if people paid what the market rate would bare, and subsidies for cars were eliminated.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 3:24 PM

"and be forced on people by regulations such as requiring minimum numbers of parking spaces."

No. City policy limits the number of parking spaces a developer can provide. Many developers would prefer to build parking spaces.

Those who wish to see developments/housing offer more parking spaces - please lobby and take your complaints to City Hall and the planning commission.

Those who seek to limit parking spaces - the environmental concerns are valid. But, it is prejudicial to the injured, disabled, and families that absolutely need cars to get around the City. And frankly, public transit is unsafe. Germs, criminals, you name it. I refuse to use public transportation for that reason. Disgusting.

Posted by: UrbanPlanner at December 12, 2013 3:38 PM

Would a "proof of parking" policy be possible, or would it require a state level law? That is, to register a car, you have to provide proof of an owned or leased off-street parking spot, just as you have to provide proof of insurance.

Posted by: outtahere at December 12, 2013 3:40 PM

not supplying enough parking is going to hurt the livability of the city. too much circling looking for parking will get worse. its so short cited. I hope they at least have a couple of hitching posts for horses

also, this building is a remarkable waste of space for this part of the city. no charm to preserve there. its close to market and market needs help getting nicer. higher quantity of expensive condos will make market better.

cars are the future, not the past. just different types of cars

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 12, 2013 3:41 PM

@UrbanPlanner

"City policy limits the number of parking spaces a developer can provide."

The vast majority of SF has parking minimums, only a few small parts of SF have maximums, and this is a fairly recent change. We are seeing many developers choose to build even less than the maximum, so your claim is completely bogus.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 3:43 PM

Lyqwyd owns two cars!! I will have to add you to the list of anti-car car-owners. NoeValleyJim will appreciate the company. I am curious if Alai and the "anon" who seems to speak right from the Streetsblog playbook own cars as well.

The reason some developers are willing to build "even less parking than the maximum" is because there is more profit for THEM, not us.
I have yet to see where a builder has passed on the "savings" of not building enough parking to home buyers.

Posted by: anonandon at December 12, 2013 3:58 PM

@UrbanPlanner

"But, it is prejudicial to the injured, disabled, and families that absolutely need cars to get around the City"

Many disabled, generally the most severely disabled, are completely unable to drive a car. Many rely solely on buses. Many poor people simply cannot afford a car at all, many of them are also families, sometimes quite large.

I would argue it's even more prejudicial to subsidize cars.

In SF somewhere between 1/4 to 1/3 of households do not own a car at all.

"And frankly, public transit is unsafe."

While public transit may sometimes be unpleasant, it's far safer than driving. Did you miss my point above about cars being a leading cause of death?

"Germs, criminals, you name it. I refuse to use public transportation for that reason."

When I worked downtown I rode the bus every day, and while it was far less than ideal, I enjoyed being able to read a book or surf the web during my commute, rather than deal with the hassles of traffic. On the other hand I'll be the first to admit that the buses need to be cleaned up in many ways, and some routes are truly unbearable, the 22 South of Geary comes to mind...

Lastly, with all the various forms car sharing now available, even those who "absolutely need" to drive can easily do so without owning a car or parking space.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 4:00 PM

Adam - thank you, well said.

outtahere - I agree that's a great idea - do ground-floor retail so teh steetlife is preserved, and a nice facade so the parking structure doesn't mar the neighborhood appearance. Heck, put a floor or two of residential on top, to take advantage of the views. Don't understand why building like this is seen as a problem...

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 12, 2013 4:04 PM

Yes, people like lyqwyd, NVJ and others have got "theirs".

But they don't want others to have it. Quite offensive, really.

It's good to see there is a LOT of pro parking, pro car people here. Good, solid, intelligent points of view.

But it's outrageous to see the Planning Dept. and the SFMTA still being bullied and harassed by the anti-car, bike nut brigade.

Let's keep working with our city leaders to ease up on the anti-car legislation.

Posted by: Futurist at December 12, 2013 4:05 PM

@moto

"cars are the future, not the past. just different types of cars"

True about different types of cars, also much less of them. As car sharing expands less and less people will own personal cars, thus there will be far fewer of them, and they will probably change to become more efficient and less of a status symbol. I believe a single car share replaces somewhere between 5-15 private vehicles.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 4:11 PM

@anonanon

Yup, one is my daily driver, the other is an old beater that I can make more money in 1 year renting it out via carshare, than I can get by selling it. Plus I still have it around for the occasional ikea or lumber run.

So while I own two cars, I'm also helping reduce overall ownership rates, and making money, and supporting entrepreneurship in SF, it's pretty awesome!

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 4:16 PM

Adam: "The reason so many New Yorkers don't own or contemplate owning cars is because they can walk out their door and go forty or fifty miles before they might ever need one, and they can do it with efficiency and speed."

Anon: "Um, no. It's because owning cars in New York is expensive. Availability and pricing of parking is far more of a causal factor than 'good transit'. London has great transit (better than Manhattan in the vast majority of areas), yet auto ownership rates much higher than Manhattan."

Taking that as a given for the sake of argument ... nevertheless NYC works as a world-class city *because* it has great transit. Can you cite an example of a successful, world-class city in which car ownership rates are low *and* the transit quality is low?

I think the point being made by some here is that we'd love it if S.F. were criss-crossed by subways running 24 hours a day; heck we'd even be willing to pay the taxes for it. But until that day comes, it's folly to make owning a car in S.F. an ever-greater hardship, because the alternative (using the transit system) stinks.

In other words, yes, great transit alone isn't why NYC has low car ownership. But great transit enables NYC to have low car ownership *and* still be a great city. You can't artificially create low car ownership (by restricting parking, travel lanes, etc.), and expect to be a world-class city unless you also (and, I would argue, you first) invest in transit infrastructure.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 12, 2013 4:20 PM

@Futurist

I'm sorry that you find my promoting choice to be offensive, I'm gonna keep doing it regardless of you being offended by it.

You try and get your pro-car agenda, I'll keep working on my pro-human agenda.

Enough lives have been lost, and environmental harm done.

Fortunately the country at large, and SF especially so, is getting over it's addiction to the private auto.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 4:25 PM

lyqwyd: I doubt if you're really sorry. I'm not.

If you want to really step up to the plate, then get rid of BOTH of your cars and use your other choices: public transit, biking, donkey, rickshaw, car share, walking, running, hobbling, whatever.

Otherwise, you continue to talk out of both sides of your mouth.

Posted by: Futurist at December 12, 2013 4:30 PM

lyqwyd - your most recent post implies you're relying on car share services to expand and reduce the need for private car ownership.

Can you cite an example where a shared resource use has taken over or superseded a former private use of the same resource?

I'm not being sarcastic in asking, I'm serious. The first two examples I could think of were contrary -

150 years ago, before cars, people used horses; certainly there were livery stables where one could in essence rent a horse (ZipMare, if you will). But as people's economic status rose, one of the first things they would do is buy and keep their own horses - the Hearst and Sutros of the world weren't running down to the local livery stable to hire a horse to ride to the dry-goods store.

Similarly, when phones first came out party lines were common, because it was cheaper to share the resource. And even in my college dorm in the 1980s (!), most people used the pay phone in the hall, there were few private lines. But today, the party line is dead, and every college student has a private cell phone (and, possibly, a land line in the dorm room).

Is there a counter example - a situation in which people formerly owned and used a resource on an individual basis, but as time passed or technology evolved the use of that resources switched to a shared or cooperative scheme?

If there is not, it may indicate that the car-share model, while useful for some, is *not* a panacea for the combination of a poor transit system and insufficient parking being foisted on us by the Planning Department.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 12, 2013 4:31 PM

@outtahere

"Would a "proof of parking" policy be possible,"

That's a great idea, then every car that's owned in SF would have to have a proof of parking, no more 4 cars registered to a single unit with 1 (or no) parking space!

Your idea is a great way to reduce car ownership in SF, nice!

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 4:34 PM

The arguments by the "pro-car" people here do not make sense. Free parking is not a human right. It is not really a matter of health. People lived for millenia without parking spaces, or cars.

If people NEED a car, they will buy a house or an apartment with parking. Let the market decide. If they cannot afford their car space, they can live in the suburbs.

Nobody is guaranteed free (publically subsidized) on-street parking, either. Even the people living in front of the spaces.

Posted by: Brian M at December 12, 2013 4:57 PM

Can you cite an example where a shared resource use has taken over or superseded a former private use of the same resource?

Wikipedia.

Posted by: anon at December 12, 2013 5:05 PM

Oh, it's not my idea... "proof of parking" has been policy in Japan for many decades, and it appears to work well. It's a way of balancing the publicly funded interest (right of way / road) with private use (cars). And it creates a vibrant market for parking that allows much more flexible and dynamic land use.

Posted by: outtahere at December 12, 2013 5:15 PM

@Sierra

nothing like car share has existed before, as it requires modern technology to be realistic in any scale large enough to have a noticeable impact. It's akin to asking for past examples of micro lending having any impact on a global scale, or asking for examples of how past versions of the internet impacted the world. There are no past examples, as such a concept did not exist.

But I can provide an example that that is doing it right now...

Car sharing: It has been shown in a number studies that it reduces car ownership:

http://gigaom.com/2011/09/06/its-official-car-sharing-reduces-vehicle-ownership/
http://www.carpingo.com/news/car-sharing-impact-car-ownership

A livery stable was like Hertz, not ZipCar. Party lines are even less relevant.

"If there is not, it may indicate that the car-share model, while useful for some, is *not* a panacea for the combination of a poor transit system and insufficient parking being foisted on us by the Planning Department."

Wow, a lot of logical fallacies there.

Failing to provide an historical example does not prove that car sharing does not reduce car ownership.

I never claimed that car sharing was a "panacea" for anything, I didn't even mention it in relationship to transit.

You've failed to show there's insufficient parking.

You've failed to show that the SF population at large is opposed to parking maximums in the few places they exist in SF.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 5:19 PM

anon - interesting; though by extension, making an analogy with wikipedia would mean people no longer leaving their homes, period, and simply living in a virtual world (or, at a minimum, telecommunting, and having all their goods delivered by Amazon drones).

I guess I should clarify that I'm talking about a physical resource that people at one point owned and used individually, and later began to own and use communally. Something that would point to car-share services actually having the capability of replacing private car ownership.

I just have a feeling that human nature leads to the opposite course. In addition to my 19th century horse and 20th century telephone examples, I think the same is true for bikes. The bike share that's recently gone in seems fairly successful; but I would expect that if someone starts using the bike share frequently, eventually they'll decide to get their own bike for the sake of convenience, customization, and the like. I doubt many people who own their own bike have decided to give them up with the advent of the bike share program, successful though it may be.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 12, 2013 5:20 PM

@Sierra

Just to clarify, I said reduce, not eliminate. I have no expectation that car share will eliminate private auto ownership, just reduce it.

Even in the most urbanized places many people will continue to own cars, but many people will choose not to own largely because of the easily available car share.

I do think it will reduce it dramatically in urban areas, but on the other hand the less urban an area is, the less impact car share will have, to the point of no impact in rural areas.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 5:35 PM

glad to see SF continue to prioritize humans and the environment over vehicles

Since the parking would be underground, I'm not sure any humans are getting prioritized to live in that space.

Neighborhood humans, on the other hand, are going to be forced to spend more time driving around looking for an already impossible to find space.

Posted by: BobN at December 12, 2013 5:44 PM

"True about different types of cars, also much less of them. As car sharing expands less and less people will own personal cars, thus there will be far fewer of them, and they will probably change to become more efficient and less of a status symbol. "

I just dont agree with this. I dont see car share services making a serious dent in car ownership. it gives people an alternative, so maybe the superyoung or poor will use it, but i dont see it taking on the impact you are stating. I see personal automobiles changing but not becoming less. smaller and more fuel efficient, but not necessarily less. technology will reign over this debate.

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 12, 2013 5:46 PM

"If people NEED a car, they will buy a house or an apartment with parking. Let the market decide. If they cannot afford their car space, they can live in the suburbs.

Nobody is guaranteed free (publically subsidized) on-street parking, either. Even the people living in front of the spaces."


The parking problems created by lack of offstreet parking are not just about people not having parking near their homes. Its about people not being able to park near businesses. IF i take a trip from the richmond to hayes valley, i am going to drive. it will be harder to park now that there are more people moving into this area who do not have offstreet parking, because the MAJORITY of the owners will have a car. It creates unecessary congestion. How will this affect my behavior? I will not go to hayes valley to shop. local merchants should be infuriated by this. without the ability to park, they rely almost solely on pub transit or foot traffic for business.

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 12, 2013 5:51 PM

regarding market deciding, why would developers want more parking? the housing need is so great in SF with so much pent up demand that people are going to buy astronomical rates even without parking. its much cheaper for the developer and they dont have to deal with the aftermath of congestion chaos. In fact, it will help them in the long term as people begin to pay exorbitant amounts for parking spots in future developments due to the crap that was created by our shortsighted planning department.

its madness and chaos and idiocy. we are creating a problem that doesn't have to be.

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 12, 2013 5:55 PM

As a reminder, roughly 30% of vehicle traffic on San Francisco streets is now people circling around and around looking for parking. This was brought up recently by former Mayor Willie Brown In an OpEd in the Chronicle, and has been noted in the SFMTA's own literature.

30%!!!

Providing off street underground parking REDUCES traffic in the city. Even Ed Reiskin admitted that removing available parking increases traffic in questioning during the last Polk Street hearing.

Posted by: Polk Gulch at December 12, 2013 6:13 PM

@Polk Gulch:

Where is it in SFMTA's literature? Cause I think this is a load of bullpuckey..

Just cause Willie through it out in his Opinion piece don't make it true.

Posted by: R at December 12, 2013 6:35 PM

Threw, through, English is hard.

