Here at Commuter Central, we focus on healthy, sustainable ways to get around.
So please excuse me for this geeky policy indulgence.
Ever driven around trying to find a parking spot to no avail? San Francisco is piloting a program that seeks solve this problem. The goal: 20% availability on every street within the target area.
The current problem is that parking on the street is cheaper than in the city-owned parking garages. So drivers tend to circle around the block maniacally, burning gas, creating congestion and wasting time, looking for that cheap(er), chimerical open space instead of heading to a nearby parking garage.
SF attempts to solve this problem by adjusting the on-street parking meters based on demand. So, rates on streets with tons of parking demand will go up and streets with low demand will drop. SF will also lower the price of parking in the garages to get drivers off the street and on their way.
In addition to rates being different for different streets, rates may also adjust by time of day.
Rates will be determined through a monthly analysis of parking in the eight pilot areas. Prices will be adjusted upward or downward to provide the target 20% availability on every street.
Parking rates will go up to a maximum of $6 an hour at high-demand streets and low as 25 cents. Rates will only change once a month and will not be adjusted downward or upward more than 50 cents an hour.