Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

David LaBua

Will Higher Meter Fees Create Greater Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

And so it's begun.  Parking meter prices have been raised for “special events” such as Giants’ home games. SFMTA explains that the prices will now “align more closely with rates in surrounding areas, and this will provide a more consistent experience for customers”.  That is a relief.  I know that I have been greatly bothered for a long time now by inconsistently reasonable parking rates. SFMTA’s making them all consistently overly expensive is a load off of my mind.  

The Economics of Asphalt: Fixing SF's Potholes

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of  Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee has proposed a $248 million bond to pay for road repairs. A national travel research group, estimates that for the average driver, roads that are in poor condition add $335 annually to typical vehicle operating costs. In San Francisco, the high concentration of poor roads adds an average of $705 to the maintenance of each vehicle.

The SF Department of Public Works stated that this year’s winner of the SFSIWC Award (San Francisco Street in Worst Condition) is…….Roanoke Street at Arlington, on the southern edge of the city with a quality-index score of just 5 (a newly paved street is scored at 100). And, the runners up according to the Bay Citizen are Alameda Street between Utah Street and Potrero Avenue, with a score of 16, and Sansome Street between Lombard and Chestnut streets, with a score of 17.

Balancing MUNI's Budget, Replacing Nat Ford & Making Sure Bus Drivers Don't Go On Strike

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of  Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

There will be a new chief of SFMTA next month. Nathaniel Ford will be leaving on June 30. The City of San Francisco will send him off with a $384,000 severance package which is comprised of one year of his base salary $309,000, plus unused vacation time, and extended health insurance. Ford leaves as head of the SFMTA with MUNI achieving a 71.1% on time rate.
 
In other parking news, the 2,000 MUNI operators union rejected a new contract that called for a wage freeze for three years. However, Proposition G, which was approved by voters in November, allowed the arbitrator to impose the contract. Prop G also removed the city charter mandate that MUNI drivers be the second highest paid in the country. Last year, the average SFMTA operator earned more than $109,000 a year in salary and benefits. The top earner behind the wheel last year made over $210,000.

SFpark: How We The People Can Influence Our Parking Future

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

Well, last week’s post about SFMTA raising the prices of parking meters in SF generated quite a few comments. I think that the comments embody representation of all sides of the issue. I want to thank everyone for writing. I find most of the comments on my posts from both sides to be quite thoughtful, which is far from what’s typical in comment sections. In this post I would like to continue the discussion about SFpark, distill the information further, try to come closer to an agreement on the issue, and then perhaps influence policy.

The 48 Hour Film Project Blasts Through SF This Weekend

In May 2001, filmmaker Mark Ruppert came up with a crazy idea: To try to make a film from concept to completion in 48 hours. He enlisted his partner, Liz Langston, and several other filmmakers to join him in this experiment, and the 48 hour Film Project was born. Since that day, nearly 40,000 people have made 3,000 48-hour films in 80 cities worldwide.

Parking Dilemma: Deep Skepticism About SFpark's Elitist Parking Meter Plans

I was checking out the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s SFpark website today, and I actually laughed out loud to myself…twice. On the SFpark facts page, they ask themselves questions, and then answer them. My first chuckle came after simply reading the first question they asked themselves:

Is SFpark a way for the City to raise revenue?
 
The second laugh came after the first word of their response:
 
“No. The primary goal of SFpark is to create easier parking by improving availability. Hourly parking rates may increase in high-demand areas and at high-demand times but rates will also decrease in low-demand areas and times.”

Ask the Parking Guru: How to Contest Tickets with The 100–Foot Rule

Dear Parking Guru,

Last Saturday I was driving down Broadway toward its intersection with Columbus and I saw a single vacant parking spot on the corner (every other spot was taken). It was about 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday night in North Beach, I thought, wow I am lucky to get this spot.
 
