Bernal Heights Proposed As Guinea Pig in SFMTA Parking Permit Experiment

Streets initially proposed for a new northwest Bernal RPP zone. Source: SFMTA

Streets initially proposed for a new northwest Bernal RPP zone.  Source: SFMTA

The SFMTA is moving ahead with plans to use Bernal Heights as the site of an experimental Residential Parking Permit (RPP) scheme that will no longer emphasize preventing non-residents from parking on neighborhood streets. Instead, under the new system, the RPP program will also seek to limit the number of cars residents can park on the streets of their own neighborhood.

As previously reported, the SFMTA’s Bernal parking survey showed that roughly 70% of the cars parked on northwest Bernal streets on a typical weekday afternoon likely belong to other Bernal Heights residents. Under SFMTA’s longstanding rules, at least 50% of parked cars would have to belong to non-residents in order to establish a new RPP zone.


Source: SFMTA

Yet after some residents organized a petition drive last year to establish a new RPP zone in northwest Bernal, the SFMTA moved its own goalposts. The 50% non-resident requirement was quietly disregarded, but SFMTA has not explained what the updated criteria for establishing a new RPP zone will be.

Since then, other San Francisco publications have shed more light on SFMTA’s intentions.  In mid-March, the San Francisco Examiner reported:

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is proposing a stricter cap on residential parking permits issued in The City, from four permits to a household to perhaps only two, or maybe limited to one permit per driver.

The cap might make it possible for more parking to be found on San Francisco streets in neighborhoods where visitors cars park in “high rates” and displace residents’ cars.

“I don’t think anyone envisions this as being a silver bullet,” said Hank Willson, parking policy manager at the SFMTA. “But it certainly has the potential to help.”

The permit cap and other restrictions are part of a new pilot being proposed for a section of north Bernal Heights and in the Dogpatch.

Does northwest Bernal Heights have “high rates” of non-resident parking?  We have no idea, because SFMTA has repeatedly declined to specify what the non-resident parking threshold will be under their new rules.

A few days after the Examiner article ran, SF Bay News reported that the proposed Bernal Heights scheme isn’t really focused on non-resident parking. Instead, it mainly targets other Bernal Heights residents:

Kathryn Studwell, SFMTA program manager of the Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program, said the transit agency will test out the pilots to measure if they improve parking availability in the neighborhoods and see how residents in the pilots react first before going citywide with the proposals.

One pilot the transit agency is proposing is on the northwest side of Bernal Heights, where the parking occupancy averages around 90 percent on weekdays and weekends, according to SFMTA documents.

The pilot would cap the number of permits from four permits per household to one permit per driver and two permits per household.

In survey conducted by the SFMTA, 95 percent of residents own a private vehicle in the area, but nearly 50 percent of homes do not have off-street parking.

These details were not shared with Bernal Heights residents when the initial petition drive was organized, and several neighbors have written to Bernalwood privately to complain about a SFMTA “bait and switch.” Because of the new, uncertain, and ambiguous rules, they say, the old petition should not be considered valid and a new petition should be required.

SF Bay News adds:

Both Bernal Heights and Dogpatch parking permit pilots would need to go before the SFMTA Board of Directors before staff can implement the pilots.

Studwell said she plans get the Bernal Heights pilot to the Board of Directors for approval sometime in the summer.

84 thoughts on “Bernal Heights Proposed As Guinea Pig in SFMTA Parking Permit Experiment

  1. Can someone post an email address or phone number to submit comments regarding this thing? Previously I hadn’t been paying attention since it was many blocks from my location, but now this seems to have expanded to one block from my location including most of the places I can usually find parking.

  2. We have many neighbors who never use their garages. One tenant on our block has four, yup, 4 cars! All on the street. Some folks buy cars that won’t fit in their garages. Some even rent them out as ‘in-laws’. It’s about time every garage is used for a car, or the driveway entrance should be deemed a real parking place !! Lots of room for improvement!!!

    • It’s already illegal for motor vehicle owners to use their garages for other than parking their vehicle(s) in…

      Most of the driveways here in Bernal are too short to be used for parking spots without illegally blocking the sidewalks for pedestrian use, and these days with all the drivers speeding around here it’s too dangerous for pedestrians to walk out into the street.