Posted by: R at December 12, 2013 6:38 PM

@Sierrajeff I do believe that human beings are going to collectively get our acts together and make the changes we need to do to protect the environment. A huge part of that is that we are going to have to consume less. It is already starting to happen: people are driving less, living in smaller houses, owning cars that consume less fuel, recycling more and adopting more of a sharing economy.

San Francisco is a leader in adopting environmentally supportive policies that lead to sustainable communities. This is just part of the whole picture.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at December 12, 2013 8:01 PM

@PolkGulch

That number is dramatically misquoted. It's from Shoup's study on parking in shopping districts, and applies only to those areas.

It has nothing to do with SF traffic in general.

That number is also unrelated to private parking. It is well understood that reduced private auto parking (reserved for a single auto or person) results in reduced car ownership, which results in reduced driving.

So if your concern is about traffic caused by people circling for spots to go shopping, then you can use Shoup's study, which recommends market rate parking, rather than subsidized parking.

But it is a gross misrepresentation, intentional or not, to suggest that study suggests more off street reserved parking is related to people circling looking for parking.

Lower parking availability has been shown to reduce vehicle ownership, which reduces congestion.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 12, 2013 8:34 PM

My argument for having parking maximums in select areas of the city is simply a spatial argument.

The most interesting areas of San Francisco are in part that way because of their dense spatial arrangement. If we insist on parking maximums of 1:1 I don't believe we are able to create anything like these areas yet many people more people want to live in these area than there is supply. Don't we want and need more areas like the Mission, Nob Hill, Russian Hill and North Beach?

I have a second child on the way and would not choose to live in Hayes Valley without parking (or at all). When my kids are off to college I would happily live in Hayes Valley without a car and access only to carshare.

I think this just gives people more choice not less

Posted by: Zig at December 12, 2013 8:57 PM

As with North Beach and Nob Hill I think few people will choose to live in Hayes Valley, SOMA, or parts of the Mission with a car but without off-street parking in the future unless they are masochists.

Overall though we will have a more interesting city and people with cars can just choose to buy it in the core areas or live in the other 4/5 of SF

Posted by: zig at December 12, 2013 9:04 PM

I guess I should clarify that I'm talking about a physical resource that people at one point owned and used individually, and later began to own and use communally.

Music, movies, etc. Remember CDs and DVDs? I owned lots of them. Now? Not so much. Several subscriptions to a communal product though.

Posted by: anon at December 12, 2013 9:51 PM

For the past 50-75 years, it has been illegal virtually everywhere in America to build housing with less than at least one parking space per unit (and often significantly more than that is required). This has been a significant contributing factor to why the United States is so pervasively automobile-dependent, with all the environmental devastation (climate change, air pollution, water pollution, habitat destruction, etc.) that goes along with that. Why is it so outrageous that a few neighborhoods in one of the few pedestrian-oriented American cities with passable transit now allow less than 1:1 parking? Is it too intolerable that some people be allowed to own or rent new housing without parking? Or must we all pay extra for housing just because car drivers prefer cheap and easy parking? (For those of you on the lookout for potential hypocrisy, I'm 50 years old and have never owned a car. I hope I never have to. That's a major reason why I live in this town. There aren't many others where I could, unlike car drivers who can live anywhere they please.)

Posted by: Chris at December 12, 2013 10:05 PM

2 interesting threads here:

first design - congratulations to fourgeron and the developer - this project's architecture is so far above most resi developments in sf, especially smaller projects 4-5 floors height. i hope is doesn't get value engineered, and i think it will make a difference in economic performance as, eventually, sf gets a bit of design sophistication, like NY, HK, London.

second - parking - the 0.5 to 1 ratio will pass without even a notice. the units will sell robustly at "full" price. eventually the parking issue will fade away here, but it will lag.

the driver has always been one of developer and lender resistance, coming from fear of pricing "discounts" required to sell out unparked condo unnits. One Hawthorne is an interesting case - it voluntarily went with .75 to 1.0 spaces (not 1 to 1 allowed) beacuse of excavation costs and an incentive to higher zoning - The Mark Company predicted the "unparked" spaces would be a major liability, the number one sales issue in the entire project. Advice completely wrong.

The project did not lose one unit sale because of no parking space, the "unparked" units sold at the same space as parked units, a few buyers of "parked" units asked to give back the space in exchange for a discount (avg $15,000) and ps the hoa dues are $275 less w/o. It was a complete non-issue. So, the logic of spending say $60,000 for that marginal space begins to fade. 0.5 to 1.0 ratio seems right. Market will solve this one.

Posted by: EM at December 12, 2013 10:52 PM

Design is gorgeous and perfect for the neighborhood. People owning multiple cars, yet mandating that others abandon car ownership in favor of sacrificing for the environment, makes me smile a bit. The key thing that will get more SF residents to drop cars is better transit, not less parking spots.

That's all I got.

Posted by: JWS at December 13, 2013 8:29 AM

I continue to be impressed by (and grateful for) Fougeron. The physical constraints of infill development in San Francisco can produce mediocre design -- you basically get one, maybe two public walls -- but this firm finds a way to make these constraints an asset.

The parking? 1:2 seems fine here. Old-timey SF got by with much less, and as we are seeing bear out, new residents and employees drive less/own less cars. Of course we should allow housing that will reflect and nurture this trend...it seems unconscionable to charge a resident in this town at this time for parking he/she doesn't need or want.

Posted by: Friscan at December 13, 2013 9:06 AM

Given the turns in every comment thread, no matter what the subject, socketsite really needs to have only two different headlines to rotate:

"People Believe that Cars Are Either Great or Terrible"

and

"People Believe that Bicycles Are Either Great or Terrible"

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 9:09 AM

The key thing that will get more SF residents to drop cars is better transit, not less parking spots.

Source for data that backs this up? This hasn't happened anywhere in the world.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 9:27 AM

If people want to live there and they want a car they will park on the street even if that is a pain. My question is: grocery store for the neighborhood? All that I can think of is Fatted Calf and that is just a meat store. Closest would be Safeway up on Church or Rainbow Grocery over on Folsom. Or one could hop the 21 bus and go out to Bi-Rite on Divisadero. See you can either have a car or not have a car and live there.

Does anyone know what size the 34 units will be?

Posted by: noe mom at December 13, 2013 10:22 AM

I believe a whole foods is planned to go in the upcoming Saitowitz building, but I don't think it will be formally approved until the building nears completion. But either way I believe the intention is for a grocery in that space.

[Editor's Note: Modern Hayes Valley Development And Grocery Getting Ready To Go.]

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 10:29 AM

"Source for data that backs this up? This hasn't happened anywhere in the world."

Where's your data, anon?

Posted by: Willow at December 13, 2013 10:29 AM

^I didn't make the claim that building great transit causes people to drop their cars.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 10:33 AM

^Well you are disputing his claim so surely you have data supporting otherwise...

Posted by: Willow at December 13, 2013 10:51 AM

Data that shows reducing parking cuts ownership, miles driven, emissions:, and/ or improves home affordability:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=reducing-parking-cut-auto-emission

"limiting parking through economic and policy changes has significantly reduced miles driven in 10 European cities"

http://www.vtpi.org/park-hou.pdf

"Current development practices result in generous parking supply at most destinations, which reduces housing affordability, increases vehicle ownership and stimulates sprawl"

http://www.trforum.org/forum/viewabstract.php?id=492

"Estimation results show that the availability of on-street free could affects a household’s car ownership even when they already have off-street parking. Simulation also indicates that free and readily available on-street parking increases private car ownership by 8.8 percent"

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01944363.2013.790100

"These results offer support for community street standards that make on-street parking supply optional. They also suggest the merits of leaving the decisions of whether, and how many, on-street parking spaces to provide in new residential developments to private markets rather than regulations."

Now that ample evidence has been provided, will you change your view?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 11:50 AM

"People Believe that Cars Are Either Great or Terrible"

and

"People Believe that Bicycles Are Either Great or Terrible"

Also

People who belive increased height limits are great or terrbile

People who beleive MUNI is sufficient or not

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 12:19 PM

Hi lyqwd.

Im a professional statisitician (UC Berkely PHD) and I could write and publish a paper showing otherwise, because its easy to use statistics to prove either side of the point. The only valid article is the one in Scientific american, but there are a lot of conflicting variables. The main one being that those european cites have very good transit. SF does not.

Private vehicles hurt the environment now, but i think the answer is technological, not one of reducing consumerism. you live in america and we can engineer our way out of any problem. thats not as common in the EU, where they like history more than the future and relaxing rather than working hard

we should be leading the way through tech advancing and moving faster .

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 12:24 PM

lyqwd,

I quickly scanned the paper referenced in the SciAm article. It's interesting, if somewhat limited, and it does appear to cherry pick quite a bit. However, what does seem to work isn't the wholesale removal of parking spaces, but rather, in Part III, a cursory glance shows that what we really want to do is make parking available everywhere, but make the price quite high.

Which actually makes a lot of sense. If the price to park in Hayes Valley were $15 an hour, billed every 10 minutes, then if I just wanted to run into True Sake and pick something up quickly, it might make sense to drive and pay for 20 minutes. But if I wanted to eat a full dinner, Uber or a bus would be far more cost effective.

Posted by: frog at December 13, 2013 12:34 PM

lyqwd: I appreciate you taking the time to provide links to those articles. However they are neither objective or verifiable evidence of anything. It's just content that supports your already (biased) perspective.

Posted by: Willow at December 13, 2013 1:02 PM

@moto

"Im a professional statisitician (UC Berkely PHD) and I could write and publish a paper showing otherwise"

Do it, or at least provide some sort of evidence supporting your position.

"because its easy to use statistics to prove either side of the point."

Yes, I'm sure we've all heard of "Lies, damned lies, and statistics". Just pointing out that statistics can be abused does not come close to invalidating any of what I've provided.

"The main one being that those european cites have very good transit. SF does not."

Walk score puts SF second only to NY:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/the_top_american_cities_for_pu.html

Now I'm happy to admit that there's lots of room for improvement in SF's public transit, and other rankings put us lower down, but we are usually in the top 10.

"Private vehicles hurt the environment now..."

They sure do... so let's do something now!

1) We've been making technological improvements for decades, fuel efficiency of new cars has been improving for decades, but so has emissions. Much of the improvement in fuel economy just results in more horsepower for each car, not a reduction in fuel use.
2) It's not just the environment that cars hurt:
a) they kill about 35K people a year
b) seriously injure hundreds of thousands per year
c) People who drive more have higher incidence of many diseases, such as diabetes
d) people who live near freeway and busy streets have a significantly higher rate of respiratory illness, such as asthma and emphesema

"but i think the answer is technological"

I love technology. I love the progress we are making in emissions, the Tesla is a great car! But there's no way the progress will be quick enough to deal with global warming. It will be decades before enough cars are electric that it will make any noticeable impact on emissions.

Emissions have finally started dropping, but it hasn't been from technological improvements, but the great recession did. That is pretty strong evidence that getting people out of their cars has far more impact on emissions that technological improvements.

Plus reducing emissions does nothing to solve the problems of death, injury, or illness through sedentary lifestyle.

"not one of reducing consumerism"

Nobody is suggesting we reduce consumerism. Less car ownership gives people more money to spend on other things.

What you are saying is that no amount of data that disagrees with your opinion will satisfy you.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 1:06 PM

@Willow

"they are neither objective..."

Show some evidence to support your claim, how are they not objective.

"... verifiable evidence of anything."

These are all far more verifiable than the zero evidence you've provided to support your (biased) position. Did you even read any of the studies?

If you can't provide anything to support you position, then one can only assume your position is not based on facts, data, or evidence.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 1:19 PM

neither position is based on facts as there are too many factors to do a controlled study to prove it one way or the other. the anti-car movement is just more motivated to publish.

I do think we can engineer our way out of the pollution problem sooner or later, and the driverless cars will take car of a lot of the accidents. The cyclists will be the only ones who are not in "the matrix"

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 1:23 PM

@Willow - in another thread I pulled apart census data to show that there is a much stronger correlation between auto ownership and parking availability than there is between auto ownership and income - and this was using only neighborhoods in SF. I don't feel like doing that work again, but perhaps you can search the archives.

As far as "better transit makes people give up cars" - that simply doesn't even pass the smell test.

I'm all for investing in better transit, but I'm not going to justify spending money for transit by saying that it will make people give up cars. If we want people to give up cars (and I'm not even convinced that that is what we want to do), the only guaranteed way is to make car ownership more expensive. On a local level, the only way to do that is limiting parking or at the very least removing parking requirements/subsidies.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 1:38 PM

"neither position is based on facts..."

oh please, just because you can't provide evidence doesn't invalidate evidence that conflicts with your beliefs.

"... the anti-car movement is just more motivated to publish."

What a load of garbage. As a PhD in statistics, you are personally in a position to provide evidence to support your claims, and you are obviously interested in the topic. Car companies have billions of dollars at stake, they have loads of motivation.

You can't provide evidence because it isn't there.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 1:45 PM

lyqwyd: You have provided nothing that can be considered "evidence". It's a false premise that anything you have included in this thread is such.

Posted by: Willow at December 13, 2013 1:55 PM

"and the driverless cars will take car of a lot of the accidents"

I do look forward to the driverless auto, that will really signal the end of private auto ownership as a dominant factor in our society. Who would waste money owning a car when it's conveniently available on demand at far lower cost? Sure, there will be some holdouts, and really heavy drivers will probably still own a car for cost purposes, but the majority of people, at least in urban settings, will not own a car when self driving autos are here.

And yes, it will dramatically improve safety, as well as fuel efficiency.

Happily, with less private auto ownership will come more public transit, cycling, and walking, not less, as each trip will be an expense. Many will choose the cheaper public transit or cycling option when presented with the cost of each trip.

But it will still take decades for driverless cars to dominate. And if they do come earlier, then all the more reason to reduce the amount of space wasted on parking!

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 1:56 PM

not one of reducing consumerism.

