CFAH

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As plans to remove 170 parking spaces from Upper Polk Street stir emotions and debate, the Emerald Fund is moving forward with plans to dig up the 58 space off-street parking lot at 101 Polk Street and construct a 13-story residential tower on the site.
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The proposed tower to rise 120 feet on northwest corner of Polk and Hayes would yield 162 rental units (25 studios, 99 one-bedrooms and 38 two-bedrooms) over a subterranean garage with space for 52 cars and 62 bikes as proposed.
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Trees would be planted along the Polk, Lech Walesa Alley, and Hayes Street frontages:


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Assuming approvals and exceptions for parking (0.31 spaces per unit proposed versus the 0.25 permitted), rear yard requirements (substituting a second floor outdoor court for the required rear yard), and wind comfort level exceedances (over a maximum of 11 miles per hour) as proposed, development of the project is slated to commence next spring.
And assuming a spring 2014 start, the building would be ready for occupancy in 2016.
Polk Street Showdown: Bike Lanes Versus Parking & Local Opposition [SocketSite] 

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by MarinaRenter

    This is ridiculous. We should be adding more below ground parking, not less and taking away existing parking. We are creating a parking nightmare in this city.

  2. Posted by futurist

    I agree completely. There is a war going on with the SFMTA, the Bike Coalition and other anti-car groups hell bent on making it more and more difficult for those who CHOOSE to drive and HAVE to drive to make it nearly impossible.
    Cycling remains a very small portion of the essentially (but not completely) younger, white male portion of our population. They are certainly entitled to ride their bikes by choice, while learning to obey ALl traffic laws.
    We have a long ways to go to get them to learn that.
    And MUNI is nowhere near the quality transit system is could be and needs to be.

  3. Posted by Dan

    Bike commuters are a diverse lot. (The daredevils that make futurist cranky are more likely young white males, though.) Most bike commuters ride pretty safely– they want to stay alive! Car drivers should obey all traffic laws as well (especially coming to a full stop at stop signs)– but the presence of scofflaws hasn’t kept us from building lots of infrastructure for cars.

  4. Posted by Steve

    I agree. I’ve been a bike coalition member for 20 or so years and bike and walk when I can, but I endure muni to work most days (which takes twice as long as biking on a good day). I also drive on weekends for most errands or to go out of the city.
    But I’m nearly 60 and although I’d guess I’m in much better shape than 80-90% of people my age (especially those with kids who don’t have the time to bike or otherwise keep in shape), taking my bike around or walking long hilly distances isn’t as easy as it used to be. I’m dreading being in the City in my 70’s and 80’s. Muni just doesn’t function well enough to get around other than a straight-shot downtown, unless you want to spend eight hours on a Saturday doing errands that you could do in a car in a quarter of the time. And I can’t afford cabs. This City shouldn’t be designed just for younger, white, male (and I’d add mostly wealthy) people.
    Fix MUNI first to give us an option. It’s nowhere near the point where we can tell people that it’s a realistic alternative to biking or walking for those who are no longer physically or logistically able.

  5. Posted by futurist

    Well, Dan. we do that same response OVER and OVER when a comment is made about cyclists: the next response is usually just like your line; complaining about car drivers without you addressing the errant, dangerous and quite often illegal cycling that takes place in SF.
    I suppose the so called daredevil cyclists, of which there are a lot, should be ignored. After they’re just young and having fun. Yes, just like the cyclist Chris Bucchere who killed the pedestrian last year at Castro and Market.
    Those darn daredevils! They mean no harm. They’re young. let them have fun.
    And yes, I’m aware that bike commuters are a diverse lot, as I said. Please read again.

  6. Posted by apropos

    This looks like a great project. I agree that it should have more parking, but nonetheless this will be great for the neighborhood and will contribute to the much needed turn around of the Van Ness and Market area.

  7. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    It is interesting how futurist continues to harp on the fluke Bucchere collision from over a year ago, but not a word about the dozens of people who have been mowed down dead by cars since then.
    It must be a “Man bites dog” sort of meme.

