Wednesday: Meeting on Proposed Northwest Bernal Parking Permit Zone


The days of unrestricted weekday parking in northwest Bernal Heights may be coming to an end.

Following a well-organized signature drive by some North Bernal neighbors, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency is moving ahead with plans to establish residential parking permit (RPP) system in portions of northwest Bernal where a majority of residents signed petitions supporting the creation of an RPP zone.

The next step in the process is a community meeting, to be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 7 pm at Leonard Flynn Elementary School. From the SFMTA announcement:


The SFMTA and Northwest Bernal Heights Residents invite you to a public meeting to discuss the proposed Bernal Heights Permit Parking Area.

Residents on the following blocks have voted over 51 percent to move forward with residential permit parking in Bernal Heights: Mirabel and Montezuma, Shotwell (1400 – 1599), Coso (1 – 199), Precita (1 – 199), Coleridge (1 – 99), Winfield (1-99),and Powers.

Please join us to hear details about next steps in the permit process, which includes a discussion about how this will affect residents in the area.

Northwest Bernal Heights Community Meeting
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016, from 7 to 9 P.M.
Flynn Elementary – 3125 Cesar Chavez Street

Additional information about the Northwest Bernal RPP plan and the RPP program is available here on the SFMTA website.

41 thoughts on “Wednesday: Meeting on Proposed Northwest Bernal Parking Permit Zone

  1. Since this will adversely affect the neighbors nearby, is there a way for people living adjacent to the private parking zone to oppose the plan?

    • PV, the right way to do this would be to be included in the permit zone. When RPP zones were first proposed I followed the discussions closely and many people mentioned that blocks that chose not to be included would be detrimentally affected as parkers moved to their streets. I’m surprised that more blocks voted against being included in the zones, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many didn’t change their minds and partitioned to be included now it’s being implemented.

      To the best of my knowledge this is a done deal. People have voted whether or not to be included in the RPP zones and the meeting is simply to discuss implementation, which I believe will take a couple of months while signs are installed. As someone who lives on a RPP block that sounds great to me, but I feel for folks who live on adjacent blocks; parking is likely to get worse for them.

      • Man, I worded some of that poorly 😀. For example, what I meant was “…I wouldn’t be surprised if many changed their minds…”

      • Unfed, rather than replying to PV’s question about how to oppose the plan, you say “Don’t oppose us, join us!” Not very helpful.
        I oppose it, too. Those who oppose should take the online survey at
        if they haven’t already, fill out the petition — or as SFMTA and the plan’s proponents assert, “vote, hah” — and then send email to detailing your opposition to
        Program Manager of Residential Permit Parking
        Pamela Johnson
        Public Relations Officer
        Please do not shove this nonsensical plan down our throats.

  2. Instead of opposing the plan, is there a way of extending it to a larger area? I’d like to see it on all of Coleridge, for example.

    • As noted in the FAQ in the link Todd provided, neighboring streets can petition to be included in the permit parking zone:

      “How can I obtain a permit if I live just outside the boundary of a new permit area?

      Residents initiate the establishment of a new or extended residential parking permit area. If a resident lives outside the boundary of a new permit area, they may petition SFMTA to have their block included in the permit area closest to their home. The petition must have signatures from at least 51 percent of the residential units on the block. Once your block is added to a residential parking permit area, you are eligible to purchase a permit.”

  3. We were signing people from Coleridge – were there not enough signatures? Unfortunately I cannot be at Wednesday meeting. Having just a part of the street in this system doesn’t make sense.

  4. I really can’t see what problem creating permit zones is going to solve—why would I care what happens in the spots outside my house from 9am to 6pm?—but I don’t have a car so have at it ya’ll.
    Now that the pandoras box of parking enforcement roaming our streets has been openened, hopefully the tickets for basic infractions like parking half in your driveway or too close to a red curb don’t break the bank for anyone.

  5. I’ve followed this on Nextdoor. It’s a gathering storm. SFMTA makes it easy for people to petition to establish an RPP and, inevitably when they do, it will push cars and trucks to adjacent areas. The more RPPs are that are established the more there will need to be added. Certain to be a big money maker for the SFMTA.

    My question is why is this happening? Outside commuters taking Muni downtown on the red lanes? Tech workers using Bernal as a staging ground for tech shuttle pickups? More population in Bernal? People buying more cars?

  6. I think the assumption is that RPP will solve parking problems.

    Instead what actually happens on RPP blocks is that parking stays as bad as it was prior, and the RPP blocks gain the added headaches of $100+ annual permits per car, increased DPT patrols with more tickets for all cars both permitted and unpermitted, theft of RPP stickers from cars and subsequent ticketing, and no daytime parking for residents’ guests.