    • I have to admit to being mystified by sentiments like this. I don’t buy a place with no living room then insist everyone make room for me to keep my couch and TV on the road in front of my house. If a person wants to have a car, why can’t they be responsible for their own decisions? Why do they feel they have to try to force others to make different decisions with their own lives and properties instead of accepting responsibility for their own choices? I am aware reality is more nuanced, but many of these arguments seem to boil down to: “Yes, I want to live in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the country. Yes, I will also reserve enough money to also own at least one vehicle. No, I will not make arrangements for a place to park it. No, I cannot possibly be expected to park more than a block away from my house. Isn’t there a way I can instead just inconvenience my neighbors whom I deem less deserving than me?” It is mind-blowing.

  3. Every neighbor on my block uses their garage for something other than a garage. We rent a unit without a garage. I also live on one of those precious blocks where we have a “parking rule”. My neighbors will leave a note on your car to tell you not to park on our block because the parking in front of each house is for that house. Seriously, they mean it. Meanwhile, none of them parks in their garage.

    Now I might get the pleasure of paying another $150/yr to park. Thanks neighbors. When we try to control each other, we just get to pay more.

    • Once someone photocopied a 72hr parking notice in black and white, and taped it to my windshield. Was on Lundys. Made me laugh, so I guess it was a win-win.

  4. Just a thought here… this actually seems to effectively get to the concerns that drove interest in having permit parking in the first place: To park in Bernal, you’d need a Bernal address to get a permit.

    It seems like the MTA found a way around it’s requirement that a neighborhood show that a high % of cars parked there are not from the neighborhood. For people who supported the previous effort, this seems like a good thing.

    True, there is also the proposal that would limit the number of cars that is a bit concerning… but it also seems like a reasonable limit would be win-win for everyone. Do we really think one Bernal driver should be allowed to keep 3 cars on the street taking up parking for the rest of us? It seems like a per-driver cap would be a good thing.

    I’d be curious to hear more about the author’s concern. What am I missing?

    • It’s likely going to shift the problem to nearby streets which are not part of the permit scheme. As someone on one of those streets, I’m a little worried. Also, I’m guessing permits are not free. Perhaps the good outweighs the bad, but again, as our street is not in the permit zone, I’m guessing we’d only feel the bad.

      (The hill is step enough that I doubt many people who don’t already live in the neighborhood are scaling it in order to dump their cars.)

      • Yeah, I hear you, we are in the zone so it seems like it could only make parking easier, but if I was out of the zone, I’d be worried. Our street was out of the zone at first but then neighbors petitioned to put us in it.

        I will say we do get lots of people leaving their cars far up the hill for longer periods. It’s surprising, but ultimately it’s probably faster than looking for parking in the Mission.

    • Unfortunately, you can’t get a permit just for being a neighbor in the area, you have to be a car that lives here. This isn’t a permit for people. It doesn’t matter if you live here, you have to also own your own car. If you don’t own your own car but get around on transit, walking, and/or biking most of the time and rent or borrow a car when needed, this (and the original) program is severely limited and damaging. It limits your entire home to a maximum of 20 days a year for one-day permits and that at a greater cost than car-owners pay for 365 days (plus they can also get those 20 days for other vehicles). Those 20 days have to cover times when your work requires a vehicle, times when tasks at home require large purchases and/or moving materials around, times that you have health issues and need a car for temporary mobility, plus times that you have family driving in for a visit, etc. And they get split (not multiplied) for all those times for anyone else who lives there. For a two bedroom unit with three drivers, that’s just shy of 7 days a year they’re each allowed to park in their own neighborhood! This is apparently a punishment for not owning and storing cars on the streets here every day all year long. In a corner of the neighborhood with great transit accessibility, is this really what we want to be doing? Is the intent to encourage more car ownership and car storage on the streets by making non-ownership untenable? That’s why I’m against it. And that’s why the City’s old program was supposed to look at accessibility to transit as a criteria for instituting a parking permit: so they didn’t encourage more car ownership in a neighborhood where it was otherwise viable to not own a car.

  5. Permits are the only way to level the “parking field”. If you care enough about having multiple cars with, or without a garage, you should be willing to pay a nominal fee per year to park them on a neighborhood street. There are too many old beaters that are taking up space and rarely used.

    • These damn poor people and their cars are cluttering everything up. We should add a regressive tax to ensure only wealthy can park their cars in front of my house.

      • “Regressive”? I don’t care if someone own seven Porsches or seven old pickup trucks, they’re hogging shared space if they park them all on the street (especially obnoxious if they’re also using their own garage for storage), and they need to stop.

      • I’m pretty sure R was being sarcastic. It would be a regressive tax because the ability of the poor to pay it would be less than the ability of the rich. R is indicting the permit fee because it is the same, regardless of one’s income.

