The San Francisco County transportation authority board recently approved this extensive on street parking management and pricing report.
As part of the report, the study team put together some neighborhood case studies that are relevant in Washington, DC, Arlington, and other parts of the region.
Some interesting findings from the report: Resident permit parking fees are $76 per year, more than five times as high as Washington, DC. According to the report, this price is set based on the costs of administering the program, and requires the largest amount of parking officer enforcement effort. If San Francisco says it costs $76 per vehicle to administer the program, why is DC only charging $15?
San Francisco allows up to four permits at the base price, but households (if they qualify for an exemption) can pay a graduated rate for additional permits. Visitor permits are available in short durations (as low as two weeks) and are priced at around $40 per month. Permit zones appear to be limited to walking distance, minimizing cross-commuting. The rules for setting up zones are similar to Arlington’s, which require a certain amount of observed outsider parking, parking congestion, and neighborhood approval.
On-street parking occupancy in some areas was very high. All reported surveys showed the Cow Hollow area as 90% occupied or more. The study also found that compliance with traditional time limits was low. Average vehicle duration at 30-minute meters was over 40 minutes, and at 1-hour meters was over 85 minutes.
The study team interviewed pedestrians in the study areas. They found that more than half of people surveyed were non-drivers. Among drivers, many reported having to search for 5 minutes or more to find parking. In the most parking-constrained neighborhood, less than 40 percent of drivers expected to find free parking.
In a mail-reply survey, residents rated availability (ease of finding a space) as the most important parking attribute, with cost of metered parking rated below safety, appropriate time limit and convenience. When asked to rate their experience parking, availability was at the bottom, with cost rated a better experience than time limits, information, and the availability of various payment options.
The survey results imply that residents would be willing to pay more for spaces that are more convenient and available. Among availability, convenience, and neighborhood improvements, availability beat convenience and improvements in forced-choice questions.
Businesses also rated availability highest in importance, with cost also rated below time limits, convenience and safety. “Being able to find a parking space more quickly” was rated by businesses as the improvement customers would be willing to pay extra for, with “extended time limits” running a close second. More than 50% of businesses surveyed said they would be more likely to support an increase in parking meter rates if a portion were dedicated to neighborhood improvements.
The recommendations also read like the Shoup model of parking management: variable prices, extended time limits, devoting a part of the revenue to the neighborhood.