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Dolores Street median parking pilot gets green light

San Francisco transit officials will proceed with developing a 12-month pilot to allow median parking on Dolores Street where members of faith-based institutions have parked there for decades.

The Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors approved on Tuesday to allow the transit planners to come up with a pilot and bring the pilot back to the board for approval.

John Knox White, a transportation planner for the SFMTA, led a committee called the Guerrero/Dolores Median Parking Policy Advisory Committee. He said the committee voted 4-3 to get rid of median parking, but needed a threshold of five votes to present any recommendation to the SFMTA board.

The committee did agree on one thing that there were safety issues of cars parked close to the intersections as well as cars perpendicular between medians along Dolores Street, which the SFMTA said in documents will consider crafting the pilot.

Knox White said the pilot would clarify to drivers on when it would be OK to park in the median and when parking control officers would start enforcement. Right now, drivers can only park in the median if signage permits.

Without signs present on Dolores Street, churchgoers have parking illegally in the median.

Rabbi Ted Riter of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, said his synagogue on Dolores and 16th Street is just not used by his members, but also by the First Mennonite Church and occasionally community groups and businesses looking space to meet:

“And there are times we need more parking than is available on curb. There are times when public transportation cannot safely serve nor adequately serve out community.”

Members of Cornerstone Church and the Mission Dolores Church came out to support a pilot program.

Gustavo Torres, who works at the Mission Dolores Church and was part of the SFMTA committee, said he supports a median parking pilot, but a pilot that is not limited for church members:

“We want to come together and want everyone in the community to utilize the median parking.”

Elizabeth Zitrin, who was also part of the same committee, said the pilot is providing “special prilvieges” to the churches and synagogues.

She also said that the he voices of the committee were not being heard. She said that it was not true that a majority of committee members had to agree on a recommendation. Zitrin said Knox White should have presented the committee’s recommendation to get rid of median parking to the SFMTA board on Tuesday.

SFMTA board Director Cheryl Brinkman said she sees both sides of the issues including neighbors who want to get rid of median parking:

“I can absolutely see both sides of this. I can completely understand the neighbors who get fed up with the creep I think is what’s been going on. It’s started small and it’s just been kind of creeping block by block and it’s not attractive and it’s not safe.”

Brinkman said it was obvious that the transit agency was not doing good job in managing parking. She directed staff to take the pilot further by developing a parking management plan for the neighborhood upon completion of the pilot.

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  1. sfparkripoff says:

    Monday thru Friday private Tech buses double park, share stops with MUNI, and park in the streets with City Halls (pardon the pun) “blessing”. So, If the City Hall and the SFMTA can make “special allowances” for healthy young able bodied tech workers why cant they extend the same “special allowance” for elderly and disabled congregants to attend church one day a week?

    Many elderly and disabled congregants have mobility disabilities and rely heavily on private vehicles. In fact, elderly and disabled drive to church more than any other demographic in the city. The city prioritizes transit walking and bicycling over driving in a city where most elderly people depend on cars to attend church.

    The San Francisco Interfaith Council conducted a “Transit Technology Survey in 2014. Disseminated by the
    SFIC to its 3,200 e-subscribers from February 5-26, 2014, congregation leaders were asked to make hard copies and administer the survey at the fellowship hour of their primary worship service to ensure that all in
    attendance could participate.

    Of the 558 who responded to the “age range” demographic question, 2.5% fell into the 18-24 age range; 12.5%
    in the 25-33 age range; 16% in the 34-44 age range; 20% in the 45 -54 age range, 25% in the 55 -65 age range; and 24% in the 66 or older age range. Twenty-three congregations in all but one supervisorial district
    participated. 601 congregants from eleven faith traditions responded. 67% of respondents travel to worship by automobile; 19% by public transit; 2% by bicycle and 12% walk.

    This pilot program is finally a step in the right direction for the SFMTA.

    1. Ryan Shanabarger says:

      For the record, this person is going around every news article posting this exact same thing. It is clear they have an axe to grind here, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes posting as “John Smith”… Sure.

  2. This is great news! What other currently illegal activities can we pilot? Speeding? Parking in the bike lane? Running red lights? The possibilities are endless!

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