SFpark awarded national award for sustainability practices

The City’s SFpark program, a series of high-tech parking meter initiatives aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving transit flow, has been recognized as a model of sustainability.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a national nonprofit organization, awarded the SFpark program with its 2011 Sustainability Transport Award. Due to the success of SFpark, San Francisco has become “a model of how to work successfully with businesses and community groups to phase in and scale up sustainable transportation policies that make an immediate local and citywide impact,” according to the ITDP. Medellin, Colombia, was the only other city in the globe recognized by the institute for its achievements.

SFpark feature parking meters that charge variable hourly rates, depending on demand for the spot. The meters also accept multiple forms of payments, alert motorists to available spots, and allow for extended stays at the spaces.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees the program, said the new meters make it easier for people to park, thus reducing the congestion that comes from motorists circling blocks looking for spaces. That, in turn, removes cars from streets and speeds up transit service.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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