SFMTA conducts hearing on "smart meters"

June 19, 2010 2:16:06 PM PDT
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency held an administrative hearing Friday as part of the public process that will allow it to install more than 1,300 parking meters at existing spaces.

The meters, approved as part of the fiscal year 2010-11 SFMTA budget, are expected to generate $1 million of additional annual net revenue, which would be used to support Municipal Railway service.

Once outfitted with the proposed "smart meters," customers can pay by credit card - meters in San Francisco currently accept coins or Muni parking cards.

"We want to make parking easier and more flexible in order to reduce traffic congestion, emissions and to help businesses district thrive," SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford said in a prepared statement.

The SFMTA is proposing extending time limits for the new spaces to four hours, up from one hour at some of the locations, and some neighborhoods receiving the smart meters will see a price change.

Meter rates in some neighborhoods will be adjusted "based on demand," including spaces in the Mission, South of Market, Civic Center, Cathedral Hill and Fisherman's Wharf neighborhoods that will start at $1 per hour.

The 1,310 meters are scheduled to be installed throughout commercial and mixed-use areas by January 1, 2011.

By installing the meters at these existing spaces, SFMTA officials said they expect to be better able to manage parking demand. Currently, the time limits on these spaces are more difficult to enforce than meters, according to the agency.

SFMTA regularly holds administrative hearings as the first step in converting time-limit parking spaces to metered locations.

These spaces are among the 5,400 spaces approved by the agency's Board of Directors earlier this year.

There are currently more than 25,000 metered spaces of the more than 440,000 public parking spaces in the city, according to the March 2010 results of an SFMTA parking census.

Maps summarizing the locations of the proposed meters can be found at www.sfmta.com.


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