    There are probably more undesirable outcomes but these are the ones I’ve personally experienced as a resident in NoPa and Nob Hill RPP zones. Parking in Bernal has always been a pleasant contrast to the other parts of the city with RPP. No longer.

    • Exactly. I think folks believe that RPP will suddenly make parking easy on their block, but I’ve found RPP to be a huge PITA, both as a former resident of an RPP zone, and as a visitor to friends who live in RPP zones. Since the vast majority of the cars clogging my block are owned by my neighbors (the last 5% to return home each evening left to park on the sidewalks or other illegal spots) RPP will do nothing to ease the parking problem while adding the headaches outlined above. Dreading the inevitable spread of RPP, now that it’s been approved for a limited area.

      • I’m going to editorialize here, but I completely agree. Based on the experience I had during 10 years spent living in The Mission, yes, once the RPP is introduced, it basically forces all the adjacent blocks to sign on to the program as well. Otherwise, it’s nothing but an expensive PITA that won’t really make much of a difference to most people. I think this is an unfortunate development, but here we are.

  7. Does your front door have to open onto one of the streets to qualify for a permit? My address is on Mission St, and I park up on the hill. I can’t afford to pay the daily $67 street cleaning ticket to park in front of my apartment, and the $2/hr during the day. 🙂

    • Yes, you need to show evidence of your address (like a PG&E bill with your name on it), and that address needs to be on one of the streets that is permitted.

  8. Bad policy being snuck through by Northwest Bernal insiders. So bad and detrimental to the surroundings urban environment. High impact, little return to the neighborhood.

    • I am not sure what a “Northwest Bernal Insider” is. I personally am a concerned 64 year old SF native & a 40 year resident on Shotwell St. Does that make me an “Insider”??

      • That’s rhetorical right? Bad, anti-working class policy that will push traffic onto our streets. Terrible noticing to the surrounding impacted streets. More public outreach is required.

  9. Just a couple comments since I am one of the people that has been working on this for years. It is a done deal for us. We have worked for almost 2 years on the process, it is not an easy process. Parking has become impossible, JCH , for all the reasons you cited & since we are one of the last areas in the city without RPP we are known as THE place to park for long term parking. Many people stash their “extra” cars here or park here while they are on vacation or park & take Uber etc etc etc. This is not something we have done without a lot of thought and input. The city does surveys of the # of cars parked on the street at different times & how many cars are from outside the determine need. It has not been easy & this was not done without reason.

      • I have educated myself, as evidenced in my posts B. I’m not sure what the linked article adds to the discussion, but it does seem to reinforce my point that a car cannot be parked in one spot legally for more than 72 hours and you have every right to request enforcement. RPP simply brings entitlement to the public commons.

      • PV, have you ever had to put a call in on a car for being parked over 72 hours? It’s 3 business days, first of all. And parking and trafffic won’t come out after their usual 9ish to 5ish rounds themselves. Then they put a warning and it’s another period of time. The whole thing takes like a week. So no, the 72 hours argument, while technically correct, is a fallacy.

    • Yes, RPP works! I often drive through neighborhoods that have ABUNDANT parking spots because of RPP. Parking becomes a heavenly experience. {sarc}

      Beth, could you report back to us after six months or so and let us know how RPP worked out for you guys?

      With all due respect, Kenny: How sad that it takes almost a WEEK to completely eff up someone’s life to the tune of ~$1,000.00 minimum for violating the 72 hr rule. I hope those people don’t have any sort of excuse for their “crime”… (real examples of friends of mine: #1) mugged and in the hospital for a week–forfeited car to city, still paid 1/2 the total penalties; #2) mother died, flew home leaving car in care of sub-genius friend–$2,000.00 added to funeral expense tally)… hopefully, they’re just doing it to selfishly screw over the neighborhood, as everyone assumes! That way our mean, punitive vengefulness is justified.

      And yes, I know the odds of changing anyone’s mind about anything are infinitesimal.

  10. Then why don’t you get street cleaning? I don’t understand people who choose to live in filth just so they don’t have to move their precious cars once every two weeks. If you worry about people dumping their cars in your neighborhood for two weeks, street cleaning will fix that. I’m appalled how few streets in Bernal have street cleaning.

    • Excuse me, I don’t understand your antagonism. I am just trying to explain why we, in our neighborhood, have chosen to get RPP. We keep our streets clean. Yes, street cleaning would help but some of our streets are too narrow & they can’t do street cleaning.