Later when I came back from the restaurant, my car was missing. It was towed by AutoReturn. I checked the meter. The sign on the meter said that it was in effect only from 9 am to 6 pm, so, WTF? I found out later there was a sign way down the street that stated, "Towing after 8 p.m.".
 
My question: Is there any way for me to fight the towing ticket based on the fact that I was deliberately mislead by parking authorities?  Is this not a clever misleading trap for a motorist?  Any person with common sense could have parked there, couldn't they?
 
Regards,
Igor

Parking Tips: How to Achieve Parking Karma

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of  Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

Rules and structure are indeed essential for an orderly society to function smoothly–especially if that orderly society needs to find a place for half a million cars to park. But, the greater the number and the more complex the rules, the harder and more frustrating it becomes to follow them. This city of ours is phenomenally unique, and parking in this city of ours is a unique phenomenon. With 2 million parking tickets given out per year, 470,000 vehicles roaming the streets and only 320,000 street parking spots, parking is an act that requires significant concentration and, on some days, can require absolute cunning and nearly transcendental calm.

Ask the Parking Guru: Can You Get a Residential Parking Permit in a Non-Permit Zone?

Dear Parking Guru,
 
Can I get a permit for parking on my street where it isn't a residential permit area? I understand that they will be installing meters here and in other residential areas.  Any help would save us $ in meters and in parking tickets.  Do you think we should go to our Supervisor???  Any info you have would be most helpful.
 
Thanks,
M.K.

Ask the Parking Guru: Can You Avoid Tickets by Parking On the Same Block?

Hi David,

I have a question for you.  I work on the 3200 block of Van Ness.  The parking in front of the building is an island in the center of the street, there are spots on each side of the island, and there is a 4-hour limit. Last week I lucked out and found a spot right in front of the building.  Four hours later I went to move my car and somebody four spots down happened to be moving at the same time so I took that spot. 

Well, I got a ticket saying I parked over the 4 hour limit.  Not true, I moved my car 4 spots away.  Is that legal to just move a few spots down and park for 4 more hours or is there a restriction?  Or did the meter maid just have me logged on that block and I got a ticket because they thought I was in the same spot?

Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox

Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.

Subscribe to 7x7
Renew
Give a Gift
FAQ's

Guides

The Big To-Do: 100 Things to Do In SF Before You Die

The Big Eat 2011: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

Pole Position: Our Subjective Guide to SF's Strip Clubs

Four Awesome Northern California Hot Springs

Refreshingly Unhip: SF's Old-School Pastrami Sandwiches

The 7 Best Carne Asada Burritos in San Francisco

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in Bernal Heights

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in the Lower Haight

The 10 Best Lunches in Union Square Under $10

The Path To Ramen Enlightenment

Secret Recipes: How to Make Some of the City's Best Dishes

Drink Up: SF's "Cocktail Movement" Bars

8 Solid First Date Ideas

Where to Learn An Instrument in SF

7 Local Musicians to Watch in 2011

The Best Wine Shops, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

The 7 Best San Francisco Albums of 2010

Refreshingly Unhip: The Best Glazed Dougnuts in SF

Tea: Our 7 Favorite Spots to Drink & Buy

Fireside Buzz: 7 Bars That'll Warm You Up

Beer Tasting Road Trip Itinerary of Sonoma & Mendocino Counties

Six Great Boots for Fall in San Francisco

Get A Room: Bars That Rent Private Spaces

The Best Phone Apps for the Food-Obsessed

9 Great San Francisco Football Bars

The Best Bowls of Soup (That Aren't Pho or Ramen) In SF

The 10 Best Burgers in San Francisco

Expert Advice on Parking in The City

Sonoma v. Napa: Which Does it Better?

Biking for Beginners: Routes to Take and Avoid

5 Ways to Get the Wine You Want in Restaurants

San Francisco's Best Dance Classes: 9 Places to Bust A Move

The Big Eat 2010: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

The Big Sweet 2010: 50 Treats to Try Before You Die