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SFMTA expands time limits at SFpark meters

Contact: Paul Rose
415.601.1637, cell
paul.rose@sfmta.com

SFMTA Expands Time Limits at SFpark Meters
Drivers will be able to stay up to four hours at most SFpark spaces

SAN FRANCISCO (April 11, 2011) —The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that it will implement new meter time limits in SFpark pilot areas, starting with the Marina District today. SFpark meters in the Marina pilot area will increase to four-hour limits. Throughout the rest of the month, other SFpark meters will move to four-hour time limits or, in some areas, no time limits at all during posted operating hours.

“Allowing our parking customers more flexibility is a key step toward making parking easier to find and easier to pay for,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “Circling for parking accounts for approximately 30 percent of city congestion. By reducing double-parking and circling, SFpark will reduce congestion and air pollution, and promises to support our efforts to make Muni more reliable.”

“Expanding the time limits will make driving more convenient, while demand-responsive pricing will improve parking availability,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO. “With SFpark, the SFMTA is piloting new approaches to managing parking, and we will evaluate these approaches thoroughly.”

All regular SFpark meters (with gray tops) in the pilot areas will be affected by the new time limits. Those with colorful tops (i.e. yellow or red in commercial loading zones or green for short-term parking zones) will retain their current time limits. If the meter has a time limit, customers will find it on the meter’s display. Meters with no time limit at all during posted operating hours will simply not display one. Customers should check the meter display or nearby street signs for operating hours.

The new expanded time limits are part of the SFpark pilot project. SFpark will use demand-responsive pricing rather than short time limits to achieve parking availability goals. Longer time limits make parking more convenient for drivers, but they do not mean that everyone will park longer. Studies conducted by Redwood City of its parking management strategies suggest that when longer time limits are used in conjunction with smarter pricing, average parking times do not increase significantly. Extended time limits simply allow some people to park longer if they want to.

SFpark project team members have notified merchants and residents in the affected areas.

In addition to the extended time limits on SFpark meters, some non-SFpark meters in newly installed spaces in underutilized areas in the SoMa, Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods already have either four-hour time limits or no limits. These were installed this winter; more will be installed in SoMa this summer.

The SFpark Pilot Project
SFpark combines new parking management technologies and approaches to make parking in the City more convenient. This is done through demand-responsive pricing and sensor technology to let drivers know where parking is available. If they choose to park on the street, drivers will have longer time limits and new meters that make it easy to pay. Easier parking means less circling and double-parking, keeping streets clearer for Muni and emergency vehicles, safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Download accessible spreadsheet of expanded time limits (PDF).