blog banner

More Mopeds, Less Parking Strain

by
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Two people in dark jackets ride red scooters down a busy city street in front of a white cargo van with red graffiti on the side.
Mopeds like these are completely electric and take up little space, helping reduce emissions and parking strain. Photo credit:
Marcin Wichary/Flickr.

San Francisco’s a compact place. Just seven miles by seven miles with water on three sides and other cities on the fourth, leaving no room for expansion. We’re a densely packed place, too, with buildings, streets, parks and people filling up pretty much all of the 49 square miles.

The question of how best to use our limited space—in particular our limited street space—drives a lot of our decisions here at the SFMTA.

Today we’re announcing a new pilot policy to help ease the strain on SF's street parking supply. It’s a first step toward sharing on-street parking more equitably among all neighbors, whether or not they own cars.

Electric Mopeds in Your Neighborhood

The change will make it easier to park electric mopeds, one of the greenest and smallest motor vehicles available, in Residential Parking Permit areas. Until today we have treated electric mopeds like any other vehicle. If they’re parked in an RPP area without the appropriate permit sticker, we ticket them after the posted time limit is up.

Under the new policy, electric mopeds will be exempt from the time-limit restrictions in RPP areas—as long as they’re parked in one of these two ways:

  1. Perpendicular to the curb and at a short curb segment (nine feet or shorter)
  2. In a marked motorcycle parking stall

This change encourages more people to own electric mopeds or to participate in moped sharing services such as Scoot, whose red mopeds you may have seen around town.

Sharing the Street Parking Pie

San Francisco’s current residential parking policies, adopted in 1976, provide more parking spaces for neighborhood residents by discouraging long-term parking by people who do not live in the area.

But what about neighbors who don’t own a vehicle? How can they get a piece of the neighborhood street parking pie?

This policy change (and perhaps others in the near future) could help. By exempting electric mopeds like Scoot’s from some residential parking enforcement, neighbors should have more convenient access to vehicle sharing. (But we’ll be studying the impacts to make sure.) Read all the details in our policy memo to the SFMTA Board of Directors.

The Big Residential Parking Picture

We are currently undertaking a thorough review of how we manage residential parking permits in the city, and one question we're studying is how neighbors who don’t own vehicles can have more convenient access to shared ones. We expect to present our initial research findings to the SFMTA Board this November and our preliminary policy options next spring.

Thanks to the many Scoot members who participated in the conversation about moving parking policy forward. Your advocacy influenced our decision to try a new tactic for electric mopeds. We appreciate your involvement in the process.