Hayes Valley Parking & Curb Management Plan
Project Update - June 2, 2021
Thank you to all of those who participated in our online public hearing on April 29 or submitted comments and questions electronically in advance of that hearing. We received 41 responses to our online feedback form, nine emails, and dozens questions during the hearing itself, which was attended by about 30 people. Video of the event is available on the event page. We have responded to as much of this feedback as possible and we have made several modifications based on community feedback. We believe these changes address most of the concerns we have heard during the public input process while maintaining many of the aspects of this plan that can deliver the best benefits to residents of and visitors to Hayes Valley.
We heard from many in the neighborhood that a one-permit-per-household limit is too restrictive, particularly on lower-income residents of the neighborhood who are more likely to be living with more residents in their households. As a result, we have decided to increase the limit to two permits per household, which is the current Transportation Code limit for all areas created after May 2018 (two other areas created after that date, in Bernal Heights and the Dogpatch, have the same two-per household limit). We believe that this is an improved parking management approach when compared to the four-permit limit that exists today in the area.
We also heard from the public that the border of the proposed area, based on that of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, extended too far to the south and west into Lower Haight. Because of the topography of the area, the proposal would make it more difficult for permitholders south of Haight and west of Buchanan to find a place to park. We have modified the boundary to reflect that feedback and keep those sections of the Lower Haight in Area S. Relatedly, (a) we have modified the size of the buffer zones between neighboring areas, and (b) the proposal no longer alters the times and days of enforcement outside of RPP Area HV to reduce the impact of this program on neighboring zones.
Additionally, we have heard concerns from merchants and community members regarding the enforcement of paid parking past the current end time of 6pm and on Sundays. Extended meter hours were proposed as part of a larger citywide project to better align meter hours with modern business hours. We will revisit discussions to extend meter hours at a later date, but those modifications are no longer a part of this plan.
The Hayes Valley Parking and Curb Management Plan, with the above changes included, will be presented to the SFMTA Board of Directors on July 20. This is a change from the previously-announced date of June 15 as part of routine management of the Board of Directors' calendar. The meeting begins at 1pm. Instructions on how to access the online meeting is available on the SFMTA Board Meeting event page. The curb management changes do not require Board approval and will be officially adopted by the agency in July.
Since the Central Freeway was taken down after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Hayes Valley has replaced freeway overpasses and on-ramps with dense housing and shops and restaurants that attract people from all over the Bay Area. The neighborhood’s recent growth and its proximity to the City’s arts and civic districts have placed new demands on its streets and curbs. Changing lifestyles, the development of thousands of new housing units nearby in The Hub, and the emergence of micro-mobility, car-share, ride-hailing and food delivery services will require a new way to think about how we use the curb.
The SFMTA Parking & Curb Management group has teamed with the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) to develop a forward-looking parking and curb management plan for Hayes Valley. The SFMTA and the HVNA initiated this effort to implement the transportation goals expressed in the Market-Octavia plan and to address lifestyle changes and emerging mobility trends.
The proposal focuses on two key issues: the increased demand for Residential Permit Parking (RPP), and the impacts from greater use of alternative travel modes, including ride-hail services, carshare, bike share and micro-mobility vehicles.
A New, Expanded RPP Area
Left: Current RPP areas in Hayes Valley. Right: Proposed new Hayes Valley RPP area. Black outline = Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (bounded by McAllister, Van Ness, Market, Buchanan, Hermann, Fillmore, Haight, and Webster Streets) Detailed text of the proposal available in the legislation.
To respond to the increased pressure on residential parking in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, SFMTA is proposing to create a brand-new RPP area, created from parts of the existing RPP areas R and S as well as currently unregulated blocks in the neighborhood. This will increase the number of households that will be eligible for permits while also increasing the number of spaces prioritized for residents. Additionally, by severing Hayes Valley from Area S, the largest RPP area in the city, this plan will reduce the use of Hayes Valley residential parking spaces by commuters from inside Area S but outside the neighborhood.
