You're not mistaken if it seems that San Francisco always has more parking meters to feed, and you're not alone if you suffer from parking anxiety: that nervousness that bubbles up when you scout for spaces in certain neighborhoods because you know that somehow, for some reason, you're going to get nailed with another ticket you can't afford.
(Or maybe you're so good a person that you don't drive at all. Good for you!)
Beleaguered drivers have formed an organization with the goal of making parking in San Francisco a little less painful. Eastern Neighborhoods United Front — acronym: ENUF — launched a website last week, www.sfenuf.org, and announced the fight it's picking: "Preventing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency from blanketing our San Francisco neighborhoods with more parking meters."
Formed by S.F. residents and business owners last year, ENUF won its first victory back in December with an appeal filed over the controversial "smart" parking meters turning up on previously unmetered blocks in S.F. neighborhoods as part of an SFMTA pilot project. This appeal eventually forced the SFMTA to put the kibosh on its plan to install these meters near the Mission Bay neighborhood, said Mari Eliza, spokeswoman for the group.
More recently, the group's message gained momentum when the S.F. Chamber of Commerce asked the SFMTA to consider the economic impacts of new parking meters near local businesses. Currently, ENUF representatives are speaking at public meetings, and the group plans to conduct polls and surveys with local residents and business owners to gather information about the realities of San Francisco parking — information that might contradict the studies that the SFMTA is relying on as it plans to increase the number of pay-to-park spaces.
Eliza said that the agency's apparent resistance to hear them out is almost as frustrating as trying to find a parking spot in San Francisco. "They appear disinterested in what people have to say and set in their ways," she tells SF Weekly.
"[SFMTA is] certainly interested in what this group, and other stakeholders, have to say," said spokesman Paul Rose. "We're absolutely committed to working with them to get these proposals done." So, the SFMTA says that it's responsive — and, really, anyone who's been out $60 for going five minutes over at a smart meter is likely to agree.