  8. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    How are people’s cycling habits relevant to this story? A very valid point was made about this project leading to a net loss of parking spaces while adding more residents. That is insane and it’s happening all over the city because it’s run by ignorant bitter communists.

  9. Posted by futurist

    @ MOD: For your information, I, and others continue to mention the Chris Bucchere horrific cycling death caused by him, precisely because it’s a very important story to NOT sweep under the carpets.
    And, additionally, because I have come close to being hit by errant cyclists on Valencia St. and 24th St. And I have seen other pedestrians, legally in the crosswalk, come very close to be hit as well.
    We need to keep talking about this. It has zero to do with pedestrians being hit by cars, which is equally tragic.
    That’s why it’s important and worth talking about.

  10. Posted by Louis

    I dont really know about all the bike v traffic v whoever issues. but this looks like a nice background building that betters the area if it gets built. the parking ratio — whether its 0.33 or 0.25– seems pretty benign re parking and planning debates over the past few years.

  11. Posted by Zig

    “This is ridiculous. We should be adding more below ground parking, not less and taking away existing parking. We are creating a parking nightmare in this city.”
    I am not following what is ridiculous here. This is a private lot correct? Private surface parking lots in this location are all going to go. When you say “we” should be adding below ground parking do you mean the City or developers? And when you refer to “taking away” existing parking you are implying we should force this private space to remain parking?

  12. Posted by Zig

    Correct me if I am wrong but I assume developers are becoming more and more happy to develop with less parking?

  13. Posted by curmudgeon

    I am so tired of this rant about bicylists! Chris Bucchere was an aberration, not the rule. Go out on any bike commute route in the morning and you see all types of people biking to work, and they are pretty orderly about it.
    And it is so inappropriate to concentrate it on this thread. This project is located in a central, flat, transit rich location. In other words it is perfect for good ped and bike access.
    It is absolutely the case, as Steve mentions, that not everyone can bike all the time. I’m getting older too, and I recognize that while I hope I’ll be biking when I’m 70, I may not be. But hopefully I will still be walking and taking transit.
    If you want to choose to drive, you are ALWAYS welcome to rent or buy in a location that has parking, of which there are plenty. It is not a war on drivers to restrict parking on projects so near the downtown core.

  14. Posted by futurist

    @ zig: I can’t speak completely for MarinaRenter, but I think what he means is this (which I agree with):
    More balanced parking ratio, BELOW grade, other than the .31 ratio currently mentioned. I still support an almost 1:1 ratio of parking to units.
    And that means the City (planning) should allow more parking. If not, many, but not all of those new residents will be circling the blocks looking for the few spaces available.

  15. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    futurist – perhaps you personally support 1:1 parking, but the street infrastructure cannot if we’re going to allow taller buildings like this. 1:1 parking is anti-growth.
    And stating that a freak bike vs. pedestrian collision is ‘equally tragic’ with the ongoing death dealt by cars (two SF Bay residents killed every day) is like saying that the Falklands War and WWII are equally tragic.

  16. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    MarinaRenter and fdotn: for the umpteenth time, if adding more residents means that there will be an inexorable increase in the demand for off-street parking, then the marketplace will produce said off-street parking spots. And this will be true regardless of whether or not a particular rental housing project financially attaches parking to the act of acquiring housing.
    That’s called leveraging the capitalist “free market”, so if indeed the city is being run by “ignorant bitter communists”, you’d never know it by the policies being implemented by said city policymakers.
    There’s literally nothing stopping either one of you from filing the paperwork to form a REIT that does nothing but build third-party parking garages and putting out feelers for venture capital. I’m giving you that business idea for free, you don’t need to cut me in as an equity partner.
    The City needs more infill projects, and surface level parking is just an absurd misuse of precious, valuable land.

  17. Posted by futurist

    Certainly there may be locations and cases where 1:1 parking is not prudent. I support other ratios as well, but, IMO, not less than 1:2.
    It was hardly a “freak” accident by Bucchere. Hardly. And by calling it, by others, an “aberration”, or calling it a “fluke” is sadly mistaken, and a weak attempt to just let it go.
    Tell that to the dead mans family.