      • I think the antagonism by some on this thread might come from the fact that once RPP gets its grips on a section of a neighborhood, it effectively works like a virus to infect the surrounding neighborhoods until all of a once easygoing hill is stuck with it. I’m not sure which of the streets in blue above cannot have street cleaning because of width, but I think most can. Lastly, there are already laws on the books prohibiting parking beyond 72 hours. I do realize that they are weakly enforced, but if people really don’t like (mostly their neighbors) parking for long periods of time on the street, they are welcome to call for enforcement of the 72 hour law, I’ve seen it done frequently around Bernal.

      • That’s correct. It is like a virus. Right now on NextDoor, I’m seeing neighbors on Lundys and Precita scrambling to get into the RPP system, because they feel like they are going to get squeezed by the blocks that have initiated the program. Frankly, I think this is a pretty bad situation, and the antagonism comes from the fact that a relatively small number of neighbors are permanently changing the dynamics in a big part of the neighborhood — and effectively imposing a $150 per-car surcharge to do something that we currently do for free.

      • And we HAVE been calling on cars over parked, constantly. After much discussion, we felt the need to petition for RPP so we canvassed the neighborhood, took a vote and we got 51-75% on our streets to vote yes. That’s it, we have chosen RPP. What other streets want to do on their blocks is up to them. The survey from the city proved that 80% of the spots are taken during the day & over 50% are from out of the neighborhood so there was justification for doing it. That’s it, I’m done.

      • You guys have the right to do what you are doing, Beth. It would actually contradict human nature if you didn’t.

        It’s sometimes called “Looking Out for Number One,” sometimes called “I Got Mine.”

        I don’t think people are being mysteriously “antagonistic” because they had a bad day or don’t like your cologne. They are making a last-ditch effort to get you guys to see that your block’s actions will have a NEUTRAL impact on your own block and a NEGATIVE impact on surrounding blocks. That is a net negative for the neighborhood–one that you guys might want to reconsider, but definitely won’t.

        One more little wound to Bernal’s quality of life. Death by A Thousand Cuts.

      • Actually Beth, you are incorrect about 50% of the parking if from outside the neighborhood. In the meeting at Flynn the other night, the SFMTA showed a graph that showed 80% of the parking in the RPP zone was from nearby residents. This seems to suggest RPP do little to solve your parking issue, especially since there are no nighttime restrictions on parking. I empathize with everyone who wants to have better access to parking in their neighborhood, I am one of you. Sadly however RPP will not solve the problem.

  11. I live on Lundys Lane. During the day probably 80%+ of spots are taken and I have no doubt that a lot of those are not residents but contractors, Mission St. diners/shoppers, and St. Luke’s employees. (Which BTW still leaves about 20% of spots available, so I can still park on my block relatively easily, though not necessarily in front of my house.) However parking turns over as residents return home at the end of the day around 6-7 pm. By 8 or so all spots are taken and anyone returning later has trouble parking legally within a few blocks. My issue with RPP is that it will do nothing for the real problem, which is too many cars owned by residents and no parking AT NIGHT.

    We don’t have a problem with long term parkers because we do have street cleaning. The occasional long term parker gets reported to DPT. And, call me crazy, but I have no issue with St. Luke’s employees, who are likely low paid, snagging a free parking spot during the day when there are available spots.

    As frustrating as parking is, the spread of RPP (virus-like!) now that it’s been introduced is bound to create many more frustrating unintended consequences than it is to solve the “problem” of too many cars in the neighborhood. I’m not looking forward to increased ticketing or purchasing additional permits for anyone visiting for more than 2 hours (house guests, contractors, housesitters, etc.) Especially since I STILL won’t be able to find a spot nearby on a Sunday night!

    • My thoughts as well. Also, people who work at Mission shops and restaurants during the day will suffer as well. Add to that, you’re allowed a whopping four permits per household. That’s insane.Speaking of which…

      Does anyone know how one might give their permits friends that work in the neighborhood? It looks difficult, having to have a car registered in the proper area (I don’t own a car to begin with).

  12. The process for voting is ridiculous. I am four houses away from Coso, and occasionally park on that street. I was not given any voice in this, but I will soon lose the ability to park there and also likely will be unable to park on my own street because the non-residents will be chased onto it.

  13. Several of the main streets affected by daytime commuters and the park crowd aren’t even in the zone. So non-neighborhood parkers will be even worse. OK, you say, it’s easy to add yourself in, you say. Great … we gotta deal with grumpy neighbors and do a petition. That’s not what was communicated previously. I was actually personally told my street was in the zone, in fact.

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