  6. I predict people will love this right up until the time they rent a car, get a loaner, or rent an RV for a trip. Then you are totally borked.

  7. There are quite a few extended families living in Bernal that live at the same address. They have turned garages and carports into living areas for their aging parents, disabled children, aunts & uncles, and grandparents. Some of the larger cars that don’t fit into the garages are needed because they can accommodate wheel chairs and have easy access for folks with mobility issues. Two permit limit per household will become more of a burden for some of these families. I hope people that write about what others should be using their own garage for realize they don’t know what they don’t know. Please don’t assume people are not using their garages just to aggravate their neighbors.

    • If you have a disabled placard, you can park without a permit anyway, so that shouldn’t be a concern.

  8. Hello Everyone,
    Interesting to read everyone’s reply. I just wanted to clarify that this was ‘Resident Driven’ on the 10 streets included and the SFMTA has always been transparent with us about the reform that has been in progress. Every since we started gathering signatures we have known about upcoming reform and we are in regular discussions with our reps at SFMTA about this and understand that when we succeed in getting our small area approved we would be a part of the new reform that has been under discussion for a number of years. I also want to clarify that the SFMTA did not suddenly move the ‘Goal Posts’ on the guidelines. Their guidelines have been a part of their program for many many years and we were informed in advance that the guidelines would be changing to consider the growth, change, and demand for parking in San Francisco. All of this information was shared with us throughout the entire process. We have a serious parking problem for our residents in NW Bernal Heights, at least in the areas where we have voted in favor of RPP. Once the signs go up and permits are issued we will benefit immediately from those cars now parked by commuters, vacationers, lyft and uber riders, St. Lukes employee parking, and other cars just dumped in our neighborhood. We also stand to gain some spaces by residents who might choose to park in their garage or driveway instead of purchasing a permit. As an FYI the SFMTA is also working on a similar project with residents in Dog Patch who are also dealing with a parking dilemma for their residents. We do not see ourselves as a ‘Guinea Pig’ for SFMTA, but rather a progressive and committed ‘Pilot Group’ of residents that want to partake in this opportunity in hopes of bringing back residential parking to the ‘Residents’. Thanks to those that have supported this project!

    • This was a resident driven exploration of RPP under the old rules which had local parking thresholds for moving forward. That’s what we all voted on in a survey. Not this new program, which came along several months into this process. As a vocal proponent of RPP, you know this to be true.

    • SFMTA may be talking to you Ellen, but they haven’t been to us.

      I know all about the old RPP rules because I helped extend an RPP zone in my previous neighborhood. The person who knocked on my door to get my signature didn’t mention anything about any of the stuff mentioned here. I feel like I got conned.

      SFMTA and you are rewriting the rules as you go. The entire process needs to start over again, and Studwell from SFMTA needs to be more honest about what is going on. I didn’t sign up to be her lab rat. If we don’t have a problem with non-residents parking here, and the SFMTA reports say we don’t, then I want my signature removed. Do over.

      • Sorry you feel differently about this. You are free to go to the same online petition and change your vote if that feels better. SFMTA has done a big outreach program. It is up to residents to involve themselves or not.

      • That’s a cop out. SFMTA didn’t do much outreach, they just held a few meetings that not everyone could attend because a lot of us have kids and families and better things to do on a weekday night. Outreach means sending mail to everyone in the proposed RPP area to inform them about the changed rules. That didn’t happen.

        If you were one of the leaders of this, it was your responsibility to inform neighbors about what was going on and you failed to do that. You just wanted our signatures. Maybe you did that on purpose? Thanks for being dishonest with us.

      • Why don’t you lead up the campaign then to fight against it. Easy for you to say when you don’t have a clue and put in no effort. No lies here, I can assure you of that.

      • Hello JCN
        I don’t know who you are or what street you live on but please refrain from making these negative comments towards the hard working residents that have supported and made this happen. We all have kids, families, jobs, and many other things going on in our life but still found the time to commit to this project. I can tell you as a fact that SFMTA has done mailing to all residents in the past about this as well as meetings. Most people just toss what they think is junk mail . In addition we have informed neighbors multiple times via postings, flyers in door/mailbox and email. Do you expect SFMTA to knock on everyone’s door? This is a community and we have done an excellent job of reaching out with respect to this project over the past couple of years. It is so disappointing to see the negativity of posts like yours and others.

