Welcome to "Transported," our new weekly series about getting places in San Francisco, whether you take the bus or the BART, bike or drive. Come here to find the skinny on secret parking spots, the new bike lanes and how to get across town on MUNI without losing your mind.
Sure, you've got a car and they tend to get you places fast. But when you have to park it, things can take a turn for the worse. Avoid road rage and circling the same block 15 times over by parking it at one of these cheap, clean and safe parking garages that aren't crowded to death.
Lombard Street Garage (Marina/Cow Hollow)
If you're going shopping or on a dinner date in the Marina, this is the best spot to hide your car. They offer valet service, an electric car charging station, and validation at some shops and restaurants in the area. At $2 an hour, you can drop only $6 on parking for a good three hours of wining and dining--probably the cheapest deal you will find in this neck of the woods. 2055 Lombard St., (415) 440-1984
North Beach Parking Garage (North Beach)
If you have to drive to North Beach where parking is practically an urban legend, drop your car here. It's clean and rarely full. For added peace of mind, there's a police sub station directly across the street. Inscribed on every parking spot is a Chinese proverb. It's $2.75 an hour, and a little-known secret is this: for a single month's worth of overnight parking (6 pm-9 am), it only sets you back a whopping $75! 735 Vallejo St., (415) 399-9654
Mission Bartlett Garage (Mission)
Everyone knows parking in the Mission is next to impossible and more than likely if you do find a spot, there may be some questionable characters waiting in the wings. Kill the paranoia and park at this tiny garage on Bartlett Street where it's a steal at $2 an hour or $16 per day. They also have tons of bike parking and valet service. 90 Bartlett St., (415) 821-6715
Japan Center Garage (Fillmore)
This spot is killer for a show at the Fillmore Auditorium, the Kabuki Theater a stop at Dosa, Japantown's Suzu and any other Fillmore Street attraction. You won't have to be worried about your car alone in the wilderness of the Western Addition in this safe garage, where it costs $2 an hour to stash your vehicle. Bonus: most Japantown restaurants validate parking here for the first hour, and they're open until 2:30 am on weekdays and 3 am weekends! 1610 Geary Blvd., (415) 567-4573
Performing Arts Garage (Hayes Velley/Civic Center)
Hitting up a performance at the opera, ballet, Herbst Theatre, or perhaps even jury duty? This place is ideal to park for any of these occasion. It's even convenient if you're looking to go on a Hayes Valley shopping spree. It's $2.50 an hour, or a $15 flat rate on performance nights. You're allowed to park 24 hours, but they close early (midnight on regular nights). On weekends when there are no shows, they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. But this place is well kept and safer than most parking garages in the area. 360 Grove St., (415) 252-8238
Jessie Square Garage (SOMA)
Right next to the Westin Hotel, SFMOMA, Jewish Contemporary Museum, Sports Club LA and Yerba Buena Gardens, this garage can be found down the tiny Stevenson alley if you've got the eyes for it. There are huge parking spaces and lots of them. If you're in the market to wander around the Union Square & SOMA areas, you only have to pay $16 for a day. It closes early though, so don't plan on staying out until the break of dawn! 223 Stevenson St., (415) 978-9634