This one is just absurdly laughable. New Yorkers and San Franciscans are less consumerist than folks from Dallas? They must be, because there are more cars per person in Dallas! Is that what a PhD is statistics is claiming?

Now, it may actually be true, simply because cars are big ticket items usually financed, but I would tend to think that the effect is muted, simply because places with fewer cars tend to have higher housing prices and thus more financed consumption through that channel.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 1:59 PM

Position A: X is true.
Position B: Show us some proof.

Position A: You show us proof you position is right.
Position B: Here's some proof.

Position A: We don't like that proof, show us some other proof.
Position B: How about some proof supporting your position?

Position A: How about you show us some proof?

Round and round it goes. At least lyqwyd is pointing to studies. Refute the studies if you'd like, and preferably, link to your own, but it's pretty pointless to just say "Agh! Biased! Don't believe it!"

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 2:15 PM

However, what does seem to work isn't the wholesale removal of parking spaces, but rather, in Part III, a cursory glance shows that what we really want to do is make parking available everywhere, but make the price quite high.

Yes, market price the existing spaces. Isn't that what many here have advocated for years? Also, no one is really talking about removing spaces, but rather building new units without spaces. Again, market pricing existing parking works quite well.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 2:32 PM

"Among them is the statistic that 30 percent of all congestion in The City is caused by frustrated drivers circling the block for that elusive parking space.

That figure has been repeated by local think-tank SPUR, transit agency Director Tom Nolan and current transit agency Transportation Director Ed Reiskin — who at a Board of Supervisors meeting on May 2 proffered "20 to 30 percent" as a more accurate reflection of congestion caused by parking seekers"

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/san-francisco-transit-agency-says-drivers-seeking-parking-account-for-30-percent-of-traffic-but-data-questioned/Content?oid=2580026

(I was asked to provide "proof" but my original post never made it through the filter so I am trying again. This is in response to a challenge that I my facts were not from the SFMTA)

Posted by: PolkGulch at December 13, 2013 2:40 PM

^every instance mentioned is about commercial shopping districts, not the city as a whole.

And besides, that isn't the "proof" that was being asked for. JWS claimed that better transit would get people to ditch their cars, which is just laughably absurd. Even in places like Japan, with squeaky clean and efficient public transit readily available, auto ownership rates track parking availability and price, not "how good the transit is".

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 2:50 PM

For a local example of how improving transit alone doesn't get people to give up their cars, look no farther than Silicon Valley's light rail. While parts of it are pathetic (like the slow part in downtown SJ), most if the LRT system moves quickly and efficiently. But ridership remains low. Why? Because San Jose and the other communities down there continue to require huge amounts of parking with almost every development. That simultaneously makes it easier to drive and harder to use transit because you need to traverse parking lots between the transit station and your destination. Even many of the light rail stations are surrounded by huge parking lots. If you're going to drive to the LRT station, why not just drive all the way, door-to-door?

There have been attempts at TOD near some stations but most remain in the midst of low density sprawl. Creating good transit is more than just laying down some tracks. You need density to make it work well. Parking is the enemy of density and the congestion that parking induces is the enemy of good surface transit.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 13, 2013 2:53 PM

Data that shows reducing parking cuts ownership

The SciAm article talks mostly about removing destination parking, not residential parking.

As I often, and quite pointless say, if you want to limit people driving around, limit driving or limit parking in business districts. Don't limit the ability of people to leave their cars at home in their garages.

Posted by: BobN at December 13, 2013 3:13 PM

@PolkGulch

I did not say the number is right or wrong, I said you are misrepresenting it.

It is related to shopping districts, not any city in general, nor SF overall.

The theoretical solution to the problem is to set meter rates such that there is an average of 1 available parking spot per block, or 85% occupation rate, some rates go up, others go down, which dramatically cuts congestion in shopping districts. This theory has been proven true in a number of SF shopping districts, including Hayes Valley. And just an FYI: the average price for parking meters actually declined slightly:

http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Getting-the-Prices-Right.pdf

"The average price fell 1% during the first year, so SFpark adjusted prices up and down according to demand without increasing prices overall."

You now know what the number means, and what it relates to.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 3:22 PM

from the article PolkGulch linked to as his proof:

"the figure is an average based on a total of 10 studies conducted in eight cities over a period of 80 years."

"It's a harmless, very shorthand way to get across an idea that they plucked from a book," said Donald Shoup, the professor at UCLA who wrote the book — "The High Cost of Free Parking" — from which the 30 percent figure was gleaned."

"I don't know whether it's 30 percent," Shoup said. "It may be more. What's important is that cruising causes some level of traffic, a lot of pollution, and is expensive."

So essentially, the 30% is a completely made up number.

Posted by: R at December 13, 2013 3:28 PM

@BobN

I, as are most of those who are on my side of the debate, am perfectly happy with allowing the market to set how much parking is appropriate: No maxes, no mins. Let the buyers and sellers decide what is the right amount.

Right now what we have in most of the city is minimum parking numbers, with massive subsidies for street parking and driving.

Get rid of the limits and subsidies entirely.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 3:30 PM

As I often, and quite pointless say, if you want to limit people driving around, limit driving or limit parking in business districts. Don't limit the ability of people to leave their cars at home in their garages.

Russian Hill vs Nob Hill. Basically identical demographics, vastly different auto ownership rates due to residential parking availability.

I'm actually on the exact opposite end from you. There are several commercial districts where I'd support more parking (and of course, all parking should be market rate), but it's pretty clear that the only way to limit the number of cars in the city is to limit residential parking. I'd be for having unlimited parking in business districts as long as it was market rate and limited to 12 hours or less at a time (to guarantee turnover).

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 3:35 PM

Wait a minute! I was pointing out what Ed Reiskin, the director of the SFMTA said, which was that "20 to 30%" of traffic is cars circling for parking". I never said I believed that statistic, in fact I wrote earlier I would not be surprised if it was less. All I said was the DIRECTOR of the SFMTA quoted this statistic at a Board of Supervisors hearing, where was I wrong in this?

If all the experts on Socketsite disagree with Ed Reiskin, why don't you show up at a meeting and tell him he is wrong. He is definitely listening to citizen opinions, and I will say there is a noticeable change in how well the SFMTA is now listening to OTHER groups besides the SFBC (bike coalition).

Again, please take your argument to your own Transit Agency, not to me. This statistic is being used as the reason for installing new meters throughout the city. (Which I am not totally against). For the record I have a private garage and do not need street parking at my residence.

Posted by: PolkGulch at December 13, 2013 3:58 PM

I'll just quote from my previous reply to you:

"I did not say the number is right or wrong, I said you are misrepresenting it."

Given that you persisting in your misrepresentation, it is obvious that it is intentional.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 4:03 PM

Additionally, Shoup's number was 34%, and he said he believed it could be higher.

Regarding Reiskin, from your link:

Ed Reiskin — who at a Board of Supervisors meeting on May 2 proffered "20 to 30 percent" as a more accurate reflection of congestion caused by parking seekers.

Which is quite a bit lower than the number Shoup offered in his study. So Reiskin is taking a more conservative stance than the study.

So your complaint is, what again? Or is it just more of your intentional misrepresentation.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 4:08 PM

no one has shown a shred of evidence either way, and im not in a position to do it. If you provide me with a raw database of information, i can quickly analyse and give you statistical parmaters of the data. But its ALL flawed and their is no true answer because there are qay too many variable and removing these cofactors deosn't make it clean. You have to produce statistical models and place assumptions int he models. then you can come up with 10,000 different permutations for testing your hypothesis. but you ahve to ahve a hypothesis going in, and by creating a hypothesis without a controlled environment, you are already biasing your study.

i think we all agree on one thing. street parking is too cheap. raising the cost of car ownership will reduce cars marginally.


However, reducing amount of off-street parking will not work.


combining higher costs for parking with better transport and more offstreet parking is the best solution IMHO to ease street congestion

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 4:18 PM

"Russian Hill vs Nob Hill. Basically identical demographics, vastly different auto ownership rates due to residential parking availability."

Which one is higher? they both seem pretty constrained to me

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 4:22 PM

My complaint is I heard Resikin say it at the May 2nd meeting, was told he did not, provided a link showing he did, and then was told I am still not telling the truth? He DID say it, period.

@lyqwyd, your argument is with Reiskin, not me. I do not pretend to be one of the transit planning "experts" on this site, of which there are far too many recently. I do not work at the SFMTA, and was educated as an architect, not a transit planner. I do not know how many people ride bikes, 3.4% or 3.8%?, who walks, who drives, who cares. Just don't accuse me of inventing a comment from the director of the SFMTA, when it the video is available online, and I provided a newspaper story quoting the comment.

How did so many transit planning "experts" who are sure they know the answer to urban traffic problems end up in one place is remarkable. I guess I should not dare to quote the director of the MTA, as he is not an "expert".

Posted by: PolkGulch at December 13, 2013 4:25 PM

@moto

Actually we've provided plenty of evidence, you guys have provided nothing.

If we were talking about a single study, you might have a point, but that is not the case. I provided four studies on this thread, anon has performed his own analysis using census data, we've provided numerous other data points on similar threads over the past several years. Not a single one of you deniers has provided anything to support your position. Because you can't.

"However, reducing amount of off-street parking will not work."

It does, and it will, based on the copious evidence provided, as well as basic economics. Reducing parking makes car ownership more expensive. Raising the cost of something reduces demand. Econ 101.

You've got nothing to support your position. You can deny all you want, but it just makes you look more and more ridiculous.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 4:44 PM

You claimed Reiskin said 30%, while actually he said 20-30%, which is more conservative than the number provided that he is basing the statement on.

"Just don't accuse me of inventing a comment from the director of the SFMTA"

I've not accused you of that, nor have I seen others do so on this thread. I've pointed out that you are misrepresenting information, which you continue to do.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 4:49 PM

@ lyqwyd, Nope, I said that former Mayor Brown said 30%. I wrote "Even Ed Reiskin admitted that removing available parking increases traffic in questioning during the last Polk Street hearing".

Have a great weekend.

BTW-the SFMTA literature available online says 30% too, but since you are so obnoxious you can look it up yourself. Your argument is with the SFMTA, not ME.

Posted by: PolkGulch at December 13, 2013 4:56 PM

First, who cares what Willie Brown says?

Second, I have no argument with the MTA, at least not related to parking meters, as they have implemented SFPark, which has been quite successfull, and are planning on expanding it.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 13, 2013 5:05 PM

Which one is higher? they both seem pretty constrained to me

Russian Hill has more than double the cars per capita.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 5:37 PM

^Oh, and in case it isn't obvious, there are more than double the amount of off-street parking spots per capita in Russian Hill than in Nob Hill.

Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 5:40 PM

@anon

"I'm actually on the exact opposite end from you."

I'm not advocating the limitation of parking in commercial districts, I'm just saying that the way to limit driving is to reduce the number of drivable destinations.

Give people a place to put their car and not use it, that's my position. We use "the car" once a week, maybe twice, and many weeks not at all. But there's got to be a safe, convenient place to put the darned thing.

Posted by: BobN at December 14, 2013 12:50 PM

@PolkGulch Why are you going on and on about this fact? Who cares what percentage of congestion is caused by people circling for parking spaces? Do you imagine that it is the policy of The City of San Francisco to encourage driving?

MTA, The BoS and the Mayor's Office of Transportation all now have explicit policies that discourage automobile usage. The plan is to reduce automobile mode share from 60% to 50% in the next 10 years. Unless you somehow believe that building more parking garages discourages driving, why are you talking about it?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at December 14, 2013 1:44 PM

NVJ, one person had accused PolkGulch of lying and not writing what Ed Reiskin said at a hearing. Then, even after a link was provided with Ed Reiskin's comment, one person in particular was pretending PolkGulch said another comment that was not correct. (former mayor vs. director of SFMTA)

Basically, the fight was not over parking, or modes of transport, but instead over being accused of making up a comment from the director of the SFMTA. Reiskin made this comment to help support additional parking meters. I doubt most people who post on this site would be against parking meters, and PolkGulch wrote they were for more parking meters as well.


Posted by: anon2 at December 14, 2013 2:19 PM

R said he didn't believe it was in SFMTA lit (which is different than accusing somebody of lying) and asked for where it was in the literature, PolkGulch never provided where it was in SFMTA literature.

I personally accused him of misrepresenting information. In my opinion he continues to do so, and he seems more concerned about who said what, rather than what is the problem, and how to fix it.

I don't care what Reiskin, Willie Brown, SPUR or anybody says regarding this particular number, or whether the number is perfectly accurate. Particularly given that it is only related to parking meter rates, and has nothing to do with off street private parking, which is the topic of this thread.

I'm perfectly happy to discuss meter rates, but I don't care in the least whether somebody may have quoted a number from a study.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 14, 2013 3:25 PM

"Circling for parking accounts for approximately 30 percent of San Francisco’s congestion,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “SFpark makes parking easier to find and pay for and will reduce double-parking and circling, while reducing congestion, air pollution and delays on Muni.”

Wow, one 20 second google search seems worth trying lyqwyd. I have a feeling whatever link or website is provided will not convince you however. The Streetsblog crowd loves to ignore quotes, facts, and links that do not agree with their religion.

http://sfpark.org/2011/04/04/sfmta-announces-improved-sfpark-pricing-strategy-for-city-owned-garages/

Posted by: anon2 at December 14, 2013 3:42 PM

^Um.

Quotes in random articles are very different from being a part of SFMTA policy or studies.

Posted by: anon at December 14, 2013 5:51 PM

The link is from the MTA's SFPark page, how is that a random "article"? It's their own website! The quote is from the CHAIRMAN of the Board of the SFMTA! Reiskin's statement was at a public hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors during a major presentation, not some random quote. So you have the Chairman and Director of the SFMTA saying the same thing about traffic caused by cars circling for parking, and NOW, the new standard to be requested by you is that it has to be a policy document or "study". Give me a break. Who knew the Chairman and Director were so ill-informed apparently?

