Livable City Challenges Sunday Meter Rollback

Livable City and the San Francisco Transit Riders Union have appealed SFMTA’s decision to roll back San Francisco’s successful Sunday parking meter program.

In January 2013, San Francisco finally started enforcing parking meters from 12-6 pm on Sundays on the City’s commercial streets. An evaluation [PDF] completed in December found the program to be successful – it increased parking availability for neighborhood businesses, reduced the amount of traffic circling on neighborhood streets, and increased funding for Muni, walking, and cycling.

Last month, the SFMTA board, while acknowledging the program’s success, rescinded it under pressure from the Mayor’s office. The SFMTA did not properly analyze the environmental effects – increased traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, danger to pedestrians and cyclists, delays to transit, etc. – of the change, but instead invoked an environmental exemption designed to increase fees during fiscal emergencies. SFMTA also blew an $11 million hole in its operating budget, so the agency raised transit fares and refused to fund the pedestrian and bicycle safety investments sought by safe streets advocates.
In this case, however, the emergency wasn’t fiscal (no fiscal emergency necessitates cutting revenues), it was political. SFMTA acted improperly, and Livable City and the San Francisco Transit Riders Union have appealed SFMTA’s environmental finding. By San Francisco law, appeals go first to the Board of Supervisors, and our appeal is scheduled for June 17. Let your Supervisor know you support the appeal – use our advocacy page to find their contact information.