Parking around the Parkmerced neighborhood in San Francisco will be a bit harder to find as many spots will be temporarily closed down during construction projects. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Parking around the Parkmerced neighborhood in San Francisco will be a bit harder to find as many spots will be temporarily closed down during construction projects. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Parkmerced neighbors prepare for temporary loss of 1,000 parking spaces

More than 1,000 parking spaces over the course of two years will be temporarily closed in Parkmerced, potentially leading to clogged streets in The City’s southwestern neighborhoods.

That’s the fear residents of the Parkmerced towers voiced Monday night, when more than a hundred residents packed the St. Thomas More Catholic School’s gym and shared mostly one concern: parking.

The Parkmerced project will see apartments and townhomes torn down and replaced by 8,900 homes, according to Parkmerced plans. The plan was heavily negotiated at the Board of Supervisors in 2011.

The parking affects more than just those immediately in Parkmerced, but at nearby San Francisco State University as well.

Jonathan Morales, a spokesperson for SFSU, said the temporary reduction in street parking would likely impact Font Boulevard, Lake Merced Boulevard and Winston Drive — all streets located around the campus.

Seth Mallen of the Parkmerced developers said Parkmerced was restricted in the number of new parking spaces it could build by those negotiations. “One of the bigger battles we had was around one to one parking,” he said.

Now, the community is preparing itself for a relocation of parking. The displacement of as many as 1,000 parking spaces will begin when construction of new garages and tear down of existing garages takes place sometime this fall, according to Parkmerced’s planning documents.

The 1,600 on-street parking spaces will exist in the same number, after construction, as it does today, said Mallen.

Parkmerced has three main parking garages — Higuera, Felix and Galindo — which between them host more than 1,000 parking spaces.

The Felix and Galindo garages will be torn down in the fall, with Felix’s teardown beginning in August, Mallen said. Some displaced parkers will have their spaces moved to the Higuera garage, with seniors netting priority.

Many more, however, will not be moved to Higuera garage, which caused an outcry among the neighbors at Monday’s meeting.

Neighbors were concerned the lack of parking garages would create a spillover into street parking in the neighborhood, making an already tough parking search even tougher. Residents compete for parking with nearby San Francisco State University students, also a source of many cars.

Mallen and other Parkmerced representatives present also said there will be a free shuttle provided for residents, which will bring them to Daly City BART. In the future, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency may reroute the M-Ocean View line to become a subway, and offer more direct service to Parkmerced.

Morales said SFSU students, faculty and staff should contact SFSU’s Parking and Transportation Office for alternatives to parking on streets around the school. Alternative parking may be provided in nearby parking garages. ParkingParkmercedSFMTATransit

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