    • Ellen, you can still see the survey online ( I quote, “establishment of a new residential permit parking area or extension of an existing permit area must meet the following criteria: … More than 50% of vehicles parked on­-street in the area during the periods proposed for residential permit parking regulations must be registered to people living outside of the proposed or extended permit area boundaries.” There is no mention of upcoming reform anywhere in the survey instructions. Maybe you felt like SFMTA told you reform was coming and therefore assumed it was part of the survey. But it is a matter of public record and it absolutely was not, so please do not stick to that false information. The survey was undertaken under false pretense and should be invalidated and is grounds for successful legal challenge if it is not.

  9. As someone who frequently parks on one of the streets listed, I put my name on the petition by a neighbor when she asked. Now that I know the rest of the details of the program, I really wish I hadn’t. The program won’t solve the parking issue and will be a tax on everyone. Parking frequently on many of the streets proposed is no problem at all until the evening hours. I know, I do it all the time for the last decade and a half. The evening hours are impossible, but the permits aren’t in effect then. Lesson learned from me, don’t blindly signed petitions from your ‘friendly neighbors’.

    • Sorry to say that many of us have come home and tried to park in the morning and afternoon. No parking.

    • Just a comment, not sure why so many people think permit parking won’t help the parking problem when it has been successful in every zone that has been created. Curious as to why the No’s are so sure of themselves and so negative. Hmmm…

      • And I’m curious as to why you’re so snarky with your neighbors. That was enough to turn me off and spur an email to SFMTA leads on this. Keep trolling if you want to make sure this doesn’t happen, Ellen.

      • It sort of sounds like the frustration is coming from people who don’t live on the permitted streets. The folks who live just outside of this zone will be very negatively impacted when people start parking on their streets instead of the newly zoned streets. I’m guessing that’s where much of the resistance is coming from. Although, as you said, they’re more than welcome to contact SFMTA to voice their concerns or objection. That freedom was available to them throughout this process.

      • In my case, it is that the original zone map I recall seeing for this moved many blocks further east. The original map I wasn’t too concerned about as I never parked in that area, but the map posted in this blog post moves to within a block of my residence. I participated in the NE Bernal permit zone discussion and at least one community meeting and might well support a “all of north bernal” permit zone. I (as well as others above) take issues with the moving goal posts.

      • Respectfully, I’m curious where I can find the data on this? This is purely anecdotal, but the RRP neighborhoods I’ve previously lived in have some of the worst parking in the city—the Inner Richmond being the most difficult (many of my neighbors there were multi-generational families with 4 or 5 cars per household, so perhaps this pilot limiting the permits will address that), with Lower Height being a close second. Of course, the problem issues there would exist with or without permits, so I can’t tell to what degree it helps or exacerbates the issue. Sounds like we’re going to find out.

      • Disagree that permit parking will help the parking problem, having lived in neighborhoods where it was introduced and implemented. In fact, there are studies by the SF County Transportation Authority that suggest this. Here’s a quote from one such on-street parking study: “The RPP program does not address parking availability if overall demand is high—especially if this demand is primarily associated with vehicles owned by residents of an RPP zone.”

        Click to access parking_study_final.pdf

    • Ellen is a hardworking, caring neighbor. Our block has been discussing our parking woes for the 15 years I have lived here, so though I sympathize with all frustrations expressed, starting over would be very unfair to us.
      I gave up a car and do an informal share with my friend and like many others on our block I primarily use public transportation.
      I personally hated the idea of permits, as did many neighbors, and we could only agree on the petition when we got desperate, and did the best we could to notify everyone.
      What won me over was the new approach of SFMTA:
      – analyze the area rather than respond to specific blocks
      – emphasize reducing the overall number of cars.
      I think they are on the right track and it could eventually help some of the other zones with their issues.

      Mirabel Ave

      • Deb: Your comments sound sincere. But let’s step back for a moment and ask ourselves: Can we point to a neighborhood that has RPP where the streets are brimming with unoccupied parking spaces? No. There won’t ever be plentiful street parking in SF because there aren’t plentiful streets.

        The only factor that “controls” how many cars are owned and parked in the City is the availability of parking and the unfathomable mentality of crowds of people.

        It sucks to own a car in SF and nothing we can do will change that. Trying to legislate convenience for ourselves will just make other people more miserable.

  10. Once upon a time a person ran for supervisor who had a plank in his platform that each garage in his district would be inspected to ascertain whether or not it was serving its purpose as a garage or not.