The new area’s rules will be tailored to the specific goals and needs of the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Each household will be limited to two annual automobile permits per year, down from the current cap of four. If a household has a second driver and there is availability near their home, they may receive a second permit. Motorcycle, childcare, and medical care permits do not count against the limit.
Along the boundaries of the area, there will be streets where permitholders of both the new area and the neighboring areas will be able to park (sometimes called “buffer zones”).
Changes to Parking Regulations
Currently, on most residential blocks in Hayes Valley, residents can park for an unlimited time but non-residents and non-permitholders are limited to two hours on most days. This free parking window is often abused by those from outside of the neighborhood, making it more difficult for neighbors and short-term visitors to find parking. Conversely, visitors to the neighborhood who want to stay longer while still wanting to follow the rules must either get a visitor permit or move their car every two hours.
To create more parking availability and offer more flexibility to residents, the Hayes Valley Parking and Curb Management plan introduces Pay or Permit parking to 31 blockfaces near Octavia and Hayes Streets. On these blocks, permitholders can still park for as long as they want, while visitors must pay to park for the time they need. By having those from outside the neighborhood pay for parking, it induces turnover and increases availability on the street. Paid parking is also easier to enforce than two-hour parking because it does not require enforcement officers to chalk tires.
In addition to the Pay or Permit blocks, Laguna Street between Hayes and Fell, and Linden Street between Franklin and Gough, will be converted to metered parking to support businesses in the area. There will also be additional blocks of traditional RPP, with a two-hour time limit for visitors, added in areas where RPP eligibility has been expanded. The proposal also standardizes the time of enforcement across the entire area, with RPP and Pay or Permit parking running from 9am to 9pm Monday through Saturday.
More Space for Deliveries and Passenger Loading on Hayes Street
Hayes Street is the commercial core of Hayes Valley, attracting shoppers and diners from across the region to the street’s boutiques, restaurants, and public space. It is also a transit route for westbound buses on the currently suspended 21 Hayes Muni route and crossed by an important north-south bike route. The corner of Hayes and Octavia is one of the busiest spots for Uber and Lyft pickups and drop-offs in the city, and the dozens of businesses that line the corridor receive deliveries at all times of day. Additionally, several restaurants have set up Shared Spaces dining zones in former parking spaces to better serve customers.
Currently, there is a paucity of loading capacity on and around Hayes Street. What zones do exist are often at odd times and squeezed between parking spaces. These zones, while requested by individual businesses and developments, are important tools for the entire corridor to reduce double-parking and other loading activities that create safety and congestion issues. This proposal updates the sizes, times of operation, and location of loading zones to capture the needs of the corridor as a whole.
In 2020, SFMTA’s Parking and Curb Management group released its Curb Management Strategy, aimed at guiding the planning around curb space on corridors similar to Hayes Street. The recommendations include planning at a corridor level rather than storefront by storefront, relocating and expanding loading zones to facilitate their better usage, and adding capacity to better handle the delivery and passenger needs of the corridor.
We have made detailed diagrams for the 300, 400, and 500 blocks of Hayes Street. In addition to the changes on Hayes itself, we are proposing moving the existing passenger loading zone of the 500 block of Octavia closer to Hayes Street. A text version of these changes is available in the legislation.
The SFMTA and the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association have been collaborating since 2018 on this plan. The SFMTA conducted a community meeting on February 17, 2021 to go over the proposal. More than 20 community members joined the virtual event, and the presentation from that event is available on our website.
We have made available a selection of the questions we received before and during the meeting and the responses to those questions. We also have made edits to the plan based on feedback we have received: expanding RPP eligibility further east to Gough Street and adding Pay or Permit and RPP eligibility to Lily Street between Franklin and Gough. We have also added paid parking to the east side of Gough between McAllister and Fulton as part of the plan.
SFMTA hosted an online community meeting and public hearing on April 29. We also accepted comments through a comment form. Comments received before and during the meeting have been posted and are in the "Related Links" section. The feedback we received before and at this meeting informed the changes made that were summarized in the above update.