  18. Posted by anon

    That is insane and it’s happening all over the city because it’s run by ignorant bitter communists.
    Oh please. We’ve seen all sorts of instances recently of the market asking for EVEN LESS parking than they’re currently required to build by these darn commies. Yet the “market-first” commies here on Socketsite scream that something is wrong.

  19. Posted by zig

    1:1 parking ratio is really not balanced for this location. It gives people the option to buy cheaper units and pay lower rents without the parking.
    Many affluent people live in Nob Hill without a car so I can’t see the issue with this model for certain central areas. I seriously doubt all but the most daft people would buy in this increasingly dense area without a parking spot yet try to park each day on the street but if they do why is that our problem to accommodate them?
    I am not a biker and own a car in the City but have never gotten this issue and why people think we need so much parking. The parking max arguments to allow more cheaper housing has always been clear as day to me.

  20. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    …and just for the record, I don’t buy the implicit claim that adding more residents while at the same time reducing off street parking at this specific location will inexorably increase the demand for parking. I’m pointing out alternative outcomes.
    All city policies are doing is cutting the linkage between having to pay for housing and having to pay for parking. Especially for a market-rate rental project like this one, that’s good planning.

  21. Posted by Alai

    It was hardly a “freak” accident by Bucchere. Hardly.
    Of course not. It’s the deaths we read about every week (or don’t, because they’re not newsworthy) that are freak accidents…

  22. Posted by lol

    futurist,
    You are singling out one occurrence but are voluntarily forgetting 100s of others.
    Each and every one of them is a drama in its own right.
    If anything, driving is much more dangerous to non-drivers than cycling.
    Another thing: you are criticizing all cyclists for the actions of a few.
    Can you then please tell us how as a driver can live with the fact that other drivers are driving carelessly? Under the influence? Distracted by a smartphone? Causing the death of 1M+ around the world every year?
    It’s a silly question, but so is your obsession with cyclists.

  23. Posted by BigV

    Everyone is missing the key point about parking: The problem is traffic and gridlock. There are no new roads being created, so there is a real limit to the amount of car traffic the city can tolerate without grinding to a halt. Already, downtown gets pretty bad most days.
    We cannot stop people from driving cars in (or into) the city, so there is no means to meter or limit traffic directly. But the growth in traffic can be limited by making parking difficult such that people consider alternatives. One can argue about the benefits or ills of removing existing parking, but it is clear that the city CANNOT allow 1:1 parking for new developments because that would rapidly explode the number of cars in the city.
    This city is going to keep getting denser — when you stop looking backwards to the golden days of car dominance, and start looking to the future when we have 30% or 50% more population, you realize that the future of this city cannot be built around everyone driving everywhere. We would be solid gridlock. It would really suck.
    And the future starts now. That is what leaders have to consider. To be ready for the future in 20 years, we need to start shifting how things are built today. It takes 20 years (or more) to change civic infrastructure.
    And yes, MUNI should be fixed too. There is a LOT of action in the pipeline on that front too, so the future MUNI will not be the current mess.

  24. Posted by BobN

    All city policies are doing is cutting the linkage between having to pay for housing and having to pay for parking.
    And where exactly is the City allowing parking to be built so that people can pay for it?

  25. Posted by anon

    ^there are like ten gigantic parking garages being built in Mission Bay, including an absurdly large one by the Giants.

  26. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    BobN: well I’m not a land use lawyer, but my layman’s answer to your question is: most higher-density residential neighborhoods.
    From SEC. 204.5. of the San Francisco Planning Code, PARKING AND LOADING AS ACCESSORY USES:

    …accessory parking facilities for any dwelling in any R District shall be limited, further, to storage of private passenger automobiles, private automobile trailers and boats, and trucks…notwithstanding any provision of this Code to the contrary, the following shall be permitted as an accessory use:

    1. Lease of lawfully existing off-street residential parking spaces by the property owner or manager, for a term of no less than one month, is permitted as follows:

    (A) for use by any resident of a dwelling unit located on a different lot within 1,250 feet of such parking space or