Why I find this fascinating is the MTA, which is on the pro-bike side of things, is being attacked for claiming a good part of traffic is caused by cars circling for parking, because it does not agree with some peoples anti private parking agenda. I guess the MTA needs to be more careful when presenting so-called theories to justify their projects when those same theories cause problems for their anti-car constituents.

Posted by: ProPrivateParking at December 14, 2013 6:16 PM

Another great opportunity wasted. They could have built more off-street parking and in return eliminated some on-street parking on a very busy block of Gough, but no. It's much easier to just vilify drivers for choosing(!) to cause congestion.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at December 15, 2013 11:57 PM

Nobody is "vilifying" drivers. If an airline won't sell a standing room seat on a 737, is that vilifying passengers? It's just regulation of street capacity.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 6:33 AM

"Regulation of street capacity"!?! Not allowing private parking is "regulating street capacity"?
The Faith Based transit idealogy of non-experts regarding cars is truly bizarre.

I agree with the MTA directors, reducing off street parking increases traffic.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 9:08 AM

^Um, what? We're talking about new street parking, not existing. So yeah, adding new parking absolutely adds new users to the street and potentially overloads capacity. I don't think that's a controversial statement.

You may think (as Futurist and spencer do) that there is zero congestion in SF, so no need to worry about over-capacity on the streets, but to simply not get the concept? Wow.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 9:13 AM

^Sorry, meant "new off-street parking", not "new street parking".

Either way, the discussion has nothing to do with reducing off street parking, as the addition of any new parking is an increase.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 9:59 AM

@anon2

"Wow, one 20 second google search seems worth trying lyqwyd"

I didn't say it wasn't there, I said PG didn't provide it. I already know about the study the numbers are based on, I've given a couple of summaries of it already on this thread, so I'm not really clear on what sort of point you are making.

You make a comment about ignoring facts, how about these facts:

The number is from a study by Shoup recommending that parking meter rates be set by the market.

SFPark is doing that.

The results have been very much in line with what Shoup predicted.

I'm 100% in favor of SFPark (as I've stated on this thread and others), as well as it's expansion throughout the city.

Now, exactly what quotes or facts are being ignored, and what action do you believe should be taken?

"I have a feeling whatever link or website is provided will not convince you however."

Convince me of what?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 11:38 AM

@ProPrivateParking

These are perfect examples of the problem with your side of the debate:

"MTA... is being attacked for claiming a good part of traffic is caused by cars circling for parking..."

Completely fabricated, nobody has attacked the MTA here, nor has anybody said traffic is not caused by cars circling.

"... because it does not agree with some peoples anti private parking agenda"

The study by Donald Shoup, where all these numbers come from, is related to public on street, metered parking, and has nothing to with private off street parking.

Also, we're not "anti private parking", we are pro free market. I have no problem with market rate private parking, but I do have a problem with government subsidized private parking, especially when it causes a rise in the cost of housing, which is does as has been shown by the studies I provided above.

You take a study about metered public parking, which suggests market rate pricing for that public parking, and without any thought or evidence simply apply it to a completely unrelated topic: private off-street parking

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 1:03 PM

MTA has never mentioned Shoup.
What we do know is the director and chairman of the MTA have both said up to 30% of traffic in San Francisco is caused by cars circling looking for parking . No studies have ever been sited online or at public presentations. It would be interesting to find out why they are saying this, but putting words or studies in their mouths is not accurate. I suggest you show up at a hearing and ask the MTA directly why they think so much traffic is caused by cars looking for parking. I would be curious how much additional traffic is caused by "traffic calming", removal of auto lanes, and reductions in off-street private parking. Don't forget Reiskin proclaimed at a Board hearing that the MTA goal was "still not to allow one additional new parking space in the city".

Posted by: ProPrivateParking at December 16, 2013 2:55 PM

reductions in off-street private parking

Where in the world has this happened? MTA has bought buildings and removed parking? Or what? I'm entirely baffled at what you're talking about here.

The thread is discussing new housing where no private parking currently exists. A ratio of 20 units to one parking spot would still be an increase in the amount of private parking.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 3:03 PM

"A ratio of 20 units to one parking spot would still be an increase in the amount of private parking."

If you believe that more than 5 percent of the dwellers will have a car, that ratio will result in more people looking for street parking circling round blocks, generating air pollution, and wasting peoples time by causing congestion.

Posted by: anonanon at December 16, 2013 3:56 PM

"MTA has never mentioned Shoup."

The entire SFPark project is based on extensive research and a book (The High Cost of Free Parking) by Professor Donald Shoup, the 30% number that is being bandied about is based on the average of 34% that Shoup reports in one of his papers, although it's widely variable by city, and Shoup said it could be higher or lower for SF.

Donald Shoup also happened to be on the academic advisory team for the SFPark project:

http://sfpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/sfpark_aug2011projsummary_web-2.pdf (page 3)

So not only has the MTA mentioned Shoup, his findings are a fundamental aspect of the actions being enacted by the SFMTA today.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 4:18 PM

"that ratio will result in more people looking for street parking circling round blocks, generating air pollution, and wasting peoples time by causing congestion."

Which will easily and quickly be mitigated by the SFPark program raising meter rates, thus bringing driving back into balance.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 4:24 PM

And of course, if the hypothetical scenario had a ratio were 1 space per unit as you would prefer, then there would be more overall drivers on the road, also causing congestion, circling, air pollution and wasted time. In all likelihood more than in the lower private parking scenario. This is shown to be true by the numerous studies I've already linked to far above in the thread.

And in your world nothing would be done about the meter rates so the process would persist, and continue to worsen with every new development.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 4:28 PM

If you believe that more than 5 percent of the dwellers will have a car, that ratio will result in more people looking for street parking circling round blocks, generating air pollution, and wasting peoples time by causing congestion.

And if you believe that any of the new residents will have a car, that's an increase of cars using the roads, hence the need for regulation of street capacity. Unless you're like some here who believe that off-street parking means no increase in cars using the streets, since they all sit in the garage anyway.

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 5:06 PM

Lyqwyd,since you own TWO cars, you should limit your posts to two at a time. It is good to see you agree that the best way to reduce congestion is to allow more private parking to be built. This is not about parking meters, but about allowing OFF STREET private parking to be built for the percentage of inhabitants who would need to use a car.

You can start the car reduction in San Francisco by getting rid of your two cars and riding MUNI. Have fun!

Posted by: Anon2 at December 16, 2013 5:11 PM

"you should limit your posts to two at a time."

Hoho... what wit!

"This is not about parking meters, but about allowing OFF STREET private parking to be built for the percentage of inhabitants who would need to use a car."

uh... your team is the one that brought up parking meters... I've repeatedly stated that parking meters were not the topic at hand, but your mates can't seem to quite figure that out, and since they were also misrepresenting the parking meter subject, I thought I'd provide them with a little education on the subject.

"You can start the car reduction in San Francisco by getting rid of your two cars and riding MUNI. Have fun!"

Wow, even more great wit!

I guess rather than try and support your position you try weak jokes... I wonder why... could it be that you can't support your position?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 5:48 PM

lyqwyd,

"Which will easily and quickly be mitigated by the SFPark program raising meter rates, thus bringing driving back into balance."

Come on! SFPark is not magically going to solve any congestion problem. There are enough people who depend on their cars for their livelihood that they won't give them up no matter how much you raise meter rates since paying through your nose for parking still beats being unemployed.

BTW, I have nothing against setting parking meter rates based on supply and demand. That's great, but insufficient to solve the congestion issue if it's 30 percent as claimed.

"Also, we're not "anti private parking", we are pro free market."

That must be the most comical statement I've ever read on this site. If you have ever taken a class in economics (and after our discussion about unemployment, I'm not too optimistic), you would probably know about the concept of external effects. Congestion and air pollution would be examples. Even free-market champions like Milton Friedman have recognized them as an area where government intervention could have a legitimate role. Please edify yourself by reading Chapter II of "Capitalism and Freedom" where he refers to them as "neighborhood effects" in discussing the role of government in society. He is quite pragmatic.

Posted by: anonanon at December 16, 2013 6:34 PM

"Unless you're like some here who believe that off-street parking means no increase in cars using the streets, since they all sit in the garage anyway."

I own a car that sits in an off-street garage pretty much all the time. It's used maybe once or twice a week. I mostly get around using cabs, Uber, Caltrain, MUNI, BART, and other forms of public transportation, but I need the car occasionally and there is no way way in hell I would get rid of it. If I were to have to park it on public streets, my having to park and re-park the car would cause a drop in the quality of life not just for me but for other citizens of SF caused by my increased driving looking for a parking space. The additional driving would increase my contribution to global warming as well. You would have to be an extreme anti-car Taliban not to recognize that.

Posted by: anonanon at December 16, 2013 6:51 PM

"Come on! SFPark is not magically going to solve any congestion problem."

SFPark has already massively improved congestion in Hayes Valley since it was implemented, as well as other neighborhoods. It's not perfect, and they are still tweaking it to gain further improvements, but it is a big success.

You then go on a diatribe filled with insults which I'll mainly ignore, but to ask: was there was a point to it?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 8:48 PM

"I own a car that sits in an off-street garage pretty much all the time."

You seem to be of the belief that everybody is like you, they are not, which makes the rest of your post worthless.

Nobody here cares if you choose to own a car or not.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 8:52 PM

anonanon - Then don't move into this or any building that doesn't provide the parking that you want. Simple.

Each person only needs one home. Every building need not satisfy every possible need.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 16, 2013 9:05 PM

"SFPark has already massively improved congestion in Hayes Valley since it was implemented, as well as other neighborhoods. It's not perfect, and they are still tweaking it to gain further improvements, but it is a big success."

Would you care for providing any reference for how much it has improved congestion?

Like I have said, pricing parking based on supply and demand is a good idea. But thinking that people will sell their cars that they need to make a living or move out from their rent-controlled apartment because of SFPark to an area with more parking is an imbecilic idea.

Posted by: anonanon at December 16, 2013 10:42 PM

But thinking that people will sell their cars that they need to make a living or move out from their rent-controlled apartment because of SFPark to an area with more parking is an imbecilic idea.

Who in the world said anything remotely like this?

Posted by: anon at December 16, 2013 10:49 PM

"anonanon - Then don't move into this or any building that doesn't provide the parking that you want. Simple."

MOD,

Did you ever take Economics 101 to learn about external effects? Congestion will hurt me no matter where I live if I want to take any form of overground transportation. As will air pollution. Insufficient off-street parking will hurt me regardless of whether I live in a building with insufficient off-street parking or not.

Posted by: anonanon at December 16, 2013 10:55 PM


"Who in the world said anything remotely like this?"

The argument lyqwyd provided (without proof, of course) was that SFPark reduced congestion by reducing the number of vehicles circling blocks looking for parking. Other than increasing the supply of parking spaces, I don't see that happening without reducing demand, and that may be tricky since a lot of people need a car to make a living and many others want to have one for a sense of personal freedom.

So going back to the original point, I don't think a whole lot of people will willingly give up their cars if they need them for work or move out of rent-controlled apartment downtown because of SFPark. SFPark is not going to solve the lack of parking in SF. It may help making things more efficient, which is great, but if more parking spaces are needed to satisfy demand, where are you going to build them? Off-street parking is the way to go.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 12:06 AM

^Um, making things more efficient means that you need fewer of them. Increasing price so that more spots are open at any given time reduces the need to drive to look to park. Perhaps it's you that needs to refresh your memory on how supply and demand work? You seem to be under the impression that demand is static, so we could simply raise the price to $100 an hour and the same number of spots would be taken, when lyqwyd has already posted several reports from SFPark showing pricing that maintained the 85% full standard per block well below that level (in some cases prices were even lowered, because demand for parking was so low!)

But I gather that you're confusing commercial district parking with residential parking, like others in the thread?


Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 8:58 AM

This lack of vision on need for off street car storage is going to make this city a congestion mess. I would be half the car owners in SF use their

Posted by: Spencer at December 17, 2013 9:58 AM

^It is amazing how much our city lacks the vision of other cities that have let the market decide whether parking is needed or not in new developments:

http://www.inman.com/wire/new-projects-in-seattle-boston-and-miami-lack-parking/

Must be that awesome transit service in Miami and Seattle.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 10:31 AM

anonanon - If you're concerned about external effects then you wouldn't be wanting to add more cars to the street network. You need to address this cognitive dissonance before you can see the real issues here.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 17, 2013 10:38 AM

"Would you care for providing any reference"

Simply go to any area with SFPark implemented and try to park, you will see the results. It's very clear in Hayes Valley. Congestion was once severe on hayes, now it's moderate. Parking was once very difficult to find within the core shopping distrit, now it's simple.

The project is still in progress and being modified as data comes in (as I mentioned previously), but here are some interim results:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/program-aims-to-make-the-streets-of-san-francisco-easier-to-park-on.html

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sfpark-hourly-meters-actually-saves-motorists-money/Content?oid=2319269

http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/PricingParkingByDemand.pdf

Care to provide any evidence to support your claim that it is not successful?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 12:12 PM

"thinking that people will sell their cars that they need to make a living or move out from their rent-controlled apartment because of SFPark to an area with more parking is an imbecilic idea."

Your typical tactics, fail to provide any evidence to support your claims, reject any and all evidence provided that disagrees with your beliefs merely because it disagrees with your beliefs, and then misrepresent what other people are saying.

NOBODY has come even remotely close to saying that this will get people to give up rent controlled apartments, certainly not me! Nor has anybody suggested that this will cause people to "sell their cars that they need to make a living".

"The argument lyqwyd provided (without proof, of course) was that SFPark reduced congestion by reducing the number of vehicles circling blocks looking for parking."

