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By Steve Levy

All Parking Permits Should Have a Fee

Uploaded: Sep 13, 2014

I favor the residential permit parking program being designed by the city and stakeholder committee. I am grateful to the staff and committee for their long and hard work to get close to a resolution. We live in downtown south and have underground parking in our condo building but I recognize the strain put on workers, residents and businesses by parking challenges downtown.

I favor the wide downtown area being proposed by staff and the committee—going to Embarcadero on one end and from Alma to Guinda. I understand that this wide an area is needed to provide sufficient worker parking spaces to be part of a workable solution along with demand management strategies to reduce auto travel and parking capacity strategies to increase capacity and make better use of existing capacity.

Even if there are streets without a current parking challenge now, those streets will soon be filled if only a few neighborhoods sign up. That "solution" is no solution as it will only move the existing parking further out and crowd another set of streets. I also favor the wide area as a sign that we are all involved in solving the challenge.

And I favor everyone who wants a permit paying for the permit and would give low fee preference to low wage workers, not residents.

In our building we paid for our parking. An underground garage costs money and that added to the price of our units. The same is true for many residents who have parking in their homes in the downtown area. Parking spaces are expensive because land is expensive in our area.

People who live in homes without garages or driveways paid less for their home in price or rent than those of us with adequate parking. There is no reason that I can see to subsidize people who live in a less expensive place by virtue if not having land for parking or for people who have chosen to use their garages for other purposes or for people who find it more convenient to park on the street than in their driveway.

The parking fees can be higher for certain employees or their employer but the fees being considered for residents ($50-$200) are very low—I would favor slightly higher fees.
The fees are a very minimal test for residents as to whether they want to participate in solving a shared problem or sit back and talk about "intruders" and complain about paying a much smaller amount for parking than those of us who have parking bundled in the cost of our home or rent.

If people in our building needed to buy permits for vendors of visitors (it has not been a problem as yet), I would gladly chip in my share.