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Northeast Mission Parking Management Project FAQ

General

Why are parking regulations being proposed for the Northeast Mission? I don’t have a problem finding parking, things seem to just work out for the most part.

We’ve heard from many NE Mission residents, businesses, and institutions that parking can be difficult to find, especially during weekdays. Over the past several years the SFMTA has received calls from the community to help manage curb parking in the NE Mission, which is largely unregulated, resulting in curb congestion, since there are few reasons for someone to move their car once it’s parked. Establishing parking regulations of any kind will discourage car storage and stagnation at the curb, encourage more movement and taking turns, increasing availability of parking for those who need it.

A lot of people come to work in the neighborhood, SF General Hospital and Muni employees, nonprofit staffers, and PDR workers, among others – how will your plan accommodate their needs?

There are many competing daytime parking needs in the NE Mission, and finite on-street resources to serve those needs. By working with community members, we have developed a tailored on-street parking plan with Residential Permit Parking (RPP), standard time limits, paid parking, and “pay or permit” parking to support residents, businesses, institutions, workers, and visitors. Unlike other areas that necessitate metered parking exclusively, the proposal includes quite a bit of 4-hour time limited parking too. People who need to park for extended periods of time can choose from either paid parking, which typically does not have a time limit and would start at $0.50/hour, or free parking that would require moving after 4 hours.

No "Commuter Parking Permit" program for curb parking exists in San Francisco, due in part to the City's long-standing Transit First policy and the local and regional commute-oriented transit service operating during the day. We try to connect employers and employees with transportation demand management (TDM) tools and programs, supporting non-single-occupant car commutes via car-pooling, time-shifting, and other methods and approaches.

Why does the City allow developers to build big new buildings with little or no parking? Shouldn't we make them provide enough parking for new residents?

Toward discouraging car ownership and driving in a crowded city, and encouraging creation of more dwelling units rather than bigger garages, San Francisco has gradually reduced parking requirements in new development for several decades (via Planning Code amendments), eliminating any remaining minimum parking requirements in 2018. Off-street parking in new development isn't prohibited – developers may elect to build parking (within code maximums and conditional use exceptions) – but the amount of new parking built is usually less than had been the custom fifty years ago. This means that we need to manage limited on-street parking wisely, as well as allocating curb for passenger and freight loading along with transit stops and other uses that support lower private car ownership and use. The Northeast Mission parking proposal attempts to respond to that challenge with an array of turn-taking measures to balance access to the curb among many different uses and users.

 

Resident Permit Parking (RPP)

How does Resident Permit Parking work? 

Where RPP signs are posted, parking time limits (often 2 hours) apply to vehicles without a valid permit for the RPP Area during operating hours (often Mon-Fri 8 AM – 6 PM); vehicles with a valid permit for the RPP Area are exempt from the time limit. "Pay or permit" RPP (see below) allows payment by non-permitted vehicles to exempt posted RPP time limits. Vehicles registered to residents at eligible addresses in the RPP Area may be granted permits; other non-resident classes of vehicles (e.g. those associated with businesses, schools, caregivers, etc) may also be granted permits, subject to defined conditions. For more information about RPP, please see this page.

How much do RPP permits cost?

FY2023 fees:

Passenger vehicle

$165 Annual Fee 
$83 if permit area expires in less than six months

Motorcycle

$83 Annual Fee 
$41 if permit area expires in less than six months 

How many RPP permits can someone get?

In a newly-created RPP Area, as Area GG in the NE Mission would be, a maximum of one permit per driver and up to two permits per household (a single distinct address, for example, "123 Main Street, Apt B") may be granted. Each driver must be listed on the vehicle's insurance policy. Second permits will be issued to a given driver if their second vehicle is a motorcycle. 

In special circumstances, waivers for additional permits may be granted if there is available parking in the area and if there is an additional driver at the address. Each permit issued over the area limit is subject to being charged double the cost of an RPP permit. 

Is there any RPP permit fee discount or accommodation for low-income people?

At present, there is no special RPP permit rate or discount for low-income drivers. The SFMTA is advancing work that will allow permit fee payments by monthly installment, rather than a single once-a-year payment. It expected this will be available by end of 2023 and should help reduce the impact by spreading payments across the year.

What can be done about stolen RPP stickers, counterfeit stickers, etc?

The SFMTA is transitioning to “stickerless” RPP operations – no physical permit stickers are issued, a valid RPP permit is associated with a given vehicle by its license plate, and enforcement is conducted by checking license plate numbers for valid permits using license plate recognition tools. This stickerless approach is already in use in some RPP Areas and will be fully implemented citywide within a year, with many advantages to both the SFMTA and permittees, including an end to sticker theft/vandalism/forgery.

Can businesses get RPP permits?