I'll point out that the entire congestion caused by circling for parking topic was brought up by your side of the debate. I've now shown that SFPark is achieving it's goals of improving parking availability, and continues to make improvements (see links provided above). If you believe your own claims, you must now admit that SFPark is reducing congestion, or you lose what little credibility you ever had.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 12:21 PM

Ummm? What's your point here?

SFPark used demand pricing to *increase* the availability of parking and this *increase* in available parking reduced congestion.

This is why cites have parking minimums for development. Of course developers would rather not pay to build parking and have buyers use street parking (an externality). And just like SFPark's demand pricing, if street parking is plentiful then this is a very cheap externality. But once a critical point is hit street parking becomes hard to find, drivers need to circle to find parking and congestion explodes.

So just as SFPark increases meter prices in congested areas, the cost of the street parking externality sharply increases in a congested neighborhood. So cities require developers to build parking to avoid dumping this expensive externality on the neighborhood.

Posted by: anon2 at December 17, 2013 12:48 PM

Well said anon2! But your logic will fall on deaf ears with the faith based anti-car crowd.

Still, this is one of the best descriptions for the need for off-street private parking minimums I have read.

Posted by: Bravo! at December 17, 2013 1:20 PM

@anon2 - your theory only holds if you believe that "difficulty in finding free street parking" is the most important externality to address, rather than say, traffic congestion or other items.

If it's anything else, including congestion caused simply by more cars, your "solution" introduces more negative externalities than it solves. Have you never heard of folks complaining about a new building even with loads of off-street parking because of the new people/cars/traffic that it will bring?

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 1:29 PM

@Bravo -- Thanks!

@anon -- If you're a believer in markets, then you have to see that overall people only incur the expense of buying, insuring, storing, etc.. a car because it provides some benefit to them. Of course you can reduce car usage/ownership by increasing the cost of using/owning a car. But by doing so you are also removing the benefits that people receive from car usage. We could reduce the consumption of food or clean water by imposing large taxes on them, but it should be obvious why this would be a terrible idea.

In contrast, mileage spent circling for parking is a cost that provides no benefit. So yes, being able to drop car traffic by 1/3 *without reducing any of the benefits* should be a high priority.

Posted by: anon2 at December 17, 2013 2:00 PM

^Um, what does any of that have to do with what I said?

You want to impose an extra cost on developers and any person who wants to buy housing without parking, because of the negative externality of decreased free street parking. You want to force this negative externality to be addressed through government mandate forcing a dramatic change in what the free market would provide otherwise.

Now you want to shift to telling me that allowing the free market to determine the amount of parking built is akin to the government adding a tax on clean water?

I have no idea what your "without reducing any of the benefits" line is supposed to mean. Do you disagree that adding cars to a neighborhood does not increase traffic, regardless of parking added? If it doesn't, then anyone who complains about additional traffic in a neighborhood from new development has no leg to stand on as long as more parking than cars is added? Is that your claim?

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 2:10 PM

"Ummm? What's your point here?"

Ummm... that you can increase parking availability, and reduce congestion without adding parking, simply by managing existing parking with a market rate approach.

SFPark improved parking availability without adding a single parking space, which completely contradicts your (completely unsupported by any evidence) theory that congestion, or other externalities, can only be solved by increasing the quantity of parking.

You guys are like a broken record. See data, completely ignore the meaning of said data, and imagine that it somehow reinforces your beliefs.

SFPark proves your theory wrong.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 2:20 PM

lyqwyd,

Like I've already said, I'm all for demand pricing and SFPark and in so far the program can make parking more efficient and reduce congestion, that's great. But it's not going to change the fact that SF has a shortage of parking spaces. There are neighborhoods where people will spend like an hour every day just looking for a spot to park theirs cars for the night. Wasting time looking for a parking spot is obviously no fun and the fact that people do it is a proof that they really need to have a car no matter what the anti-car Talibans think. The negative externalities associated with people circling around looking for parking are a very plausible argument for the government forcing developers to provide a certain number of parking spots.


Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 2:31 PM

MoD,

I don't want to add more cars to the streets. I drive less because I have off-street parking. Rather than driving around looking for a parking spot causing air pollution and congestion, I just park my car in the garage. Of course, most of the time, I take public transportation.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 2:38 PM

Wasting time looking for a parking spot is obviously no fun and the fact that people do it is a proof that they really need to have a car no matter what the anti-car Talibans think.

Or...it is proof that street parking is astoundingly underpriced (all of the spaces not managed by SFPark and instead either completely free or for peanuts with an annual parking permit).

People will over-consume anything that is subsidized to a below market price by the government. Street parking is dramatically underpriced in this town - if a private company owned the street space that the city does, they'd be falling all over themselves to raise prices.

You can solve the congestion of people circling for an hour simply by charging more for permits or metering more parking. Those that have to have a car will find a parking spot or move somewhere with more free parking. Just like rent controlled apartments, keeping something dramatically below market price causes huge distortions, enough so that many folks (like yourself) start to believe that market solutions can't work and the government must step in to manipulate the market even more.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 2:39 PM

anonanon - Is there a shortage of off-street parking for sale or lease? If there is wouldn't the market prices simply rise until there are vacancies?

I can understand the desire to acquire parking for the lowest price possible as well. On-street parking in RPP zones is about as cheap as it comes. But since it isn't market priced it induces a free-for-all and the ensuing tragedy of the commons that we experience as circling for parking.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 17, 2013 2:50 PM

"If you're a believer in markets, then you have to see that overall people only incur the expense of buying, insuring, storing, etc.. a car because it provides some benefit to them."

If you are a believer in rational thought then you also have to see that cars also have downsides, not only social, but individual as well:

1) Number 1 cause of death for people 8-34 in the US - link
2) Number 1 cause of death for people 10-19 years worldwide - link
3) Number 6 preventable cause of death for all ages in the US link
4) Cause 18% of global warming emissions - link
5) Car emissions cause numerous health issues - link - link
6) Car emissions cause more deaths per year than car crashes - link

I could go on, but I'm sure you'll ignore all the citations and evidence anyway, since that's what you always do...

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 2:57 PM

@anonanon

"But it's not going to change the fact that SF has a shortage of parking spaces."

That is not a fact, that is your theory, which SFPark proves wrong.

The issue is not a shortage of parking, but an ineffective method of managing such parking. The rest of your post is pointless since your theory is already proven wrong.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 3:25 PM

MoD,

Some areas just don't have a lot of off-street parking garages and there are only some many slots on the streets. If you build a new residential complex, some percentage of the dwellers are going to have a need for a car. The larger you make the complex in the name of urban density, the more cars and the less likely that on-street parking would be sufficient without causing additional congestion.

As for the argument that street parking is underpriced in some parts of town, sure. You could raise the price to make SF an even less affordable city. But it doesn't change the fact that some percentage of the population needs a car and the more people you cram in, the more parking you need.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 3:42 PM

"But it doesn't change the fact that some percentage of the population needs a car and the more people you cram in, the more parking you need."

Your assumption is that the percentage cannot change, but that is wrong. So again, not a fact that more people living in SF requires more parking.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 3:59 PM

lyqwyd,

This is not rocket science. There is a parking shortage because of the ratio of physical cars to physical parking spots. The following SF Chronicle article from April of 2000 claims that the ratio at the time was three cars for every two parking spots.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Bright-lights-big-city-but-no-parking-3066281.php
Don't think SFPark is going to change that in a hurry.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 4:03 PM

^Um. The numbers in that article are 450,000 vehicles for 300,000 on-street parking spots. It takes no account of the hundreds of thousands of off-street parking spots.

Are you actually claiming that the city should build more on-street parking spots because one is needed for every car? Wow. That's a new one. I doubt you'd find any city in the US with more on-street parking spots than cars, simply because many places don't even allow on-street parking!

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 4:20 PM

anon,

All I'm claiming is that the article paints a picture of a parking shortage leading to people circling for prolonged periods of time causing air pollution and congestion and wasting a lot of their time. Sometimes they end up parking illegally blocking a fire hydrant, which is probably not a good thing either.

People enduring going through the hardship of finding a parking spot every night probably need their cars, or they wouldn't do it.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 4:30 PM

@anonanon - people will go through a lot for a free good. Market price it and you'll be surprised at how many people no longer "need" that good.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 4:31 PM

Also, you claimed that there was a "shortage" of physical cars to physical parking spots, which is 100% absurd, since the "proof" that you provided only talks about on-street spots.

Shortages are almost always caused by overly active government bureaucrats deciding how much people "deserve" for free or how much one set of people should subsidize others. Much like rent control, this is a textbook case.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 4:35 PM

@anonanon

I applaud that you've finally tried to provide a modicum of evidence to support at least one of your many claims, but anon's response thoroughly refuted it.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 4:35 PM

"people will go through a lot for a free good. Market price it and you'll be surprised at how many people no longer "need" that good."

People who spend an hour of their time every day looking for parking are already paying a pretty steep price for it. Don't you think they would find better a use of their time if they didn't need a car?

As for the availability of parking, it obviously varies by neighborhood. I'm pretty sure there is plenty of off-street space in the Embarcadero Center garage at night, but that doesn't help you much if you live in Cole Valley.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 4:53 PM

Don't you think they would find better a use of their time if they didn't need a car?

People are often irrational about the value of their own time.

You're missing the larger picture though. Sure, the person who spends an hour a day looking for parking probably needs it. But the person who leaves their broken down 1979 beater on the street and moves it once a week for street cleaning probably doesn't. If street parking were market priced, it's likely that the cost would rise enough so that the second person would consider getting rid of their car or parking it somewhere else that's free (out of town, whatever), which then frees up parking for the higher use of the person that actually needs to park each day.

Even a small move towards market rate would cause a lot of these problems to go away. How many cars on your block sit all week except for street cleaning day? I've got at least a dozen on mine. Some that I've never actually seen the owner use except to move early in the morning on street cleaning days.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 5:02 PM

anon,

I'm not against the idea of increasing the cost of street parking in areas where it's underpriced. I just don't think it's a magic bullet and it would make SF less affordable for people who need a car to make a living. And if the goal is to make more street parking available, why not do so by making sure there is more off-street parking so that not everyone would have to park on the street?

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 5:14 PM

"it would make SF less affordable for people who need a car to make a living"

It would also make SF more affordable for people who do not own a car

There are very few people who need a car to make a living in SF. Why focus on affordability for this very small number of people. I own a car, and use it to get to work, but I certainly don't need it to make a living.

"if the goal is to make more street parking available, why not do so by making sure there is more off-street parking..."

Because as has already been shown above, more quantity of parking leads to more quantity of car ownership and driving, which results in more of all the negatives I pointed out in my post from 2:57 PM, thus lowering the quality of life for all.

Additionally, as has been shown by SFPark, availability can be managed by pricing, without needing additional quantity of parking.

The real questions are why should parking and driving be subsidized when there is so much harm caused by driving. Why should the affordability of those that own cars be of more concern than those that don't? Why should car ownership be encouraged by government regulation?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 5:26 PM

why not do so by making sure there is more off-street parking so that not everyone would have to park on the street?

Because that costs money? Because that's forcing anyone who doesn't want or need a car to subsidize those that do?

A similar question to the affordable housing issue is "why not make sure there are more cheap apartments so everyone can have one?" Someone has to pay for this stuff, there is no free lunch.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 5:32 PM

"I own a car, and use it to get to work"

lyqwyd,

Just out of curiosity, if cars are as evil as the anti-car Talibans claim, why do you use one to get to work?

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 5:33 PM

Lyqwd, why do you own 2 cars if they are so bad? Do you have off street parking?

Posted by: Spencer at December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

anonanon is arguing that government should force developers into doing something that they wouldn't do otherwise in support of what he wants. Lyqwyd is not asking for a government handout and is instead asking that government remove mandates and enforced over-supply.

Posted by: anon at December 17, 2013 5:42 PM

"if cars are as evil as the anti-car Talibans"

I'm not sure who this anti car Taliban is, which of the links that I provided is the Taliban?

NHTSA, Wikipedia, MIT?

And your questions are quite simple to answer, I own because I choose to, and choice is what I've been promoting all along. And of course my second car is rented out via carshare, so results in a net ownership for me of somewhere between -3 and -13.

Now since I've answered your question, please answer mine, which I'll repeat for you:

Why should parking and driving be subsidized when there is so much harm caused by driving. Why should the affordability of those that own cars be of more concern than those that don't? Why should car ownership be encouraged by government regulation?

Pick just one to answer if you prefer...

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 5:49 PM

Why should car ownership be encouraged by government regulation?

Because many many people choose to own a car just like you do and government exists to provide services for the people.

Posted by: Obvious at December 17, 2013 5:59 PM

"Because many many people choose to own a car just like you do and government exists to provide services for the people."

So I guess your saying that those that don't own cars (about 25% of SF households) are not people...

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 6:00 PM

lyqwyd,

Let's see. You claim to own cars and drive even though you don't really need to while simultaneously arguing strenuously that SF should dissuade car ownership and driving because "there is so much harm caused by driving" as you put it. Why is it that I'm not at all surprised?

As for you questions, I think the basic point is that a transportation infrastructure that involves motor vehicles have external effects, both positive and negative. It's an issue where the details could probably be debated forever, but the bottom line is that a lack of parking has proven to cause very noticeable negative external effects. Both the SFPark program to make parking more efficient and regulations mandating parking for now construction are efforts by the government to combat those negative external effects.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 6:13 PM

"Because that's forcing anyone who doesn't want or need a car to subsidize those that do?"

anon,

If you are talking about the cost of buying a unit in a new condo complex that was forced to include parking, I'm not buying that argument. Having parking obviously increased the cost of construction, but if you have an assigned space, you can probably rent it out and reclaim at least part of the additional cost of buying the unit. And if you decide to sell, the resale value of the unit will probably be higher because of the parking space.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 6:24 PM

"SF should dissuade car ownership and driving... "

I've argued strenuously for market based pricing of parking, and eliminating subsidies for cars, which is quite a bit different from dissuading, it's getting the government out of the business of influencing peoples choice to own a car.