    If the garage was indeed being used as a garage, then if it was a one-car garage, there must be room for one car to park there, if it is a two-car garage there must be space for two cars, etc.

    If it was converted to an in-law unit, then it must be legal and the driveway cut must be eliminated by being built up to a curb.
    If it was an illegal in-law conversion, sufficient time would be allowed for it to be made legal, with the householder being fined for each month it remained illegal. If nothing was done to ensure its legality, it would be ripped out and the householder fined. It would return to its original purpose as a garage.

    If it was storage for anything but a car(s) then the householder would be fined a certain amount each month until it was cleared of storage and could hold a car.

    At any rate, it was a proposal, but the candidate was an also-ran, so it’s moot.

  11. A few more thoughts:
    I’m conflicted on the creation of a fee area… it kind of feels like making me pay $12.50/month for something that I have a right to do… park on the street. At the same time, I don’t think I have a right to unlimited parking. If I had 10 cars, I wouldn’t expect the city to let me park them all on the street… that’s wasteful… we should find some way to limit that. … which I guess is what this is designed to do.. have rich garage owners actually use their garages and give people a disincentive to take up too much parking. I wonder why I expect the city to provide me with free parking but I’m totally happy to pay to reserve the Garfield soccer field?

    I can’t tell if it’s regressive (you pay the same regardless of income) or progressive (people who own more cars can afford the crazy luxury of having multiple cars in a city… and they would pay for it).

    LD regarding your comment, having permit parking would help keep down the ~25% of cars from outside the neighborhood, many of which are parked for multiple days… with those cars gone there would be a spillover effect that would make it easier to park in the evenings when there is typically no parking.

  12. If the intent is to stop non-residents from parking during daytime hours, then the original rules about what makes an application valid should be in place.

    If the rules have changed, petitions signed under the previous rules should be invalid, and new petitions set up.

    • I absolutely agree with you Michelle. I’ve spoken with a number of neighbors and it seems that many were misled when they signed the petition in the first place. A new petition seems to be essential for the legitimacy of this proposal .

  13. A fabulous plan and long overdue. So many parking abusers in the neighborhood. Permitting is the only solution that works.

    • I totally agree.

      I also knew about the proposed rule changes months ago, all it took was a few minutes of research poking around the SFMTA website when there issue first came up.

  14. Does anyone have a link to the actual details of the current proposal by the SFMTA? My reason for speaking up above was due to the map Todd posted at the beginning of the blog post, which seems to indicated that the permit zone extends well past the original streets that expressed interest in the NW Bernal zone (I assume the blue ones) all the way to Alabama St (the orange dots), which would have a included street parking that I actually use regularly rather than being well distant proposal. There had been a separate NE Bernal zone proposal going around last year, but I get the feeling that one was dropped.

    (And I do use my garage, but we have three adults in my three bedroom house who all need vehicles, so two are on the street)

  15. Of course, the MTA should share exactly what its plan will be. But if it is to limit cars to max 2 per household, that is a good thing. People would be less likely to buy extra vehicles, boats, recreation vehicles that stay on the street most of the time, essentially renting parking instead of merely using it. As far as I know, one person can only drive one vehicle at a time. Maybe those who need two or three vehicles per person can rent space elsewhere, or move to a high-rise with unlimited ability to buy parking spaces. Just a thought!

  16. So does the 72-hour rule apply to permitted parkers? Mission Street is apparently RPP Area Z. Would that permit be able to park on, say, Coleridge street? I have looked at the documents linked and the SFMTA site but neither are extremely clear in all cases.

    • According to the SFMTA, residents who live on adjoining streets of an RPP area whose street cannot qualify (due to meters, bus stops etc) may get permits within the area. In other words, if approved, all adjoining residents of Mission St and Cesar Chavez will qualify for permits the new zone, even though they do not technically live in it. I’m not sure people who have bought into the idea that RPP would create more parking opportunities have fully considered this.

      • As someone who lives immediately next to a zoned area but not in a zone…this will not apply to regular residential streets. So maybe Mission will qualify because of the parking meters (which you still have to pay regardless of whether or not you have a permit), but the residential streets outside the zone wouldn’t qualify. I say this as someone who cannot get a permit for the zone next to my street because I don’t live within the zone and do not live on a street with meters.

        Thankfully I have a garage, but my neighbors really suffer. Not to mention we get a lot of double parking when my neighbors cannot find parking and just plop their car in the middle of the street until something opens up.

