Saturday, March 19, 2016

Parking meters: "Managing" parking or about "revenue benefits" for the city?

From the SF Chronicle in 2012, we got the city's official lie about the function of parking meters:

"[Parking]Meters are meant to effectively manage parking, which will help ease congestion, ensure parking availability and speed transit," [MTA's]Rose said. He downplayed the money angle...

According to the MTA's Transportation Fact Sheet, it's all about "the money angle": In fiscal year 2012/2013 city made $53,856,001 on parking meters and $88,889,809 on parking tickets for a total of $142,745,810. Since those numbers are now several years old, the total income from parking meters and parking tickets is probably around $150 million a year, a significant chunk of the MTA's $945 million budget.

Note that the city makes a lot more on parking tickets than it does on the meters themselves. No meters, no tickets, no "revenue" for a predatory City Hall.

Note too that this will apparently be the last Transportation Fact Sheet the MTA will issue. I asked about it, but Rose just gave me a runaround, which means there won't be any more editions of this useful document. After all, why should the liars continue giving the public information that contradicts their lies?

According to that Examiner story last week on the idea of activating parking meters at night (SF to explore use of parking meters at night), the MTA is at least beginning to abandon the "managing" parking lie about parking meters:

Ed Reiskin, the SFMTA’s director of transportation, told the board that the SFMTA is not enforcing parking, nor does it charge parking meters, during nights of peak activity. “Stopping [enforcement] at 6 p.m. in a vibrant, commercial evening district doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he said. “From a parking management perspective, it could be a chance to advance our transportation policy that has some revenue benefits.”

Reiskin can't formulate a sentence without bureaucratic flab-gab, but this translates into "revenue benefits"---aka, money---for his already bloated agency.

MTA board members are also increasingly frank about wanting to raise money for the agency, while making the obligatory reference to "managing" parking:

Many budget proposals this year affect transit riders, with few new financial burdens to drivers, critics of the budget noted previously. Addressing that concern, [Cheryl]Brinkman suggested charging for parking in “targeted” areas at night may help mitigate the lost funds on the AutoReturn[towing] contract. She said lowering the AutoReturn fees was a “very, very, very, worthy goal,” but “I want to make sure we’re managing the resources of our parking better.”

Brinkman has never been averse to imposing "financial burdens" on drivers of those wicked motor vehicles.

San Francisco already issues the most expensive parking tickets in the country, and the city's meter maids/dudes have always had ticket quotas.

The MTA itself insists on having the most city vehicles of any city agency:

From the SF Examiner

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