"... because 'there is so much harm caused by driving' as you put it.

not, just as I put it, as I've shown, and amazingly even you are now acknowledging that there are negative aspects.

"Why is it that I'm not at all surprised?"

Probably because you edit any data out that doesn't fit with your worldview, I own cars because I choose to, and that fits perfectly with my advocacy for allowing people to make their own choice without government interference. And my owning a car for car share, which reduces overall car ownership, also fits perfectly with my desire to reduce harm.

"... but the bottom line is that a lack of parking has proven to cause very noticeable negative external effects."

No, as has been shown by SFPark, ineffective pricing / mangagement of available parking has led to negative effects. In fact, evidence provided in the top of this thread shows that adding parking causes increased driving, thus exacerbating the negative effects. If you believe your claim to be true, provide supporting evidence that it's a lack of parking, not effective management that is the problem.

"regulations mandating parking for now construction are efforts by the government to combat those negative external effects."

They may be efforts combat negative effects, but the are in fact worsening the negative effects by increasing driving, as has been shown by studies provided above.

"Having parking obviously increased the cost of construction, but if you have an assigned space, you can probably rent it out and reclaim at least part of the additional cost of buying the unit."

So they may be able to recoup some of the cost with the effort of renting (but no guarantee of course), when they didn't want the space in the first place. Not to mention that any rental income is taxable.

"And if you decide to sell, the resale value of the unit will probably be higher because of the parking space."

Of course they don't get the mortgage interest, taxes, or commission back at sale time, so are still losing out on something they didn't want in the first place.

And again, you are forcing them to do this, perhaps they wanted to do other things with that money than have it locked up in their property...

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 7:37 PM

liquid -- a fluid that flows in it own accord and direction with a high degree of oiliness.

Jeez you have more time on your hand than this old geezer. go to London or Portugal or somewhere where your sensibilities won't be insulted by a 1st world culture that requires quick transportation to sustain the high quality of living that you indulge in. bah

Posted by: contrarian at December 17, 2013 8:11 PM

lets make a simple example

project: build a condo complex with 100 units

option A: 80 parking spots
Option B: 50 parking spots
Option C: 20 parking spots

in option A, if 70% of residents own 1 car, 10% own 2 cars and 20% own 0 cars
That's 90 cars. A net increase of 10 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street.

option B: For argument's sake, we will assume that less parking offered will have some impact on car ownership. if 65% own 1 car, 5% own 2 cars and 30% own no cars. That's 75 cars. (in reality, i dont think the offering less parking will have this much effect on reducing homeowners who own cars) Still in this scenario, A net increase of 25 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street.

option C: For argument's sake, we will assume that less parking offered will have even more impact on car ownership. if 55% own 1 car, 5% own 2 cars and 40% own no cars. That's 65 cars. (in reality, i dont think the offering less parking will have this much effect on reducing homeowners who own cars) . in this scenario, A net increase of 40 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street.

lyqwd, you have not provided any evidence despite what you might think. providing junk science is just misleading. no one has done an extensive controlled study of the impact of offering more or less offstreet parking, but common sense prevails.

and to your argument on free market, it falls flat as well. The govt is here to ensure that the city's best interest is kept in mind. developers are only concerned about their own profit. If they dont need to build parking, they wont because they can charge exorbitant amounts in SF whether they offer parking or not because the demand is so high. They will always be able to earn more per sq ft of housing than per sq ft for parking. The developers dont care if the streets become supercongested. it is not their problem. This is the citys problem and they need to regulate developers in order to prevent it from happening. In order to prevent congestion mayhem, they need to ensure that developers build enough parking to meet demand for car storage.

I do agree that parking meters should be more expensive, and maybe extend further into neighborhoods, but off street parking is more important.

as far as the safety and negative environmental impacts of cars, i still think we can engineer our way out of those. But we need to regulate emissions per car and provide incentives for doing so.

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 17, 2013 8:33 PM

"it's getting the government out of the business of influencing peoples choice to own a car."

lyqwyd,

So you don't think the government should be in the business of addressing external effects?

As for SFPark fixing all parking issues in San Francisco, all I can say is "Good luck with that!" Willie Brown promised to "fix MUNI" in a hundred days when he first ran for mayor and now claims that it was the most stupid thing he ever did in his political career. But probably not as stupid as thinking that SFPark will fix all of SF's parking woes.

And I'm concerned that by claiming to own cars and driving them without needing to do so and proclaiming that "there is so much harm caused by driving", you may come across as somewhat of a hypocrite, and of course, I wouldn't want that to happen.

Posted by: anonanon at December 17, 2013 8:47 PM

@moto

"lyqwd, you have not provided any evidence despite what you might think."

I consider studies published in peer reviewed journals, university research papers, and articles in well respected magazines to be evidence. You seem to think this is not, but are unable to explain your opinion. Your opinion certainly does not refute my evidence.

On the other hand your hypotheticals are certainly not evidence of anything, and certainly do not come remotely close to refuting the evidence I've already provided. They leave out way too much to be useful.

Here's another hypothetical:

0 spaces and 0 car ownership

See, I present a hypothetical that meets any criteria that I want if I don't need to base the assumptions on anything.

Show me a study that supports your claims.

"The govt is here to ensure that the city's best interest is kept in mind"

OK, then you must believe that parking maximums, or even requiring no parking at all is good, as that is current government policy.

"This is the citys problem and they need to regulate developers in order to prevent it from happening."

They are, by restricting parking, since parking results in more driving, as has been shown above.

"i still think we can engineer our way out of those. But we need to regulate emissions per car and provide incentives for doing so."

Sure, technology can help, but decades of improvements have not come close to solving the problem, so there's no reason to think it's a magic bullet.

On the other hand, during the great recession driving dropped, as did overall emissions & deaths from crashes, far more dramatically than seen at any other time. This proves that reducing total driving is far more effective than technological improvements.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 8:59 PM

"Here's another hypothetical:

0 spaces and 0 car ownership"

My hypotheticals were a little more real my friend.
its not hard to get a peer reviewed article in those journals. having them there doesn't mean the methods are valid. they are not controlled studies and do not account for many factors.

again, govt should address congestion by ensuring there is enough off street parking. common sense is all you need my friend. and i do ahve to agree with anonanon. by owning 2 cars yourself, you are in a glass house throwing stones. if you really believed what you were saying, you wouldn't have a car at all.

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 17, 2013 9:14 PM

So you don't think the government should be in the business of addressing external effects?

Generally no, as it does such a piss poor job in so many cases, usually causing more harm than the good it's claiming to try and do, as can be seen with our decades of ineffective parking regulations, rent control, or any other number of botched interventions..

If I did think it should as far as driving is concerned, then I would certainly want it to discourage driving, as the external affects are caused by driving, and additional parking has already been shown to increase driving.

But I think that society is better off if people make informed decisions, don't expect others to pay for their choices, or expect the government to bail them out.

As for SFPark fixing all parking issues in San Francisco, all I can say is "Good luck with that!

I have no idea who you are planning on saying that to, as I've not suggested that SFPark will fix all issues. What I've shown is that SFPark is a success and has made significant improvements in parking related congestion in shopping without adding a single parking space and continues to make improvements. It should be expanded to all commercial districts, and similar market based approaches should be implemented in residential areas, and will likely work just as well.

And I'm concerned that by claiming to own cars and driving them without needing to do so and proclaiming that "there is so much harm caused by driving", you may come across as somewhat of a hypocrite, and of course, I wouldn't want that to happen.

While your concern is heartwarming, worry no more, as I'm not at all concerned if you call me hypocrite. It certainly doesn't refute any of the points I've raised.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 9:46 PM

"My hypotheticals were a little more real my friend. "

Actaully that's my point, it wasn't any more real, as it's not based on any more than mine was.

"again, govt should address congestion by ensuring there is enough off street parking"

Saying it again doesn't make it any more true. Provide some evidence to support your claims are they are baseless.

"its not hard to get a peer reviewed article in those journals."

So how come your side of the debate can't get anything in even these publications?

"they are not controlled studies and do not account for many factors."

Are you claiming that any study that is not a controlled study is invalid? If not, then you need to show how each study is wrong, as saying some uncontrolled studies are flawed is not even close to saying any specific study is wrong.

"by owning 2 cars yourself..."

You guys so conveniently ignore the car share...

"... you are in a glass house throwing stones."

How so? Why is somebody that believes in the free market when it comes to car ownership not allowed to own a car?

"If you really believed what you were saying, you wouldn't have a car at all."

If I believe that people should choose to own under the free market I should own a car at all? How does that make any sense? Are you saying that if people had to pay the free market price of car ownership that nobody would choose to own a car?

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 17, 2013 10:07 PM

If you are talking about the cost of buying a unit in a new condo complex that was forced to include parking, I'm not buying that argument. Having parking obviously increased the cost of construction, but if you have an assigned space, you can probably rent it out and reclaim at least part of the additional cost of buying the unit. And if you decide to sell, the resale value of the unit will probably be higher because of the parking space.

I'm primarily talking about the developer, who must:

1. Build fewer units or less living space in order to include the "correct" amount of parking determined by a group of bureaucrats in a room instead of a liquid free market.

2. Lower the overall margin that he's selling at, since parking sells for a MUCH lower margin than living space (we've seen posts here on Socketsite talking about "expensive" $85,000 parking spots, which is pennies per sq ft compared to living space). At higher margins, you'd induce more developers to build, adding more supply.

Again, just like your likely views of rent control not actually impacting anyone, your views of minimum parking requirements are only looking at the impact to the last person in the chain, rather than the incredible market-distorting effects that happen much higher up. But you're probably justifying that by saying that it only hurts "greedy developers" or something along those lines. No sense arguing with a socialist.

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 8:14 AM

"For argument's sake, we will assume that less parking offered will have some impact on car ownership."

Amount of parking available has a dramatic impact on car ownership. In my household with 3 adults (I include a friend that has lived with us in 3 different places for the last fifteen years as part of the household) lived at Broderick & Turk, we had two cars for three adults. No off street parking, but could always find a place within a couple blocks easily.

Then we moved to SOMA, again, no off street parking. Had a much more difficult time finding parking. Started driving less (didn't want to lose our spot on the street) and eventually got rid of one of our two cars. Lack of cheap available parking resulted in one less car.

Then we bought a place near Geary & Divisadero that had 1 deeded parking spot plus plenty of street parking (usually park within 10 yards of our front door). Within two years we purchased a new car. Three years after that our friend (who had always biked around the city) purchased his first car. Now we have three cars.

When parking was hard to get, we had one and now that parking is so cheap and easy, we have three.

If parking became more expensive or harder to get, we would likely get rid of a car (I re-run the cost benefit analysis every time it needs a repair and we include the cost of parking in that calculation).

Owning multiple cars and believing that the government should discourage private ownership of cars is no not hypocritical, it is just responding as a rational actor in the marketplace.

Posted by: Rillion at December 18, 2013 9:22 AM

"I'm primarily talking about the developer"

First we hear that it's unfair that people who don't own cars should pay for parking requirements for new developments. Now we learn that the real victims are the developers. (Those developers that don't own cars, perhaps.)

Requiring parking in new developments to reduce congestion is no stranger than government mandated emission standards for automobiles aimed at reducing air pollution. Those regulations make it more expensive for Ford and GM to manufacture cars and have been around in good old socialist US of A for half a century.

"just like your likely views of rent control not actually impacting anyone"

Don't think I have ever expressed such a view.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 11:03 AM

^I'm talking about the way that it impacts the market. If you don't think that fees that hit developers have an impact on folks downstream, I've got a bridge to sell you.

And yes, I was expecting the "greedy developer" schtick from ya.

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 11:19 AM

Requiring parking in new developments to reduce congestion is no stranger than government mandated emission standards for automobiles aimed at reducing air pollution.

lol lol lol. Yes, if only we could require states to build wider and longer freeways to "reduce congestion", we'll solve this whole traffic problem. We're almost there - just need another 4-5 lanes each way on all freeways and this pollution issue will be solved!

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 11:22 AM

"First we hear that it's unfair that people who don't own cars should pay for parking requirements for new developments..."

And it is certainly true notwithstanding your position that those people can make some of their money back by renting the space that they don't want in the first place. Maybe we should also require every residential developments. For people that don't want to work at home they can make some money by renting out the space to companies.

"Now we learn that the real victims are the developers."

Another misinterpretation by you. anon is talking about how it skews the price of housing, thus harming occupants of the units. If the developer is not forced to put in parking, they can put in more housing units in the same building envelope, thus increasing supply, and therefor correspondingly reducing price.

It sure is starting to seem like you are intentionally misrepresenting what your opponents are saying, since it happens so frequently.

Another issue with forcing those that don't want parking to pay for parking: It makes them get a smaller living space than they would otherwise be able to afford.

Landlords usually expect tenants to earn a certain multiple over the rent cost, usually about 3x. So if the rent includes a parking space, the cost of the parking space will be factored into their multiple.

Banks approve people based on their income, so each person has an absolute max on what their mortgage can be. If all properties include a parking space, the real amount of house they can afford is reduced by the amount the parking space costs.

So yes, this is all consistent with the fact that requiring parking reduces affordability.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 18, 2013 11:47 AM

lyqwyd,

How is your reading comprehension? I argued that a mandated parking spot would increase the building cost of a condo and that the buyer would bear that cost. I also argued that if the spot was unneeded, the buyer could mitigate the cost buy renting it out and getting a higher resale value.

In response to my post about the impact on the buyer, anon responded with a post starting with "I'm primarily talking about the developer" and continued discussing it from the developers perspective rather than the buyer's.

"So yes, this is all consistent with the fact that requiring parking reduces affordability."