    (B) for use by any resident of a dwelling unit located on a different lot within the City and County of San Francisco so long as no more than five (5) spaces are rented to those who live beyond 1,250 feet of such parking space…

    Emphasis mine. It goes on to specify how far over the current parking minimums for a dwelling that an accessory parking facility can have.
    Of course there are exceptions that specifically disallow parking garages oriented toward auto commuters in certain neighborhoods, but that’s not what I was getting at in my earlier comment. The context here is people who live in the neighborhood and want to buy third-party parking.
    All that said, I agree with BigV that MUNI simply has to be improved; large numbers of residents of S.F. can’t just throw up their hands and say “well, MUNI isn’t as good as Metrorail or MTA New York City Transit — not that I ever utilized those systems — and so I’m just going to force everyone to support the lifestyle choices I adopted when I lived in La Crescenta” and be done with mass transit for ever and ever amen.

  27. Posted by muni_diarya

    “Why use honey when vinegar is available?” –SFMTA

  28. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    And for the umpteenth time, Brahma, you are completely wrong. The city enforces maximum ratios on parking spaces and rejects proposals based on it. As for letting the market decide, parking spaces are the most profitable square feet you can have in a building. In places like Russian Hill people pay $400/month for a parking space, and a deeded parking space easily adds $75-100K to the price of a condo. That’s for less than 150 sq.ft. of naked concrete. So don’t pretend that developers limit the number of parking spaces because “the market” doesn’t want them.

  29. Posted by anon

    ^Do you really need us to show you the numerous recent proposals where developers have asked for less than the permitted and/or required parking? Are these developers so stupid as to leave money on the table? Seems odd.

  30. Posted by Alai

    The city enforces minimum parking requirements too.
    parking spaces are the most profitable square feet you can have in a building
    Um. $400/month for a parking space, huh? Parking requires 325-350 square feet of garage area per space (measure it yourself in Google Maps). That’s $1.15-$1.25 per square foot. Why, for a 550 square foot studio (plus 10% common space) to be as profitable would require it to go for over $750 a month!

  31. Posted by Brad

    More quality feedback from Futurist about all those white cyclists taking out pedestrians left and right, completely ignoring the hundreds and hundreds of vehicular violations and accidents.
    With regard to the building, I’m glad to see it moving forward, but removing so much parking seems like it would inhibit the neighborhood’s ability to attract new businesses visitors. I’m fine with limiting the amount of spaces used by residents, but it would seem wise to maintain some spaces for public use (if such a thing is feasible).

  32. Posted by Nils

    Won’t the coming advent of driverless cars (which will presumably be “on demand” rather than personally owned) largely obviate the need for all this personal parking?
    When you consider that these buildings likely have a 50-150 year lifespan, then planning for the transportation ecosystem of the future rather than the past makes better sense. No?

  33. Posted by @futurist

    As if cars obey ALL traffic laws. Give me a break.

  34. Posted by BobN

    When I said “where”, I meant physically, not where in the code is it allowed.
    Enormous parking lots in Mission Bay for visitors and employees is not what I’m looking for. When is the last time the City built, or allowed to be built, a parking lot for RESIDENTS to use near their homes?

  35. Posted by anon

    ^Um, every new building being built in the last several years has parking for residents in it, save for a handful.
    Are you seriously implying that if you want to pay for parking you can’t find a spot to rent in your neighborhood. Let me know where you need one and I’ll find you one for rent, likely one in a building built in the last decade.

  36. Posted by spencer

    “One can argue about the benefits or ills of removing existing parking, but it is clear that the city CANNOT allow 1:1 parking for new developments because that would rapidly explode the number of cars in the city.”
    This is patently absurd. Removing parking spots in new developments will greatly INCREASE congestion. Without the car storage in new buidlings, people will continue to crowd the streets with their cars, circling to look for limited parking, slowing down traffic, blocking bike lanes, etc. The vast majority of homeowners have cars, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, even if it means circling. Most people who have cars and a designated parking spot do not drive to their jobs downtown during rush hour. they use it to go out of town, for groceries, errands, etc. the gridlock downtown is dur to commuters from outside SF. The way to combat that is to charge a fee for downtown driving during peak hours, or to have some sort of tag with a registration fee. if you are caught without it downtown, you pay a fine.
    adding additional parking in new buildings is a way to decrease traffic congestion in SF. People will pay for a parking garage. let supply and demand rule that. But street parking, congestion, and making the rounds for parking is only going to get worse if owners do not have access to garages.

