Car-share parking bill rankles transit backers


A proposal to allow developers of residential projects to exceed parking caps by adding designated car sharing spaces has received the green light this week to continue to the Board of Supervisors.

The legislation will allow developers to add up to five car-share parking spaces in buildings with fewer than 50 units, and eight spaces in larger buildings. The car-share parking spots would be exempt from their maximum allowed number of parking spaces.

Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the legislation last year saying:

“Car-sharing is a key part of the future of transportation in San Francisco. If we truly want to get people out of their cars, we not only need to improve Muni, but we need to provide easy access to car-sharing and taxis.”

Currently, The City requires buildings with more than 50 residential units to have at least one dedicated space for a car-share vehicle. This space, however, does count towards their maximum number of allowed spaces. Wiener claimed the current situation is a “disincentive” to developers to save spots for car-shares.

While San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee approved the legislation unanimously, other groups aren’t as smitten with the idea of allowing more parking spaces to clutter The City.

Groups like The Sierra Club have spoken openly about how they oppose the proposal. Bay Area chapter Secretary Sue Vaughn told the Ex:

“The Sierra Club notes that increasing the number of allowable parking spaces — even car share spaces — violates the Transit First policy of The City, as doing so will add to overall congestion and negatively impact the flow of transit and air quality.”

Others worry that the bill could easily be abused to expand private parking. Livable City Executive Director — and separately, BART Board President — Tom Radulovich told SFStreetsBlog:

“Car-share is meant to reduce demand for residential parking, so car-share spaces ought not be over and above the maximum number of residential spaces. Using car-share to justify excess parking is cynical greenwash, and nothing more.”

Opponents say they would rather have The City dedicate existing parking spaces for car-share vehicles.

The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the legislation Feb. 12.

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