A proposed ballot measure entitled “Restoring Transportation Balance in San Francisco” has been submitted to San Francisco’s Department of Elections for processing.
From the draft summary for the decidedly pro-car measure, which starts by noting that, “with 79% of San Francisco households owning or leasing an automobile…it is time for the Mayor, the Supervisors, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board to restore a balanced transportation policy for all San Franciscans”:
The Board of Supervisors created a Transit First policy in 1973. In 1999, the SFMTA was created. Its unelected board was granted exclusive authority to dictate the City’s transportation policies. Since then, the Transit First policy has morphed into one that favors public transportation and bicycles, to the exclusion of any other mode of transportation. Nevertheless, a majority of San Franciscans want the automobile option for its convenience, personal safety, and freedom of movement.
The City has eliminated thousands of off-street and on-street parking spaces through new construction and the creation of new bike lanes. The City also removed the requirement that one parking space be created for each new residential unit constructed. To make matters worse, the SFMTA has not constructed a single new parking garage since the 1990s. These out-of-balance policies have contributed to a severe shortage of parking spaces in the City.
If passed, the measure would make it city policy to eliminate the operation of parking meters in San Francisco on holidays, Sundays and outside the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm and to freeze the fees for meters, garages, tickets and parking permits for five years. The policy for the introduction of any new meters or variable meter pricing into neighborhoods where they currently do not exist would be “upon petition by the majority of the affected household and merchants.”
The measure also calls for traffic laws to be “enforced equally for everyone,” for any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows to achieve “smoother-flowing streets,” and for SFMTA monies to be earmarked for the construction and operation of new neighborhood parking garages.