Revised parking approach to Northeast Mission still draws the ire of residents 

click to enlarge People living in San Francisco's Northeast Mission neighborhood are opposed to a plan that would make acquiring residential parking permits easier, but would add more parking meters in the area.
  • People living in San Francisco's Northeast Mission neighborhood are opposed to a plan that would make acquiring residential parking permits easier, but would add more parking meters in the area.

A revised plan for the Northeast Mission neighborhood makes acquiring a residential parking permit easier, but business groups and community members say the proposal, which would also add meters, does not address their needs.

In late 2011, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages parking in The City, introduced a plan to install hundreds of meters in the neighborhood, which has a high concentration of light-industry businesses. The plan drew heavy criticism, prompting the agency to temporarily shelve the project.

The agency reintroduced the plan this month, adding new elements that would allow all residents in the neighborhood to apply for residential parking permits. Usually, those permits are available only for residents on specifically zoned streets.

The plan does still include the proposal to install parking meters on dozens of blocks in the area.

Since the majority of the businesses in the area are what are called production, distribution and repair stores that do not rely on parking turnover, the meters would be of no use to them, according to Doug MacNeil, president of the Northeast Mission Business Association.

“We need parking available for workers and delivery trucks,” said MacNeil, who owns a bookbinding business at 16th and Harrison streets. “We’ve tried to tell the agency this, but they don’t seem very intent on listening.”

Tony Kelly, president of the Potrero Hill Boosters, proposed the idea of allowing free parking at meters for those who purchase a $104 residential parking permit. He said this would actually make parking management of the neighborhood more streamlined.

Paul Rose, spokesman for the transit agency, said allowing residents to park for free at the meters would undermine the objective of creating turnover

“Meters are used in commercial and mixed-use areas, and on-street parking in those areas needs to be available for deliveries, customers and clients,” said Rose, who added that the agency will continue to work with the residents on its proposed plan.

Supervisor David Campos, whose district includes the Northeast Mission, said there are some elements of the parking proposal that he likes, but he disagrees with the agency’s plans to install meters in front of some of the businesses.

“This plan doesn’t properly address the needs of these establishments,” said Campos, who favors the hybrid parking approach championed by Kelly. “At a time when we’re trying to attract more [production, distribution and repair] businesses, this proposal hurts them.”

The agency will hold a community meeting about the parking proposal tonight at 6:30 p.m. at John O’Connell High School on Folsom Street.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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