Photo by ksbuehler
Just when we thought parking in San Francisco couldn't get any worse...
One of life's smallest, but greatest pleasures has been finding parking on a Sunday in San Francisco, when I don't have to worry about rushing out to move my car every two hours or having to pay for my extended visit with friends in the Outer Richmond.
Unfortunately, the days of free and unlimited Sunday parking are coming to an end. The city has chosen to deprive me and all San Francisco drivers of our Sunday pleasure.
January 6 marks the first Sunday when all San Francisco parking meters will be fully functional from noon until 6 p.m. So, you might want to rethink that leisurely hangover brunch, unless you have enough quarters to feed that money-sucking machine.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has asserted that Sunday parking meters are a way to get traffic flowing in commonly congested areas, but small businesses remain concerned that the new parking enforcement will deter potential customers.
Although nice, I do think the idea of free parking on Sundays is a little outdated. When meters were first installed in San Francisco in the 1940s most businesses were closed on Sunday anyway. Now, in a city where frustrated motorists can drive around for hours searching for a coveted parking spot, implementing metered parking can make everyone's life a little easier. Plus, circulating traffic will most likely benefit businesses on Sundays allowing more customers the opportunity to park nearby.
And maybe, just maybe, with a faster flow of traffic, Muni will actually be on time.
Certain parts of the city that already charge for parking all days of the week – mostly tourist spots, like Fisherman's Wharf – will continue with their normal schedules and fees.
Thankfully to ease into the new SFMTA measure, parking enforcement officers will not be issuing any tickets for those who forget to feed the meter on a Sunday until January 27.
Still, it seems like I'm going to have to convince my bike (and my calves) to come out of retirement.