Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Transportation Fact Sheet for 2013

Mayor Lee and the Bicycle Coalition's Leah Shahum

Jason Henderson in the Bay Guardian is annoyed that Mayor Lee wants to stop activating parking meters on Sundays:

The mayor talks a good game when saying he is truly concerned about pedestrian and cyclist safety, and insisting that he wants to fix Muni. But gutting a reliable source of operating funds and pandering to car drivers who will dangerously circle for parking is inconsistent.

"Pandering to car drivers"? Unlike bike guy Henderson and the city's bike people in general, a lot more people drive and park cars than ride bikes, since cycling is only 3.4% of all trips made in the city. (There are 463,923 motor vehicles registered in San Francisco.)

But Henderson is right about the money, since the first full year of Sunday parking meters brought in $3,143,000 (Evaluation of Sunday Parking Management). But Matier and Ross report that the city's take from Sunday meters was more like $6 million after Sunday parking tickets are factored in. That's serious money for the MTA, even in a $800 million budget.

Why would Mayor Lee make this proposal? My suspicion: he's getting a lot of negative feedback from the neighborhoods. He even used the phrase "nickel-and-diming people to death." What with soaring housing prices and gentrification, the natives in the neighborhoods are getting restless. After the 8 Washington project was rejected by city voters, he's worried about his $500 million Muni bond.

The annual Transportation Fact Sheet has just been issued by the MTA with the latest numbers showing how much money the city makes from motorists.

For fiscal year 2012-2013, the city made $53,856,001 from parking meters (up $6,717,589 from last year); income from parking tickets was $88,889,809 (up $5,599,785 from last year). Parking tickets issued: 1,549,518 (up 20,698 from last year). The Residential Permit Parking Program brought in $10,248,044 (up $759,097 from last year). And the many city-owned parking garages and parking lots brought in $85 million.

That ads up to $237,993,854.

The Controller's office tells me that the city also got $2,799,155 from tickets from what the MTA calls "Red Light Cameras" at 25 city intersections; $2,695,930 from other moving violations; $3,055,028 in gas taxes; and $805,223 from vehicle license fees.

And there's the $84 million the SFCTA brings in via Proposition K sales taxes for transportation projects and street maintenance.

Add those numbers to the total above, and you have $331,349,190. That's a lot of nickels and dimes.     

With all that money pouring into city coffers, City Hall can't even keep our streets decently paved. This is the sort of reality that will prompt a lot of city voters to reject Mayor Lee's $500 million bond. 

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