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SFMTA looking to streamline permitting process for out-of-town vehicles

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Households located in residential parking permit zones will have the ability to purchase 20 one-day passes for out-of-towners to use on any date under a proposal being recommended by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Households located in residential parking permit zones will have the ability to purchase 20 one-day passes for out-of-towners to use on any date under a proposal being recommended by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Travelers visiting friends and family in San Francisco should soon have a much easier time finding a spot to park their cars.

Households located in residential parking permit zones will have the ability to purchase 20 one-day passes for out-of-towners to use on any date under a proposal being recommended by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Currently, households in residential zones can purchase the day passes, but only after mailing in a request or stopping by the agency’s headquarters. And, even after doing that, the residents can only get one-day passes for specific dates, making it difficult to grab the permits for guests who stop by without prior notice.

The agency hopes to eliminate those headaches by allowing residents to pre-purchase up to 20 one-day passes, which can be used at any time of the year. The permit would be affixed to the rearview mirror of the car and contain the current date for verification.

Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the new policy is a more effective parking management tool that will benefit all road users.

“It speeds up Muni, ensures available parking, eases congestion and makes our roads safer for pedestrians and cars,” Rose said.

Established by state laws in 1976, The City’s residential parking permits cost $100 a year — $104 after July 1 — and allow locals to park on the street without time limits. The program was created to keep out-of-town commuters from parking in residential neighborhoods all day.

Cheryl Brinkman, an SFMTA board member who has opposed some attempts to ease restrictions on residential parking permits, said the one-day pass program would be useful.

“You do have people who visit occasionally, and it’s very difficult for them to find parking,” Brinkman said.

Jarie Bolander, president of the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, a community group, said the new program is worth a try.

“I don’t see any immediate harm from this proposal,” Bolander said. “Parking in our neighborhood is always difficult — I’m just glad to see The City exploring new and different options to deal with that.”

The new policy would be revenue-neutral for the agency. The board of directors is set to vote on the
measure at its meeting today.

The board will also vote on an amendment that would prohibit building contractors from parking all day for free at metered parking spaces near their office sites.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

How it would work

  • $15* Cost of one-day permit
  • 20 Number of one-day permits each household can get each year
  • $104* Cost of annual residential parking permit
  • 80,000 Number of residential parking permits in San Francisco

*Effective July 1

Source: SFMTA