That is true only if the required number of parking spots is excessive enough that its cost can't be mitigated by the factors I mentioned. For buyers who actually need parking spots, it's only fair that the pay for the additional cost even if it reduces affordability. And circling for an hour every day looking for street parking has a cost, too, which could be said to affect affordability. And congestion and air pollution have significant negative external effects that someone should pay for.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 12:35 PM

How is your reading comprehension?

Quite good, thanks for asking!

I argued that a mandated parking spot would increase the building cost of a condo and that the buyer would bear that cost. I also argued that if the spot was unneeded, the buyer could mitigate the cost buy renting it out and getting a higher resale value.

Sure, and I pointed out that there's no guarantee they get their money back, particularly with a buyer since they have to pay income tax on the revenue (as does a renter), property tax on the value, transfer tax and commission on the sale. And of course there's also vacancy loss, and dealing with counter party risk. All for something the person didn't want, but you would prefer to force them to have.

That is true only if the required number of parking spots is excessive enough that its cost can't be mitigated by the factors I mentioned.

No, as has already been shown, there are other factors that make it almost impossible to recoup the cost of the spot.

I'll repeat my example:

A landlord expects 3x rent in income. Therefore they will expect 3x the monthly cost of the spot. This reduces the housing that a renter can afford by 3x the cost of the spot. This clearly reduces affordability.

It's also been shown that the likelihood of recouping all the costs of a spot is quite low. You've failed to provide any evidence to support the idea that they can recoup all the cost of a parking spot.

Of course you persist in ignoring the fact that a person that doesn't want a parking spot doesn't want a parking spot! You cannot mitigate that by saying they might be able to recoup the costs. Even if they could recoup the cost, they are still worse of in having to deal with the hassle of managing something they have no desire to own. Should they also be forced to buy a clown outfit because they could make money working as a clown? The essence is that they don't want the spot. It's irrelevant even if they can make a profit. They don't want it! You want to force people to do something they don't want.

Lastly, the fact that you are forcing more supply than the market desires, the price is guaranteed to be lower than what is profitable, otherwise the market would already be supplying at least as much as you are trying to force into supply!

In response to my post about the impact on the buyer, anon responded with a post starting with "I'm primarily talking about the developer" and continued discussing it from the developers perspective rather than the buyer's.

As per the usual you ignore critical information that is presented to you, this was said by anon in the same post:

"At higher margins, you'd induce more developers to build, adding more supply"

Adding supply decreases price, thus increasing affordability. So while he was speaking about developers, it was to show how it increases affordability to eliminate minimums.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 18, 2013 1:08 PM

lyqwyd,

One notable comment in anon's developer-centric post is the following:

"Lower the overall margin that he's selling at, since parking sells for a MUCH lower margin than living space (we've seen posts here on Socketsite talking about "expensive" $85,000 parking spots, which is pennies per sq ft compared to living space)."

What that claim tells us is that developers have an incentive to build less parking than needed in order to make more profit while offloading cost to society in the form of people looking for street parking causing congestion and air pollution. Why should the rest of society pay the price for that?

Eliminating parking minimums increases affordability only if you assume that people spending an hour every day looking for a parking spot doesn't have a cost either to them or society.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 1:50 PM

OK, this is boring now, bye.

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 18, 2013 1:59 PM

I've got news for both of you - this conversation passed the boring mark a couple of days ago.

Posted by: Fishchum at December 18, 2013 2:02 PM

"What that claim tells us is that developers have an incentive to build less parking than needed in order to make more profit while offloading cost to society in the form of people looking for street parking causing congestion and air pollution. Why should the rest of society pay the price for that?"

Right now, the city is not charging market rate for on-street parking, and offering it for free or practically free, with the only expense being time. Many people irrationally undervalue their time, and will put up with an hour of searching for that "free" spot rather than ponying up the money to buy/rent an off-street spot. It is certainly possible that under a market-based system the value of off-street parking would rise enough that developers would want to build more.

"Eliminating parking minimums increases affordability only if you assume that people spending an hour every day looking for a parking spot doesn't have a cost either to them or society."

So why not market price on-street parking to solve that issue? You never responded to my previous query about how many cars on your street never move except on street cleaning day. We have a major issue with people overindulging in a free resource. The way to fix that (and give everyone back some of their time) is to charge the correct amount for it.

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 2:05 PM

"I argued that a mandated parking spot would increase the building cost of a condo and that the buyer would bear that cost. I also argued that if the spot was unneeded, the buyer could mitigate the cost buy renting it out and getting a higher resale value."

I've heard that cars with sweet sound systems sell for more than those without. Perhaps we should mandate that all cars be sold with $5000 sound systems. I mean, geez, if someone doesn't want it they can always remove it and sell it, right? And if they do keep it, their car will sell for more when they want to sell it!

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 2:09 PM

"So why not market price on-street parking to solve that issue?"

Maybe it would solve the issue. Who knows? You would probably need to convince quite a few people who benefit from underpriced street parking that they should pay a couple of hundred bucks more per month in order to get your proposal through the political process. But maybe the need for minimum requirements for new development would indeed go away. However, we are not there yet.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 2:29 PM

"I've heard that cars with sweet sound systems sell for more than those without. Perhaps we should mandate that all cars be sold with $5000 sound systems. I mean, geez, if someone doesn't want it they can always remove it and sell it, right? And if they do keep it, their car will sell for more when they want to sell it!"

OK, tells us about the external effects of car stereos!

BTW, if the mix between units with parking and units without parking is done right, the risk of people ending up with unneeded parking is reduced.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 2:36 PM

BTW, if the mix between units with parking and units without parking is done right, the risk of people ending up with unneeded parking is reduced.

But you're unwilling to let anyone determine what this mix is, unless it's you! You've decided that X amount is appropriate, everyone else be damned!

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 3:49 PM

We have a 2 car owner hijacking a thread to promote some twisted anti-car-parking I'm not sure what agenda. There needs to be some meet-up scheduled where all the car owners who HATE cars could drive their cars and circle for parking to finally be able to tell each other how terrible OTHER cars are in the city over drinks. They are now talking about "choice" and I suggest they sell their cars and move to one of the properties without parking which this city has an ample supply of. Btw-existing condos and homes without parking ARE cheaper because they are less sought after by buyers and therefore they can stop worrying about "subsidizing" other drivers parking spaces.

Posted by: PotMeetKettke at December 18, 2013 4:06 PM

Maybe it would solve the issue. Who knows? You would probably need to convince quite a few people who benefit from underpriced street parking that they should pay a couple of hundred bucks more per month in order to get your proposal through the political process. But maybe the need for minimum requirements for new development would indeed go away. However, we are not there yet.

If we allowed true market-clearing prices, it would definitely solve the issue of having to circle for parking, there's no question there.

The only question is whether market-clearing prices would be so high that other negatives would outweigh the positives of not having to circle for parking.

Because of the number of derelict and 95%-of-the-time-unused cars that I see on nearly every street, my guess is that true market clearing prices would be much less than your two hundred bucks a month figure. There are many neighborhoods where you can get a garaged spot for that much now. If we flooded the market with the hundreds of thousands of on-street spots, we can only assume that those prices would come down.

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 4:11 PM

@PotMeetKettke - I'm completely fine with directly subsidizing any activity that we deem worthy of subsidization.

In this scenario, I'd be all for market-pricing of all parking on-street and allowing the market to add as much or as little off-street parking as desired - AND THEN if we decided that the market prices were simply too high for some group that we felt needed cars and we had a public interest in ensuring that they had cheap parking, cutting them a monthly check to subsidize that parking. That way we'd know exactly the amount of money that we're spending to subsidize the necessary parking.

As it is now, folks believe that parking is free, developers should be forced to provide it in all circumstances, and anyone and everyone who feels that markets can provide this good better than state intervention must be "anti-car".

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 4:18 PM

"But you're unwilling to let anyone determine what this mix is, unless it's you! You've decided that X amount is appropriate, everyone else be damned!"

I wouldn't personally want to make such judgement calls; I'd leave that to professionals.

However, anon's claim about margins for parking vs. living space means that developers have economic incentives to build as little parking as possible, which, one would assume, would likely be less than what's needed to prevent people from parking on the streets. Most rational developers that could make more money by pushing some of the cost for parking onto society in general would probably do so. Therefore, it would be unwise to let them make the decision.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 4:24 PM

I've never seen a thread literally hi-jacked by one person more than this thread.

The liquid just keeps flowing and flowing, clogging up all the drains.

Posted by: Futurist at December 18, 2013 4:44 PM

@anon You entire argument along the lines of "allowing the market to add as much or as little off-street parking as desired" is specious at best and flatout misguided.

Requiring off street parking to be built in new construction is a Public Policy issue as it potentially affects all citizens and visitors to SF. As a developer that has built multiple projects in SF I understand this quite clearly.

Yes, I could make more money by building with no off street parking just like I could by not insulating to Title-24 standards or not providing proper egress per fire codes.

Minimum code requirements like insulation, egress, light, ventilation, sound deadening, parking, room size, ceiling heights, etc. are there to protect the public and are set by the public policy experts in that field.

I am an unabashed free market proponent, but I am smart enough to realize that markets do not work in all cases, especially when it comes to building/maintaining infrastructure such as roads/parking.

I have no issue if we decide that the best public policy is in fact to have .5 parking to 1 unit or whatever, but to keep trying to make the case that the free market will optimize the correct solution is just silly.

Posted by: Skirunman at December 18, 2013 4:56 PM

"As it is now, folks believe that parking is free, developers should be forced to provide it in all circumstances, and anyone and everyone who feels that markets can provide this good better than state intervention must be "anti-car"."

I'd be all for a market-based solution, but we don't have one now and I think there would be political hurdles to get one implemented.

And I don't think people who advocate a full market-based approach are anti-car. I reserve that for the crowd that writes lists of reasons why cars are evil (while still driving around without a real need to do so).

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 5:12 PM

"If we allowed true market-clearing prices, it would definitely solve the issue of having to circle for parking, there's no question there."

In economic theory, it would solve the problem. But if we are talking practice in SF, where things are often done far from the optimal scenarios of economic theory, the situation is a little bit more iffy when it comes to implementing something like that.

Posted by: anonanon at December 18, 2013 5:24 PM

I have no issue if we decide that the best public policy is in fact to have .5 parking to 1 unit or whatever, but to keep trying to make the case that the free market will optimize the correct solution is just silly.

I've repeated several times that it only works if we market price on-street parking. If developers "push" people to park on the street, that would raise the cost of street parking, making it more likely that developers would build additional off-street parking.

And anyway, isn't everyone on here always claiming that developers want to build MORE parking if only the city would let them?

Posted by: anon at December 18, 2013 10:34 PM

Market pricing on street parking means what? Different prices on different blocks and at different times? So if I park my car at 4:20pm on Gough St. I could be paying $5/hr for the first 40 mins, then $8/hr for the next 2 hours and then $3/hr all through the night until 8am at which point it would increase again? And if I went over the Laguna St then I might $1/hr? And how would I know this, would there be electronic billboards on every block or every meter, big enough that I can see it driving by?

Flexible market pricing may work for off-street lots or even on-street spaces (e.g. on the Embarcadero) during business hours but the problem we're talking about here is overnight residential parking. Would it be better to convert on-street spaces to reservable assigned spaces from, say, 7pm to 8am? As a resident I'd be able to pay $150/mo and a certain metered space would be mine during those hours, meaning I could get any violator towed away?

Which model would you use?

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at December 19, 2013 3:18 AM

^We've discussed several different models here, but I'd basically:

1. Roll out SF Park to all metered spaces and city-owned parking garages/lots. It's working great so far in the pilot areas.

2. Implement an auction for neighborhood parking permits. The specifics could be debated, but I'd conduct a census of the available street spots in the neighborhood, conduct a uniform price auction with bids coming in over a two month period for 75% of the spots (everyone submits the highest amount they'd be willing to pay, then all are charged the lowest bid amount that sells all spaces). Allow an additional 15% of the spots to be sold at a 25% markup from the auction price after the auction through the remainder of the year (pro-rated for time used), leaving 10% as always unsold, ensuring that some spots are always available.

If the auction doesn't generate enough bids to sell 75% of the spots (as would surely be the case in some uncrowded neighborhoods), permits are handed out free to those that entered, and some minimum amount is determined for use the rest of the year.

If some neighborhoods have too much of a problem with guests parking overnight, alter the local parking regs to require permits until a later time or even all night or convert more spots to metered. De-link the permits from specific cars so that they can be transferred (since there will never be a case of too many permits being sold, because the amount sold is based on the number of spaces that actually exist).

We could certainly also restrict spots to specific people, though that would involve significantly more bureaucracy to implement. I'd try to model of just moving neighborhood parking permits to market price first, as that would help remove thousands of rarely moved cars from the street permanently, which would ease congestion at all times, including overnight.

Posted by: anon at December 19, 2013 11:13 AM

just read this thread . really annoying, but i did like moto mayhems example. seems straightforward.


"lets make a simple example

project: build a condo complex with 100 units

option A: 80 parking spots
Option B: 50 parking spots
Option C: 20 parking spots

in option A, if 70% of residents own 1 car, 10% own 2 cars and 20% own 0 cars
That's 90 cars. A net increase of 10 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street.

option B: For argument's sake, we will assume that less parking offered will have some impact on car ownership. if 65% own 1 car, 5% own 2 cars and 30% own no cars. That's 75 cars. (in reality, i dont think the offering less parking will have this much effect on reducing homeowners who own cars) Still in this scenario, A net increase of 25 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street.

option C: For argument's sake, we will assume that less parking offered will have even more impact on car ownership. if 55% own 1 car, 5% own 2 cars and 40% own no cars. That's 65 cars. (in reality, i dont think the offering less parking will have this much effect on reducing homeowners who own cars) . in this scenario, A net increase of 40 cars that need street parking, and cause additional congestion by circling looking for parking on the street."

Posted by: jill at December 19, 2013 5:00 PM

^It also "seems straightforward" that adding lanes to a freeway would help ease congestion, but we all know that that ends up not being true in the long run, because additional lanes induce additional developments and longer commutes.

