Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Parking furor in Oakland: A cautionary tale for SF

The anger in Oakland about that city's draconian new parking policies should be a cautionary tale for our Board of Supervisors, which is considering something similar for San Francisco's neighborhoods. So far SF has been soaking city drivers with impunity by steadily raising parking fees, parking meter rates, and eliminating street parking.

Yesterday the Examiner's Ken Garcia warned city officials of the potential backlash from city residents if the city implements a similar policy in our neighborhoods:

This is how far it’s gone: The study came to the head-shaking conclusion that there aren’t parking meters in residential neighborhoods, without following up that discovery with the common-sense answer, "Because there shouldn’t be." Our cash-hungry transportation planners have determined that taxing your residential streets and sidewalks as a way to generate more cash falls within the realm of reason.

Allen Michaan, owner of the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, tried to warn city officials a few months ago in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Also in the Daily Planet, J. Douglas Allen-Taylor provided a personal account of how punitive parking policies can damage business in downtown Oakland.

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At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michaan is clearly a good businessman, he is now seen as the champion of the car-huggers. Unfortunately the Temescal and Lake Merritt areas are having a demographic shift to younger progressives who prefer to live without a car. Not only do they not need to drive to Michaan's theatre, they are boycotting him. Always good business for a movie theatre to incite a boycott by young people with money.

At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beyond the absurdity of charging people for even short-term parking on residential streets is the way in which parking meters, even the new high-tech ones, change the character and visual appearance of a street (and not for the better.)

I'd hope and expect that parking meters installed on neighborhood residential streets would be met by the late-night clang of neighbors with sledgehammers knocking them down.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't like things to change, you probably prefer Oakland remain just a bunch of "punks with guns"

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Punks with guns or punks on bikes? That's a close call.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous haightist said...

Punks with guns? Yeah, screwing with merchants and residents will go a long way in reducing crime, just like W. Addition in SF. God, I wish the "progressives" would fuck off out of SF and Oakland.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

What Oakland's downtown merchants are probably going to get is punks on bikes and punks with guns but no customers. The program for SF is similar: make it difficult for people to drive into to the city to shop and dine. A lot of these bike people are completely indifferent to the needs of local businesses, which are the main source of local jobs and revenue for local governments.


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