  37. Posted by anon

    ^Except that that’s demonstrably false. Quiz:
    1. Which neighborhood has the highest income – Nob Hill or the Bayview?
    2. Which neighborhood has double the auto-ownership rate of the other – Nob Hill or the Bayview?
    3. Which neighborhood has more off-street parking – Nob Hill or the Bayview?
    If you build parking in new buildings, mostly people who own cars will move into those buildings. If you don’t build parking in new buildings, mostly people who don’t own cars move into those buildings. People aren’t so stupid to move into a building and then say, “Well, darn it, there ain’t no parking here!” Sure, some people with cars move into buildings without parking and vice versa, but the statistics are pretty clear, and don’t match your “theory” that auto ownership rates are static no matter how much parking is built.

  38. Posted by spencer

    anon, your examples seem to be as theoretical as mine. meaning you didn’t cite any.
    i never said it was static. But certainly is not completely proportional.
    most homeowners own cars and most will continue to do so for foreseeable future. i don’t know the number, but lets say 90% of homeowners now ahve cars and building less parking in new building lowers the rate to 80% for new buyers, that is still a lot of new cars going to street parking as the street parking spots dissipate. this will cause more circling and more congestion. its not rocket science. i am not advocating more street parking, just more parking in buildings or more parking garages for car storage of owners who need their cars part-time for errands or to commute to silicon valley. anyway, supply and demand will take care of this if the city gets out of the way. the polk street plan is ridiculous. there are not enough cyclist commuters now or in the future to justify this.
    the car owners in SF are not the ones causing congestion downtown. a car owner in nob hill is in most cases not driving to his job in the financial district. the car is used for errands.

  39. Posted by futurist

    Spencer hits it right on, echoing much of what I have been saying. Agree with him completely.
    All of my friends, neighbors and colleagues have at least one car, some have two. Some ride bikes, some walk, some take MUNI.
    There should be parking in each new building essentially equal to each unit. Yes, there can be some exceptions, but the ratio should be reasonable.
    The Polk St. Bike plan is ridiculous. I hope the local residents and merchants fight this one. Greening and wider sidewalks are fine.
    It’s interesting how urban biking is a fairly new “trend”. Why wasn’t it a huge thing in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? Our population and car use has not changed significantly since then.
    I think a few Bike Coalition people went to Amsterdam and liked what they saw and thought “how cool is this, let’s do that in SF, as soon as we buy our skinny jeans, plaid shirts and knit skull caps”.
    Awesome, bro.

  40. Posted by lol

    futurist,
    I have been commuting with a bike since 1981 on 3 continents, 4 cities, 2 capitals. I have owned 12 bikes, been stolen 7, recovered 1 (!).
    The current “trend” is the result of a change in the way we view cities. The model of the wealthy fleeing the horrors of the city has gone in reverse.
    But you know that already and you probably saw it coming. After all, you’re a “futurist”, right?

  41. Posted by Zig

    There is a tipping point where only an idiot would live in an area with a car and no off-street parking spot. Nob Hill is an example, and this is basically what is being created in adjacent Hayes Valley.
    I fail to see why we should worry about someone who would be dumb enough to live in a very dense area and not have off street parking for their car.
    It is very much worth it for San Francisco to direct development to replicate very successful residential areas like Nob Hill, North Beach in an area like Hayes Valley and Upper Market and it can’t be done with 1:1 parking.

