MEDIAN PARKING ON DOLORES AND GUERRERO HAS ALWAYS BEEN ILLEGAL, but the SF Metropolitan Transit Authority (SFMTA), which is in charge of parking regulation and enforcement, has looked the other way for decades. While the official word is that this practice has been tolerated to accommodate the neighborhood’s faith-based organizations, in reality, the vast majority of parkers in recent years are there not to attend services, but to avail themselves of Dolores Park and other local amenities. The parking is a great convenience for many but a source of considerable unhappiness among most local residents. As the Mission Dolores Neighborhood has become increasingly popular, so have the traffic congestion and safety issues associated with turning these two-lane thoroughfares into a single-lane gauntlet.
Last year, SFMTA convened a 9-member “Median Parking Advisory Committee” composed of local residents, business owners, and members of local religious organizations, in an attempt to arrive at some concensus about this contentious issue. After meeting for over 9 months, the Committee came up with a narrow but final recommendation to abolish all median parking (Note: SFMTA claims that no such consensus was reached due to a technical quorum issue). The agency also did a survey of some 3,766 locals. 74% of respondents said they were either “completely (64.9%) or somewhat (10.8%) unsupportive of median parking conditions.”
On August 14, SFMTA’s Board of Directors met to come to a final decision. While the results of the survey appeared unambiguous, the Board concluded: “the survey is neither the determining factor in the SFMTA’s final decision on median parking nor a statistically significant random sample of the stakeholders.”
Instead, SFMTA decided on a 12-month pilot program that would keep things pretty much as they are now, but would provide more enforcement against clearly unsafe practices based on yet-to-be-determined guidelines. (To date, there is no evidence that enforcement has changed in any way. As the photo attests, cars parked long after dark are not being ticketed on any regular basis.
Stay tuned for further developments.