Apologies in advance if this is a post-holiday buzzkill for you. But, while you were eating, drinking, and resting over the holidays, the SFMTA elves were out reprogramming parking meters to be operational on Sundays. Yep, you read it correctly. You now will have to pay to park at meters on Sundays.
Three differing points of view come to mind regarding the new policy.
MUNI riders: MUNI isn’t free on Sundays, so why should parking be free? And, the projected $1.9 million annual meter revenue will benefit MUNI immensely.
Church-goers: Church officials were concerned that now there would be worries about time constraints during services and parishioners would be getting up in the middle of prayer to feed the meter. Or there would have to be a 15-minute intermission incorporated into spiritual worship for the masses to feed the meter. SFMTA took that into consideration and is implementing a Sunday pre-pay program. They also are extending the maximum time limit for all meters to 4 hours on Sundays.
Businesses: Part of the Board’s decision was also pro-business. This new policy will allow turnover of vehicles in front of and nearby all businesses. But, some business owners are wondering if there will really be that much turnover with the max length of time for each meter being 4 hours. They believe that free parking was a plus for business and this new policy will be a negative for them.
SFMTA’s perspective is that the free meters on Sunday parking policy was antiquated as parking meters were originally implemented to create turnover for businesses. They were not in effect on Sundays because most businesses were closed on Sundays in a time long forgotten. So from their point of view, Sunday meters should have been in place a long time ago and drivers have had a nice free ride for the last 30 years or so.
All meters citywide will allow 4 hours worth of coins to be deposited on Sundays. I suggest getting a moderate sized bucket, put it in your trunk and start filling it up with loose change because if your credit card is maxed out and the meter is $3.00/hour, you will need to deposit 48 quarters for 4 hours.
SFMTA is giving you a few weeks to wrap your head around this change and even though it is officially implemented, on January 6, 13 and 20, parking control officers will issue reminders, not citations, on cars at expired meters.
For more sobering truths about parking click here.