  42. Posted by AnonArch

    @lol, I am an architect and homeowner in San Francisco and work part time in Chicago as well (where I rent). My projects in California have been on the Peninsula, Napa, Marin, as well as in the city. How do you propose I get around on a bike?
    OR do you think I should move out of the city since I do not fit the new hipster mode.
    San Francisco long ago gave up being the economic engine of the Bay Area to the South, and many of us who live here are not able to take our time on a bike casually peddling from one appointment to another. I had to follow the money and most of my projects are in other parts of the Bay Area, in neighborhoods without bus or train service. (like my current project in Portola Valley)
    NOW- when I am in Chicago I do not use a car at all. Why should I? Chicago has a transit infrastructure that takes me quickly to almost any appointment in that city. You cannot expect everyone to have a career that allows them to pretend they live in Amsterdam.

  43. Posted by lol

    Again, for the 25th time: NOBODY is forcing you on a bike. Cyclists just want more space.
    Got it? Enough on putting words into someone else’s mouth!
    Read the posts, then flame at will.

  44. Posted by spencer

    “I fail to see why we should worry about someone who would be dumb enough to live in a very dense area and not have off street parking for their car.”
    No one cares about that “someone” we care about the fact that someone (multiplied by a large number) who doesn’t have offstreet parking, but still has a car, is going to increase congestion for all

  45. Posted by lol

    This irrational fear of drivers reminds me of the bogus “Death Panels” claim the right was using to stir up their base. It was a blatant lie. But a lie that was repeated a million times.
    The same thing applies for the bike lane plans: NOBODY WILL TAKE YOUR RIGHT TO DRIVE.
    [/end rant]

  46. Posted by anon

    anon, your examples seem to be as theoretical as mine. meaning you didn’t cite any.
    Um, hello? I cited Nob Hill and the Bayview, where we have literally decades of data.

  47. Posted by lol

    spencer,
    We’re all a collection of “someones”.
    On the scale of the city, we’re talking about increasing the cycling population by a couple of 10,000s (a few percentage points. If there are 2 people per car, that’s 5,000 cars not commuting, and probably a few 1000s of cars that do not need parking.
    Locally, it might be a little harder to park around Polk, but people tend to adjust, especially is they are cheapsters and value their money more than their time.
    Living on Telegraph Hill and owning a car at the time (yes, I was punishing myself):
    – on a good day I would park only 2 blocks away.
    – at the wrong time of day, I would park 3-4 blocks away
    – on big events days in NB, I would park on Russian Hill
    It’s a balance between time and money. But overall the #s will balance out because people know where they can get the best bangs for the bucks.

  48. Posted by anon

    It’s interesting how urban biking is a fairly new “trend”. Why wasn’t it a huge thing in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? Our population and car use has not changed significantly since then.
    SF population 1980: 678,974
    SF population 2012: 825,863
    An increase of almost 150,000 (!!!!) people is not a significant change? You have a weird view of what is and isn’t significant.

  49. Posted by futurist

    No, my opinion is that increase is not “significant”.
    We are not a big city, compared to other “big” cities.

  50. Posted by lyqwyd

    You guys are wasting your time arguing with futurist.
    His worldview has been immunized against facts, data, evidence or statistics, he’ll not be swayed.
    Here are his views:
    Since Chris Bucchere killed somebody through his negligent and irresponsible behavior, all cyclists are stained for all eternity and deserve no improvements for any reason.
    Parking is sacred, and it is irrelevant that many people in SF do not own cars, with that number growing every year. SOME people own cars, thus ALL people must pay for parking.
    He will continue to ignore the hundreds of annual deaths by auto in the bay area, or the tens of thousands per year in this country, or million plus killed per year worldwide. Those deaths are irrelevant as long as one person is killed by a cyclist.
    Nothing you can say will change his mind on these matters. The only evidence he needs his eyes will show him, and his eyes only see what he wants them to see.
    If you bother to post data that contradicts what he knows to be true, he will either accuse you of believing cars are evil, or change the subject.
    His ridiculous views have been demolished numerous times, but he persists in repeating the same dogma ad-nauseum.
    His views on parking are set in stone, never to be changed.

  51. Posted by lol

    The 7X7 is what it is. Density increases with every new building which means more people having to share the same common space.
    Cycling is a great way to move around more freely, is healthier than driving or even riding transit and has virtually no impact on common resources.
    Also, no war has ever been started to secure the supply of Burritos that power my bike.

