Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lie of the Year: Parking meters in neighborhoods "not driven by revenue"

Neighborhood with "significant parking demand?"
Photo: Suzanne Pullen for the Chronicle

This nugget of misinformation was reported in the Chronicle yesterday: "Revenue from parking meter charges and fines amounts to more than $50 million a year and is used, in part, to help fund the transit system."

According to the latest SF Transportation Fact Sheet, the city makes $40,520,486 from parking meters and $86,306,584 from parking tickets for a total of $126,827,070. Note that the city makes twice as much from parking tickets as it does on parking meters. But if there are no parking meters, the city can't issue parking tickets, which is why City Hall is putting more parking meters in city neighborhoods.

MTA's designated liar is quoted about plans to put parking meters in the Zoo neighborhood:

The destinations "generate significant parking and traffic demand in their respective areas, and it's our responsibility to manage that demand," said Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. One goal of the city's meter strategy is to get people out of their cars as part of San Francisco's transit-first policy, Rose said. "This is not driven by revenue," he added.

Does the neighborhood around the zoo have a "significant parking demand"? (See photo above.) Of course it's about the "revenue," aka "money," but it's also about City Hall's anti-car ideology, which is encouraged by anti-car special interest groups like the Bicycle Coalition and WalkSF. Motorists, whether city residents or visitors, are primarily sources of income for our profligate city government, which has to borrow money to pave our streets.

Note too that the city also makes $38,742,622 from city-owned parking lots and garages and another $9,040,407 from its residential parking permit program, which has people paying for a permit to park in front of their homes.

Add it all up, and the city makes $174,610,099 from city motorists, operators of what the bike people call "death monsters."

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