• Apr 20, 2011
Have you ever found yourself cursing at a parking meter because it wants $2.00 of your hard earned change? Residents of San Francisco do not feel your pain. A new demand-based system is getting ready to be tested, which, during certain special events, could drive the hourly parking rate up to $18.

That (insane) $18 charge will only occur when demand for parking is at a fevered pitch, such as it is during Fleet Week when the Navy's in town. Normal charges, however, will range from a low of $0.25 per hour up to $6.

Sensors in the parking meters will monitor parking space availability, and hourly pricing will then be dictated according to the perceived demand. The project is called SF Park, and it's currently funded to run for two years. Perhaps the name SF Gouge is more appropriate.

[Source: KTVU.com | Image: OrinRobertJohn/Flickr, CC 2.0]


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  • 46 Comments
      Dapper_Otter
      • 3 Years Ago
      Price gouging during Fleet Week = San Francisco wants to take all the money it can from service people and their friends and family? That's not a good PR move.
      AtlasM
      • 3 Years Ago
      Useful information from the source link: "Sensors installed at parking spaces will track in real time where parking is available. The data is uploaded to signs and smartphone applications. The price of high demand spaces will go up, while other spaces will decrease in cost." So in theory, if you can't find a spot or don't like the price to park where you are, just whip out your phone and find an open space somewhere else. You can decide where to park based on a combination of how much you want to pay and how far you feel like walking. I don't know how many times I've driven aimlessly around urban neighborhoods trying to find somewhere to park. I would LOVE an app that tells me where to find an open space.
        flychinook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AtlasM
        Oh goodie. A whole city block worth of traffic all racing towards the one remaining spot, and all staring at their phones.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love to visit SF, but the last time I was there I was hit with $430 towing fine plus a $87 parking citation for being an idiot and not paying attention to the 'No Parking between 4-7 PM' signs at Pier 1. That was after spending about $100 to park at various tourist spots during a weekend there. $430?! Really!?? How can any city government justify that? The car was in the yard for 1/2 an hour.
        fmwso
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        My sister in law just got a $495 towing fine while parking there so yeah, parking in SF's tourist spots really suck.
        NorthBeach
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        If I'm not mistaken, the $430 fee was to the privately owned and operated tow company, no? The city's citation fees aren't all that pricy for the most part. Definitely, it's often better to either take BART into the city or just leave your car in the hotel garage and take the buses, street trains or taxis to your destinations... or even to walk. After all, Pier 39 is only a lovely 45 minute walk from Union Square downtown. Or you can the historic F-Line trolly cars, or the cable cars... or the buses... for just $2 - $5. We've all been hit with these parking/tow fees though... and they certainly bite. Sooner or later you learn though. ;-)
        TAX PAYER
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        $430 IF U R LUCKY. MORE $$ IF YOUR CAR WAS DAMAGED WHEN IT WAS TOW. IT HAPPENS A LOT.
      David Landrum
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about if I not visit the city of San Francisco? Free Market!!! There are so many beautiful places in CA you can visit instead of the filth littered Progressive stronghold of San Francisco. And you can park your car anywhere you damn well please.
        Shiftright
        • 3 Years Ago
        @David Landrum
        Yes, please let us know where all the clean Conservative utopias with cheap parking all are please! Hopefully there will be lots of churches, gun shops and American flag shops with large free parking lots!
          NorthBeach
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Shiftright
          The great redistribution of wealth and taxes from liberal cities into conservative suburbs and rural districts is what allows the latter to build all their wide, giant roads with tons of parking in the first place. Ah... the incessant ingratitude...
          David Landrum
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Shiftright
          My town, in the Central Valley. Relax at the lake or go out to the track. Donate some clothing to the church, buy an AR-15, and slap a big ass American flag sticker on your bumper. Oh, yes... free parking as well.
      jcar302
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like they are trying to relieve some congestion and make a few bucks during busy times. I really have no problems with it. I live in NJ and from time to time i goto NY, but i'm wise enough to take public transportation. I'll assume most people would do the same in attempt to not get killed on high parking rates, freeing up a little room for people to move about. Bottom line, don't drive into the city when you know it's going to be busy.