  52. Posted by anon

    No, my opinion is that increase is not “significant”.
    So then it seems that it shouldn’t be a significant difference to increase population by a couple hundred thousand more and keep parking spaces at the current number.

  53. Posted by BobN

    Are you seriously implying that if you want to pay for parking you can’t find a spot to rent in your neighborhood.
    170 parking places just disappeared along Polk. I think you should offer your services to those folks.

  54. Posted by Spencer

    “We’re all a collection of “someones”.
    On the scale of the city, we’re talking about increasing the cycling population by a couple of 10,000s (a few percentage points. If there are 2 people per car, that’s 5,000 cars not commuting, and probably a few 1000s of cars that do not need parking.”
    You forget that most sf car owners that also work in SF actually take MUNI

  55. Posted by anon

    170 parking places just disappeared along Polk. I think you should offer your services to those folks.
    These are all time-restricted spots. Don’t think anyone is using these for overnight or monthly spaces.
    But yes, plenty of parking spaces for rent in the area. And there is a city-owned garage at Bush/Polk that was completed less than ten years ago.

  56. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Car drivers kill pedestrians at about 100:1 the ratio of bicyclist causes fatalities. The one proven way to reduce pedestrian fatalities is to reduce traffic speeds. A pedestrian hit by a car going 35 MPH has about a 10% chance of survival, while being hit by a car going 25 MPH increases survival rates to 50%.
    The best way to slow down vehicular traffic is to narrow the roads and force car drivers to share their space with other, slower moving vehicles. Therefore if pedestrian safety is your aim, then you should be encouraging *more* bicycle lanes and more bicycle usage, not less.
    futurist has reality 100% twisted around.

  57. Posted by lol

    I have indeed noticed there’s a bit of logic twisting. And in the end, the message always stays “don’t touch my car”. LOL.
    Sometimes ideology will trump logic. This reminds me again of the Obamacare hecklers/teabaggers yelling “keep Government away from our Medicare!”.
    Same irrational reaction. Nobody’s taking anyone’s right to drive. But the streets we all use can be locally redefined to fit contemporary needs.

  58. Posted by Mark Sharp

    I’m not a fan of cars but I’m realistic. I understand people will still use them- even in denser cities than San Francisco. You know what I hate more than cars? Surface Parking Lots. I think it’s ridiculous that people are even debating whether or not to replace a parking lot with housing.
    It looks like this is very near the Civic Center. So it makes me wonder who their *customers* are. If you are so worried about losing parking then
    build a new *public* parking garage in that area? It would probably be a good idea to that anyway if you are going to realize the full potential of the Civic Center.

  59. Posted by spencer

    mark sharp.. now thats good common sense.
    i think everyone would agree with this. Surface parking is a totla waste of space, extrememly ugly and not economically efficient.
    more housing, with at least 3 spots for every 4 units, and more parking garages is a much better solution. Let economics and common sense rule the day. Does anyone relaly think the local SF govt is going to offer good solutions to these problems? Most of them are nitwits

  60. Posted by anon

    But where are all those SFMTA employees going to park?
    The removal of this parking may force them to ride bikes or take MUNI. The horror of it all!

  61. Posted by anon

    Let economics and common sense rule the day.
    Why not just let economics rule the day? You say that it’s “common sense” that we must mandate 3 parking spots for 4 units and building of new parking garages, but then toss in “economics” to make it seem like you’re not a freedom-hating communist with the explicit goal of forcing people to build more parking than they want to or the market desires.

  62. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    It’s sad that people don’t understand the difference between discouraging driving and discouraging car ownership.

  63. Posted by spencer

    “”You say that it’s “common sense” that we must mandate 3 parking spots for 4 units and building of new parking garages, but then toss in “economics” to make it seem like you’re not a freedom-hating communist with the explicit goal of forcing people to build more parking than they want to or the market desires.””
    very funny twisting anon. i dont care if its 3 for 4 or 4 for 4, or even less if the market dictates. I just don’t think the city should dictate 1:2.
    im about as far anti-communist as you can get. but i do like to use common sense and data to make conclusions, and not politics

  64. Posted by anon

    ^So you’d be ok with removing all parking minimums? That isn’t at all what you’ve said in other threads. The city forces developers to build extra parking in far more places than they force developers to scale back on parking. Happy to hear that you’re for the market deciding (judging by recent developments, my guess is that many, many places would be built with zero parking if only the city would allow).