Businesses located within a given RPP Area are eligible for one RPP permit per business address (for example, "76 Madison Ave, Unit C"), plus as many as three RPP permits for commercial vehicles associated with the business, such as delivery or repair vehicles.

Can other non-residents’ vehicles get RPP permits?

In addition to residents and businesses, RPP permits may be granted to the following classes of drivers, click through to learn more:

Medical and Child Caregivers
Teachers
Diplomats
Active Military and Students
Travel Nurses

Will an RPP permit exempt my car from paying parking meters?

In some cases, yes – see “Pay or Permit parking” section below.

Will there be enough RPP parking for residents to park?

It’s not possible to determine how much parking would be enough for area residents, since the resident population isn’t fixed (it’s been growing for many years) and not every resident owns a vehicle (or multiple vehicles), and/or has a garage or other off-street place to park it. Based on our experience elsewhere in the city, establishing RPP and other curb regulations in the NE Mission is likely to cause some people to get rid of cars they don’t need or use often, freeing up some curb for other people and other uses.

 

Pay or Permit parking

Will an RPP permit exempt my car from paying parking meters?

In locations where Pay or Permit parking is posted, vehicles with a valid RPP permit may park without paying, all other parkers must pay.

Where would Pay or Permit parking be posted?

On the draft NE Mission proposal map, Pay or Permit block faces are shown in magenta-red dashed lines.

Why use Pay or Permit to manage parking?

Pay or Permit is a relatively new parking management tool, codified in 2017, partly as a result of earlier conversations with the NE Mission community. RPP typically uses a 2-hour limit for non-permit parkers; by swapping payment for time limits, the Pay or Permit method provides more flexibility for non-permit parkers while maintaining a strong signal to not park any longer than needed.

 

Paid parking

The neighborhood has already become unaffordable, many long-time residents and businesses have already been pushed out – parking meters will be too expensive for many residents and workers and guests, it’ll just displace more people.

There are diverse daytime parking needs in the NE Mission. By working with community members we have developed a particularly tailored plan with Residential Permit Parking (RPP), standard time limits, paid parking, and “pay or permit” parking to support residents, businesses, institutions, and visitors. While there are meters proposed in some locations, this plan includes quite a bit of 4-hour time limits too. People who need to park for extended periods of time can choose from either paid parking which typically does not have a time limit and would start at $0.50/hour or free parking that would require moving after 4 hours.

You’re proposing to establish metered parking with no time limits on several blocks – how will this keep people from “plugging the meter” and remaining parked for hours, even days, on end?

Most people will only pay to park as long as they need. SFMTA’s observations and analysis have found that asking people to pay something to park, versus nothing, makes them think about how much time they actually need, and on average people stay just a little longer than if there had been fixed time limits.

Will an RPP permit exempt my car from paying parking meters?

In some cases, yes – see “Pay or Permit parking” section above.

Is there any parking meter discount or waiver for low-income people?

At present, there is no special meter rate or discount for low-income drivers. Smartphone/web apps like PayByPhone can provide some businesses a method of facilitating worker on-street parking costs, and/or managing business-related parking expenses. For more information on payment please see our Parking Meters page.

Will individual parking meters be installed, or multi-space kiosks, or some other tool?

We’ve heard community support for multi-space meter machines, rather than single-space meters, to reduce sidewalk clutter on newly-metered blocks. In some cases the physical setting may preclude use of a multi-space machine and require individual meters, but we will try to minimize such exceptions.

I’m a long-time area resident and I see a lot of locations proposed for meters where I currently park, it seems like too much paid parking to me. Do businesses need so much curb parking? Many of the proposed metered areas are around PG&E and UCSF and other businesses that have their own off-street parking lots and garages. Can we re-allocate some of that metered parking for residents?

As a general rule we follow the fronting land use (e.g. residential, commercial, school, etc) to determine what sort of parking regulation to propose and establish. The block faces proposed for standard paid parking (as opposed to Pay or Permit) aren’t residential, they’re not suited to RPP regulation. And like all proposed regulations in this plan, meters are meant to address daytime demands and turn off at 6pm.

 

Time-limited parking

Will a valid RPP permit exempt my car from non-RPP parking time limits?

No, all vehicles are subject to standard (non-RPP) parking time limits, and must move before the posted time limit passes (at least one block or 1/10 of a mile). Proposed 4-hour parking time limits are shown in orange dashed lines on the draft NE Mission proposal map.

 

Enforcement

What is being done to address abandoned and inoperable vehicles parked on the street?

Please report abandoned and inoperable vehicles with 311. SFMTA will tow any plainly abandoned or stolen vehicle.

How often will SFMTA patrol for RPP violations? For parking meter violations? Will it be same as other parking enforcement, such as street cleaning?

Enforcement will be done routinely; SFMTA parking control schedules are determined by area and staffing.