If moto had any kind of data to support the numbers that he pulled from the sky the argument would be a bit more compelling.

Posted by: anon at December 19, 2013 9:28 PM

"It also "seems straightforward" that adding lanes to a freeway would help ease congestion, but we all know that that ends up not being true in the long run, because additional lanes induce additional developments and longer commutes."

So what you are saying is that by adding more transportation infrastructure capacity, we would encourage more developments and everything would go downhill from there.

OK.

Posted by: anonanon at December 20, 2013 2:13 AM

^No. I'm saying that adding capacity to freeways rarely helps in the long term with congestion. It may still be necessary for economic growth, often is, but is not a "congestion" cure.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 7:05 AM

I think we should reduce freeway capacity to zero, thereby eliminating congestion entirely! Let's go back to single-lane country roads instead of the Interstate freeway system. That'll solve everything.

Posted by: Jimmy (not a Real San Franciscan (TM)) at December 20, 2013 10:24 AM

I think we should reduce absurd absolutist suggestions. If someone suggests we stop adding to X, it does not further any point to talk about what would happen if we made X zero.

You know how we can reduce unemployment? Fire everyone! With no jobs we no longer have to worry about employed versus unemployed! That will solve everything. See what a great argument this is and how much it shows up the falicy in, uh, um, whatever.

Posted by: Rillion at December 20, 2013 10:35 AM

Should we reduce them to zero?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Signing off for 2013 ...

Posted by: Jimmy (not a Real San Franciscan (TM)) at December 20, 2013 10:51 AM

moto does seem to be the only one who provided a realistic model, but he was shot down with absolutist hypotheticals as well.

there is no "hard evidence" on either side. But for me, when you change a policy, then you need to have good data to back that up. the developers are always going to take the cheap way out. the city needs to get ahead of this. I personally dont think congestion is too bad right now, but cutting offstreet parking is going to make it worse.

motos best suggestion was one from a thread about a month ago. they city should support motorcycle use. I just bought one for cross-city use and its awesome. I commute out of SF in my car, and now am using the motorcycle to get around in the city. its fast, cheap, less harmful to environment, easy to park.

Posted by: Spencer at December 20, 2013 10:55 AM

I've always wanted a motorcycle but I can't afford the life insurance my husband insists I have before he let's me get one.

Posted by: Rillion at December 20, 2013 11:14 AM

Be careful Spencer. I nearly lost my life a few times when I rode a motorcycle. Finally gave it up after a nighttime rear tire blowout in the fast lane of the freeway. A high speed blowout in a car is pretty unsettling but on a motorcycle it is C R A Z Y scary.

Have fun on your two wheels but ride like a granny until you get the hang of a high performance vehicle that is nearly invisible to some drivers.

Rillion's hubby isn't paranoid. My mom used to work in the ER and saw quite a few collision victims. She forbade us from having a motorcycle while we were still kids.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 20, 2013 11:36 AM

there is no "hard evidence" on either side. But for me, when you change a policy, then you need to have good data to back that up. the developers are always going to take the cheap way out. the city needs to get ahead of this. I personally dont think congestion is too bad right now, but cutting offstreet parking is going to make it worse.

No one is suggesting "cutting" off-street parking. We're talking about new developments and how much additional off-street parking is added.

I love how there has been this massive pivot from "Developers want to build parking! Let them build as much as they want!" to "Developers will take the easy way out! We must force them to build a minimum amount!"

Which is it? Are you arguing that maximums limit the market from providing the parking that people want to buy, but minimums will allow developers to not build the parking that people want to buy? I don't get it.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 11:40 AM

Not paranoid at all. I had a cousin die on a motorcycle just this year. Live fast, ...

Posted by: outtahere at December 20, 2013 11:45 AM

moto does seem to be the only one who provided a realistic model, but he was shot down with absolutist hypotheticals as well.

What type of "model" are you looking for? I'll pull up some census data for you if you'd like. Moto's model seems to just be some random numbers tossed out there based on (guessing?) how his friends would act?

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 11:58 AM

I think we should reduce freeway capacity to zero, thereby eliminating congestion entirely! Let's go back to single-lane country roads instead of the Interstate freeway system. That'll solve everything.

To be clear - I was not arguing that we shouldn't expand freeways, just that only the addition of lanes does nothing to cure congestion. Just like only the addition of extra off-street parking will have little to no effect on curing congestion.

Now, congestion may not be something that you want to cure for various reasons. But arguing to increase off-street parking as a "congestion" cure is absolutely insane.

(the cure to congestion in both cases is market pricing of course - it's happening in many places with new freeway lanes, and the results are marvelous)

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 12:56 PM

"the cure to congestion in both cases is market pricing of course"

That may be the case in economic theory. Practice is a little bit more complicated. Sometime ago, I was walking down Union St. early in the afternoon. Every single parking spot on both sides of the street was full. There was an Arrowhead water delivery truck that was double parked and cars were trying to get around it whenever there was a gap in oncoming traffic. In the same block, there was a car that was double parked in the other direction as well. The result was a multi-block traffic jam in both directions with traffic coming to a crawl. This shouldn't have happened even with our current system since double parking is illegal, but there was no enforcement. And it's easy to have some sympathy for the Arrowhead guy. He had to make his delivery. What should he do? Circle round the block for an hour looking for a legal space? If we can't even enforce our current rules that seek to reduce congestion by banning double parking, how is market pricing going to help? There are many more angles to the parking issue than pricing.

The point is that there is only so much curb space in SF and it's in demand by locals, commuters, and tourists alike. Unless market pricing can reduce that demand so much that the Arrowhead guy can always find easy parking wherever he needs to make a delivery, market pricing will not "cure" congestion. And I see that demand reduction actually happening in SF as a pure pipe dream.

Requiring off-street parking is no magic bullet for existing congestion issues, of course, but it is a way to mitigate the impact of new construction and increased densification.

Posted by: anonanon at December 20, 2013 2:25 PM

You're talking about two minutes of congestion, not what most people would talk about when discussing congestion. And how in the world would increased off-street parking help this delivery man? Are you suggesting that we build several off-street delivery spots large enough for an Arrowhead truck in every building?

Are we really now justifying underpriced on-street parking and forcing the building of extra off-street parking because you saw a delivery truck breaking the law? Because this law just can't be enforced, we must pass a bunch of additional laws that don't address the problem created by the illegal behavior? Makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 2:32 PM

That may be the case in economic theory. Practice is a little bit more complicated.

I don't know of a single implementation in the US that has not worked as intended, do you? From the "Lexus lanes" of Southern California to the new variable tolling of the 520 bridge in Seattle (both of which are 100% electronic at full speed), every instance has worked even better than expectations.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 2:35 PM

"Are we really now justifying underpriced on-street parking and forcing the building of extra off-street parking because you saw a delivery truck breaking the law?"

I'm not defending underpriced on-street parking. I'm just saying that it's extremely naive to believe that a market-price system that will get rid of every parking-related congestion issue will ever be implemented in SF. But even if that were to happen, we are not there yet. And until then, we need parking minimum rules. They won't solve existing problems but help prevent things from getting worse due to new construction and increased density.

And, yes, enforcement is a completely valid issue when it comes to parking issues. You may change your price structure all you want, but with out proper enforcement, it may not mean a thing.

Posted by: anonanon at December 20, 2013 3:15 PM

They won't solve existing problems but help prevent things from getting worse due to new construction and increased density.

You keep stating this. Is there any example of a place that has kept congestion from getting worse by building more parking? I'm genuinely curious. That just seems well, impossible.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 3:40 PM

They won't solve existing problems but help prevent things from getting worse due to new construction and increased density.

You keep stating this. Is there any example of a place that has kept congestion from getting worse by building more parking? I'm genuinely curious. That just seems well, impossible.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 3:41 PM

And, yes, enforcement is a completely valid issue when it comes to parking issues. You may change your price structure all you want, but with out proper enforcement, it may not mean a thing.

Sure. I still maintain that your delivery truck story is a very, very tiny sliver of congestion or parking issues. The vast majority of the issues are caused by severely underpriced residential parking permits and non-market rate metered parking in most areas. Those are the 10,000 pound gorillas in the room, compared to the five pound chihuahua of double-parked delivery trucks.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 3:45 PM

While we are at it can we please start towing all those cars that just park in the traffic lanes on Sunday. The 1st amendment does not mean people can turn traffic lanes into parking lots.

Posted by: Rillion at December 20, 2013 4:09 PM

"The vast majority of the issues are caused by severely underpriced residential parking permits and non-market rate metered parking in most areas."

Add to that the unusually high amount of park all day for free placards disabled placards that you will find in the areas of highest on-street parking demand. Not even market rate SFPark techniques will reduce that. yet.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 20, 2013 4:40 PM

"Is there any example of a place that has kept congestion from getting worse by building more parking?"

It's not rocket science. If you build a new condo complex, some percentage of the dwellers will have a car. What would produce the most congestion and air pollution in the neighborhood, off-street or on-street parking? If there was not a single off-street parking spot in the new development, would it mean that none of the dwellers would own a car? I don't think so.

"I still maintain that your delivery truck story is a very, very tiny sliver of congestion or parking issues."

I think you underestimate the impact of double-parked delivery trucks. It's a very real problem. It raises issues regarding yellow zones, etc. and any claim that there is a simple magic bullet in the form of market pricing is just naive.

The bottom line is simple: If unchecked, unscrupulous developers (and not all of them are, as Skirunman's post demonstrated) could take advantage of the mispricing of on-street parking to line their own pockets at the cost of the general public in the form of congestion and air pollution. How do we prevent that from happening? Market-based parking pricing may solve the problem in theory, but it hasn't been implemented in practice, and I'm doubtful that it will ever happen in SF. In the meantime, parking minimum requirements are a better-then-nothing way of addressing the issue.

Posted by: anonanon at December 20, 2013 4:43 PM

anonanon. that last comment was good. agree with you that developers will take the cheap way out and leave congestion without a thought.

the other anon keeps referring to a congestion "cure". No one is seeking a cure. this is a chronic disease and you just try to stay ahead of it. you cant cure it.

more lanes ona highway does temporarily releive cngestion, until more business and more people bring more traffic. But it does allow more commerce and can ease traffic for sometime. think what would happen without that extra lane in some places.

More offstreet parking is not a cure, but it is a good tactic to go along with higher street parking, sfpark and other things. having more and more cars competing for offstreet parking and causing mass congestion is going to be bad for the city. giving storage especially for those who are not frequent users of their car is a good strategy

Posted by: moto mayhem at December 20, 2013 4:54 PM

So you don't know of anywhere where it has worked, got it. It's just "not rocket science".

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 4:57 PM

The issue is that we're still talking about different things. You're basically saying that the status quo will remain and the only possibility is that new developments contribute cars to the already overstocked streets.

I'm saying that challenging the status quo is the only real way forward. You have continually dodged the question of how many cars never move from your street. If we can change a policy that removes some of those cars, it doesn't matter whether new developments add a whole bunch of new cars, because the overall stock of non-moving cars clogging up parking would still go down or remain constant.

The good news is that we'll have some good data soon - Melbourne is implementing an auction system for on-street parking permits starting this April. They have many of the same issues as us - primarily too many cars that move once a month clogging up on-street parking.

Posted by: anon at December 20, 2013 5:03 PM

that last comment was good. agree with you that developers will take the cheap way out and leave congestion without a thought.

This just cracks me up. It wasn't that long ago that every thread on Socketsite was about how evil the city planners were for not letting developers build as much parking as they wanted. Now the worry has completely switched, where the worry is that if city planners don't require developers to build a certain amount, they'll simply build none at all.

Here's a sample thread from a year ago: http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2012/01/permits_for_401_grove_on_hold_over_parking_dispute_with.html

Posted by: annon at December 20, 2013 5:11 PM

"The issue is that we're still talking about different things. You're basically saying that the status quo will remain and the only possibility is that new developments contribute cars to the already overstocked streets.

I'm saying that challenging the status quo is the only real way forward."

anon,

Please feel free to challenge the status quo and promote a market-based pricing system. If you manage to get it implemented and it removes parking-related congestion, I'd be the first person to congratulate you for your efforts. I'm not holding my breath that it will ever happen, but if it were to happen, developers would presumably include the optimal number of parking spots without any need for City interference. Until we get there, though, let's stick with parking minimum requirements.

Posted by: anonanon at December 20, 2013 6:29 PM

^Fair enough. 60 years of a policy failing is not a great reason to continue that policy, in my opinion, but you're free to believe that if you like.

Posted by: anon at December 21, 2013 10:28 AM

"This just cracks me up. It wasn't that long ago that every thread on Socketsite was about how evil the city planners were for not letting developers build as much parking as they wanted. Now the worry has completely switched, where the worry is that if city planners don't require developers to build a certain amount, they'll simply build none at all."

Why would it crack you up? People posting here don't necessarily all have a homogenous set of opinions. Different voices will be heard in different threads.

Regarding parking:

Some posters think that cars are evil, that parking spaces lead to car ownership, and therefore, all parking spaces, on-street or off-street, must die.

Some posters with a more developer-centric perspective think that off-street parking is bad because of issues related to profit margins.

Some people recognize cars as a part of our current transportation infrastructure and that off-street parking may help reduce the negative effects of congestion and air pollution.


Posted by: anonanon at December 21, 2013 4:36 PM

I certainly don't fit into any of those three categories, so you probably need a fourth.

Posted by: anon at December 21, 2013 6:47 PM

"I certainly don't fit into any of those three categories, so you probably need a fourth."

I was thinking of adding a fourth "generally clueless" category but refrained since I felt it would have been a below-the-belt rhetorical device that you might neither appreciate nor deserve. Feel free to add the description of your fourth category yourself.

Posted by: anonanon at December 21, 2013 8:20 PM

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