  65. Posted by Skirunman

    @anon, as a developer 1-1 parking is a minimum for any project I’d build. For higher end, prefer 2 parking. There should be some minimums as otherwise your create a nuisance for the rest of the area as new cars try to park on the street. However, I don’t see any logical reason to limit parking except for attempts at social engineering.

  66. Posted by anon

    ^The weird thing is that you’re not all developers. Why assume that you know better than all developers. Many have proposed decreased parking over what is allowed, and the city has used social engineering to stop their attempts. It’s wrong.

  67. Posted by Enough!

    The same outside consultants hired by the SFMTA to help remove parking from new residential developments were FIRED from Santa Monica for trying to impose the same policy.”
    “The theory is if there is less parking, people will be compelled not to drive, and instead to walk, bike or take public transit. The result would be less traffic, according to transportation planning firm Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.”
    What has happened instead.read the comments…
    “What’s happening in the beautiful city is down right disgusting. I recently tried driving up Ocean park blvd but was stuck in terrible traffic because some nitwit in street planning added wider sidewalks planters and a huge bike lane in green, Leaving one lane. Really? They could do better and still have a bike lane and two lanes of traffic. Didn’t they know that traffic adds tons of pollution into the air. Make the traffic move!!!!!! Oh and forget about those with disabilities and elderly, lets see how we’ll they do on bikes and public transportation.”
    http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/city-drops-consultant-over-nimby-comment
    Santa Monica has been more extreme than San Francsico including wanting a new Whole Foods to only have 10 parking spaces.

  68. Posted by R

    You’re using the comments section from a local site about a town of 90,000 to justify your argument? Come on, you can do better than that..

  69. Posted by Enough!

    NO, the point is that the same plan of removing parking to force people to use bikes or public transportation was tried by the SAME outside private transportation consulting agency that is now helping to create transportation planning in San Francisco and it was shown to be a failure.
    The same person who used to be the front person for public meetings in Santa Monica talking about the benefits of removing on street parking is now the EXACT same person making presentations at community meetings here in San Francisco.

  70. Posted by R

    “it was shown to be a failure.”
    Where? Not in the link you provided.

  71. Posted by lol

    R, do not expect a rational debate. This is heckler territory.

  72. Posted by Enough!

    I did read the article, and others linked and the outside agency was FIRED. They were one of the originators of the theory that removing available parking, especially from new retail and residential projects would force people to walk, ride bikes or use public transportation if available. I am sorry you do not find it interesting that a Los Angeles professor has been paid by the SFMTA for his “knowledge” about his “parking removal theory” as well?
    Really lol, jumping on every comment to make sure you have the last word, providing no links, no statistics, no information, no quotes from meetings, certainly YOU could do beter than that?
    And I think “R” can speak for themselves.

  73. Posted by R

    “I did read the article, and others linked and the outside agency was FIRED.”
    If that’s what you got out of that article then your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. According to that article the city has asked that Tumlin be pulled off their projects. Nobody got fired, and Nelson Nygaard continue to work with Santa Monica.
    It is amusing that the NIMBYs got all up in arms because he called them NIMBYs. Sensitive?

  74. Posted by lol

    I gave my opinion on the “party of No” earlier. Please offer viable alternatives for cyclists. For now I only see Tea-Party-grade 100% emotional debate points.

  75. Posted by futurist

    good comments and info Enough! thank you.
    We now have more news today that the SFMTA is re-thinking the Polk Street re-design issue, thanks to much community commentary and criticism.
    There does need to be a MORE balanced approach to serve ALL users of Polk St, including merchants and those who who choose/need to drive.

  76. Posted by lol

    LOL on the “much community commentary and criticism”. That’s a self-serving statement.

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