By John Geluardi
Mayor Gavin Newsom put Rescue Muni members at ease Monday night when he assured them of his opposition to Proposition H, which was sponsored by his billionaire benefactor Don Fisher.
The public announcement was a relief to pro-public transportation organizations who oppose the thousands of new private parking spaces in downtown high rises the measure would allow.
“I’m surprised people don’t know I’m against Prop H,” Newsom said. “I don’t think they want to know that.”
Misleadingly billed as a parking regulation measure for the city's residential neighborhoods, it would actually increase by five-fold the number of allowable parking spaces in downtown office buildings, opponents say. Currently, the city’s zoning ordinance allows a 10-story office building to add roughly two stories of parking. If voters approved Prop. H in November, a 20-story building would be able to add 10 stories of parking, according to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association's ballot analysis.
Creating thousands of new parking spaces downtown would encourage more commuter traffic and deal a major setback to years of transit friendly city policies designed to reduce vehicle traffic and increase reliance on public transportation.