      WRX
      • 3 Years Ago
      First off, I love the descriptions and wit that a bit of subjective reporting provides, particularly with regard to auto-based news. Hell, it's why I read Autoblog! But when a news article about an ingenious real-time pricing system (which transportation planners like myself consider a holy grail for fixing our problematic transportation networks), is filled mostly with unnecessary complaints from someone who clearly has no appreciation for why it's news at all (hint, it's not because $18 is a lot!), I get annoyed. Mr. Glucker, please spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with this topic before you give us your complaints. This is a brilliant market-based system for reducing congestion, encouraging carpooling/transit use/etc, while at the same time benefiting drivers by reducing the number of drivers circling around endlessly hoping to find cheap nearby parking. Those who can pay will, and the city will benefit. Those of us (like myself) who cannot, will park farther away, take a brief walk, but in the end? I'll just be glad there were less dolts fighting over the spot closest to the Ben and Jerry's.
        cim303
        • 3 Years Ago
        @WRX
        The problem I see with your position is that it assumes people will pay the higher fees and/or take public transport in the face of alternative locations in which to visit, live and patronize. Why deal with the increased parking cost or the annoying public when one can just drive somewhere else, pay less and not have to deal with the annoyances of public transportation? The city could very well be shooting itself in the foot by giving folks incentive to live and do their businesses elsewhere.
      Car Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's the price you pay if you want to live in a city infested with Liberalism and big government..........
        who_the
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        @Car Guy: It's the price we San Franciscans gladly pay to provide things like universal health care and a fair, living minimum wage to all of our residents. Frankly, I'm delighted it may also keep conservative blowhards and their cars out of our city. FTW!
        Scandinavia
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Or you could say it is the most pure form of capitalism: the price is purely set on what the marked is willing to pay. High demand = high price. If the city sets the price so low that demand exeeds what is available, wouldn't that be like subsidising a common good to all.... cind of like socialism?
      ManOnFire
      • 3 Years Ago
      Liberalism run amok.
      savagemike
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know what else they could do to raise cash... Have cleaner water come out of your sink if you pay more. I mean, why are they cleaning all that water so well for 'those' people? Couldn't the better people who can afford to pay for it be the only ones to get the clean water? Well - as long as it's not socialism. Because that is class warfare.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 3 Years Ago
        @savagemike
        Welcome to the new world order where only the rich get good parking, good schools, good roads and good healthcare. The rest of the peasants can suck it. You better get used to it because it's only going to get worse.
      Deej
      • 3 Years Ago
      In many big cities, $18/hr is a bargain. I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with this, it's basic supply and demand.
      simianspeedster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Gotta love it when the city planners don't require adequate parking for new developments (because we all know how well cities stand up to wealthy developers), then cry foul and come up with schemes like this. Creating scarcity is an excellent way ot make a buck.
        mainframewayne
        • 3 Years Ago
        @simianspeedster
        Back in the 70s the commies ( san francisco board of supervisors ) banned the construction of parking garages in new buildings. they thought this would reduce traffic.
          thritter
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mainframewayne
          That is unbelievable! Unbelievable in that it's false, that is. Four new highrises have gone up near me in SF in the last five years; all have underground parking. Where do you get your Commie News from, anyway?
          simianspeedster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mainframewayne
          Kind of like not building roads will keep people from driving? Right... ;-)
          simianspeedster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mainframewayne
          Thritter -- do they have ENOUGH underground parking? In many cities, residential high density developers are required to build one parking space for a once bedroom, and two spaces for two or three bedroom units. Oh, and maybe a handful of guest spaces. So what do you think happens when a couple with two cars moves into that one bedroom unit?
      Logan Wild
      • 3 Years Ago
      18$ sounds better than a dick in the ass but I'm sure most sanfrans wouldn't mind that....
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