In what I am sure will come as a shock to no one – parking in San Francisco is scarce and often difficult to find in our neighborhoods and commercial areas. I know I have spent time circling blocks trying to find a parking space, and I know I am not alone. San Francisco is one of the densest cities in the country, and the sheer amount of new construction and repair the city is going through has made parking for residents more difficult than ever.
I hear from residents almost daily on the lack of parking in our neighborhoods, especially in front of their homes, and that frustration especially mounts when permitted parking spaces for construction or repair sit vacant all day long or drag on for months at a time. While everyone has the right to pursue new construction, home repairs, or improvements, I also believe the city needs to be more proactive in informing our residents and businesses when parking is going to be taken away for an extended period of time.
Earlier in March, I introduced legislation known as the “Construction Parking Plan Law” that will mandate a contractor construction parking plan as a condition to receiving any temporary street space occupancy permit (an on-street space parking permit) for construction work that requests more than one parking space permit over the course of three or more months. This legislation aims to place greater controls on our construction parking permitting system, to ensure every neighborhood parking space possible is preserved for our residents.
Currently, there are 1,251 construction street-parking permits issued citywide, with an average of three parking spaces per permit, which is approximately 3,753 parking spaces. On average, there are roughly 13,000 street-parking permits issued every year in San Francisco. Without a doubt, some neighborhoods are more impacted than others. The supervisorial district that I represent – District Two – has the highest number of permits currently issued compared to any other district.
The components of the construction parking plan will include the following:
- The number of parking spaces requested and the rationale.
- The average number of employees anticipated each day at the work site.
- The timeline and phasing of the entire project, and a requirement of an update from the contractor at the midpoint of the project to notify the city about any expected changes.
- Whether it is potentially feasible to use opportunities for car-pooling, or other off-site parking arrangements like nearby garage parking.
- A proposal of how the applicant will make the on-street parking available to the general public by 4 p.m. if the space has gone unused or project work is complete for the day.
- Any other information that the city (or the specific affected department, such as the Municipal Transportation Agency) deems valuable for understanding the impact of the project on the neighborhood and neighborhood parking supply.
The idea behind the legislation is to give our Department of Public Works the ability to more closely scrutinize construction parking permit proposals and create a new opportunity for the public to have a better understanding of the parking situation in their neighborhoods. The parking plans will be made readily available to members of the public who request them and will serve as a great resource to better understand the parking situation in your neighborhood.
Local government can and should be responsive to the issues that we are feeling in our neighborhoods. The lack of parking is an issue I hear from my constituents on a daily basis, and I am encouraged the city is taking steps to preserve as many spaces as possible for our residents through common- sense proposals that allow necessary projects and also ensure the quality of life we all enjoy here in San Francisco.