Newsom: I am not pressuring Muni

Mayor Gavin Newsom denied reports from a transit blog Web site that said the mayor has been pressuring Muni chief Nathaniel Ford to hold off on extending parking meter hours in The City.

“That’s just factually incorrect,” Newsom said Friday following an unrelated press conference in City Hall. “Though blogs often are.”

No one wants to extend parking meter hours, including Muni, he said.

There’s no arm-twisting going on here, he said.

“We balanced a budget with Muni without extending the parking meters from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” he said, adding the report was creating a “false controversy.”

Then again, Newsom has made it clear he is adamantly against extending meters due to the economy and added burden on merchants.

And as The Examiner reported before, soon after Muni balanced its budget for this fiscal year, its leaders chatted publicly about the possibility of extending meters to deal with upcoming deficits.

Also, there’s a study on extending meters that is soon to be released that analyzes how to do so without making everyone angry.

The study “will be a benefit when we have next year’s budget discussion,” Newsom said. “Now at least we have done our homework first before there’s a proposal so if we do it in the future, we’ll know what to do or how we do it.”

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