Under what circumstances will SFMTA ticket a vehicle if it doesn’t have an RPP permit? 

Vehicles that do not have a valid RPP permit for the RPP Area are cited if they stay longer than the posted time limit (for standard RPP) or if they do not pay the meter (for Pay or Permit RPP).

Will parking tickets pile up and then nothing changes? Then the tickets are dismissed because they are poor and they continue what they have always done because there are no consequences? 

The SFMTA has fine and fee relief programs for low-income drivers, but even with these relief mechanisms, most people would rather avoid getting tickets in the first place, so they’ll move along once regulations are installed.

Under what circumstances will SFMTA tow a vehicle? How many tickets can a vehicle receive before it’s towed? 

A vehicle may be towed if it is parked in a tow zone or has been issued five or more unpaid tickets, has expired registration beyond six months, or has been found to be abandoned. However, as mentioned above, the SFMTA offers payment plans and other relief programs, so it does depend on an individual’s situation. Under current policy the SFMTA will not boot and tow vehicles that appear to be used as shelter.

What is being done to address RVs and buses and vans with people living in them, parked on the street?

The best way to report encampments is 311; the City’s Healthy Streets Operation Center (HSOC) aggregates encampment reports and coordinates prioritized responses. Under current policy the SFMTA will not boot and tow vehicles that appear to be used as shelter.

What is being done to address vehicles being used for criminal activity, such as drug dealing and prostitution?  People drink at the park and hang out in & out of their parked vehicles, and then get behind the wheel after drinking.

Please report any potential criminal or public safety issues by calling 415.553.0123 or 311 (in emergencies always call 911).

 

Loading Zones, disabled (blue) spaces, and short-term (green) spaces

How will double-parking be addressed by the plan?

Commercial (yellow), passenger (white), and general loading zones are our standard tools to facilitate loading by providing spots to safely pull over to the curb. SFMTA and SFPD can and do enforce double parking and obstruction of traffic wherever it occurs, please call 311 to report problem locations.

How will passenger pick-up and drop-off be addressed by the plan? Commercial loading?

Loading zones are established “on top of” the base regulations of a given block face, e.g. a yellow commercial zone will be established on part of a block that is otherwise regulated by time limits or meters. Once base parking regulations are agreed and marked, we’ll work with stakeholders and our Color Curb team to propose new loading zones as appropriate, as well as removing any existing loading zones that may be defunct or otherwise unneeded. Please let us know about any potentially defunct loading zones that should be checked for removal.

How are blue (ADA) parking spaces and green (short-term) parking spaces selected and placed?

As with loading zones, blue (ADA) and green (short-term, 10/15/30 minutes) are placed as appropriate based on requests and surveys; we’ll work with stakeholders and our Color Curb team to propose new blue and green zones as appropriate.

 

Other street issues

Speed bumps and traffic calming measures

For more information and to request traffic calming for a street, see the SFMTA Traffic Calming Program web page.

Intersection daylighting

“Intersection daylighting” is a simple, inexpensive, and effective tool to make intersections safer for pedestrians, drivers, and bike riders, by clearing blind spots that can contribute to collisions and injuries, and sometimes fatalities. Daylighting is a key tool in the City’s commitment to realize Vision Zero, toward eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in San Francisco.

The standard “daylighting” setback is 20 feet, although may require more or be okay with less depending on geometry and directionality of an intersection. We usually daylight the “near side” of an intersection, where a vehicle parked immediately at the intersection can block visibility of pedestrians for approaching vehicles (see this web page for more information and diagrams).

Sidewalk parking

                Please report sidewalk parking with 311.

Double parking

Can SFMTA address the rampant and unsafe double parking on 16th St, between Folsom and Market streets? Can there be double fines or some other extra penalty?

Keeping 16th Street running smoothly and safely is especially important with the Muni 22 line, a Rapid Route and with the number of businesses along the corridor. Diligent enforcement of double parking and obstructed traffic offenses is important, these proposed regulations along with commercial (yellow) and passenger (white) loading zones in suitable locations will reduce the occurrence of vehicles obstructing traffic by providing a place to park and safely pull to the curb to load freight or passengers.

“Dead” driveways

Driveways and other curb cuts that are no longer active should be converted back to ordinary curb. The SFMTA works with Public Works to restore “dead” driveways, if you are aware of any known or suspected dead driveways please let us know via 311.

Muni stop consolidation

Harrison and the 16th stop were removed. Now the only stop is between 16th and Bryant and 16th and Folsom. This is a hardship for elderly and disabled Muni riders in the vicinity.

Long planned and communicated, this stop elimination was part of Muni 22 line enhancements to speed up and improve reliability of crosstown service for 18,000 daily riders (project page), a common trade-off challenge for transit improvements.