  17. Good luck with this. An RPP zone is a meter-maid feeding frenzy as they will cycle every hour. Have a permit? Cool! Oops, wheels not curbed correctly on a hill. TICKET. Oops, facing the wrong way on the narrow Bernal streets. TICKET. Friend comes to town… Oops. You get the picture. Glad this is not happening on the south side of Bernal.

  18. This is a pretty good idea. It is about time this is done. Parking has become worse ever since street cleaning changed to every 2nd and 4th week instead of every week.. People leave their cars for 2-3 weeks depending if there is 5 weeks in the month. Several neighbors email or call Ingleside Station to give them the license plates of the cars parked 72 hrs. The cars are either ticketed and in some cases towed away. Very expensive for the owners. A good requirement is that the permit holders live in Bernal Heights. Bernal Heights Blvd is the worst. The street has campers, trucks, cars, and tents parked there for weeks on end. This needs to be applied to south Bernal Heights, too. On the street where I live there is a household with 4 cars, 3 trucks; another w/4 cars, 1 truck; another w/2 cars, 3 trucks; another w/5 cars. They use their garages as storage space or in one case a laundry room/giant closet. All the homes have 2 car garages. At the end of the street is a cul de sac which pretty much is used as a parking lot. Another huge problem is living very close to Glen Park Bart, riders park their cars in the neighborhood.

    • Under current rules, 4 active permits per address are allowed, so without the discussed modification, RPP won’t address the issues you mention with the exception of the campers.

  19. Generally I say live and let live. But when folks have two or more cars and use their garages for something other than parking any one of them, it leaves me cold.

  20. There doesn’t seem to be a realistic way to stop people from abusing the system without inconveniencing others with legitimate need for “extra” vehicles. Plus, the goal of the permit area is to keep people who don’t live on the block/surrounding blocks from parking there while commuting during conventional working hours, not to keep people from having “too many cars.”

    If the problem you’re trying to address is “I get home after a long day and there’s nowhere to park,” the permit scheme doesn’t help with that, either.

  21. The “multiple cars per house” is a little more nuanced and I’m wondering how some people can callously say “there should only be 2 cars per house” without taking into account the reality of SF life. My next-door neighbors are wonderful, long-time Bernal folks who came here in the 1980s and put their extended family in a 2-unit building with an in-law. So now, it’s basically a 3-family house with 9 adults, 5 children and yup, 8 cars in that 1 house. (2 grandfathers, 2 grandmothers, 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and a niece – the granddaughter is studying for her driver’s license, I pray they don’t get her a car!) They are one big family and they all have jobs and obligations that require cars. (maybe SFUSD should stop assigning 5-year-olds to schools that are 45 minutes away with no efficient public transit option – but I digress) So, my point is…..if this program were to extend to our neighborhood what happens to this family? Think outside the boxes folks; it’s not as cut and dried as it seems and would be a severe hardship for some folks.

      • Yes. It is very important for anyone in Bernal Heights to cite how long they have resided in Bernal Heights before they say things.

        “I am a 10 year Bernal Heights resident, will you please pass the salt?”

        “I am a 30 year Bernal Heights resident, I think it may rain today.”

        “I was born and raised on this hill and my family has 75 cars on this block, punk”

        things like that.

      • You both completely missed the central theme of my post. It had nothing to do with the length of time they have lived here. You did not need to demean and belittle me with your snarky remark – which was completely off-argument. The central tenet of my statement was that many households have more than 2 cars because there are many more than 2, 3 or even 4 people living within those households, most often due to economic circumstances.

        If you’re going to attack someone with the written word, at least arm yourself, City College will be free soon; they have course offerings in reading/comp.

      • Attack, demean, belittle ? naah. Sign up for writing class, shall I? You went a bit quickly to the victim/pedant card for my taste, but sorry I hurt your feelings.

        It’s indeed a little pet peeve of mine that so many folks need to flex their Bernal cred via longevity constantly. YMMV.

        I did not respond directly to yourself, but to the poster GoldenGateShark.

        If you want my honest opinion, your anecdote made a valid point. I can certainly sympathize with that scenario. However, there are many others who simply keep a lot of stuff in their garages, and love cars. You probably know that.

      • And there is nothing at all wrong with loving cars. Nothing. Not even a little tiny bit.

        Also, there is nothing “immoral” about using your garage to store things. Inconvenient for you doesn’t equal immoral. Why can’t we remember that our assumptions are not fact. We don’t know our neighbors’ stories intimately. Who in their right mind would just casually collect cars in SF, CA? A masochist with infinite time and money…

        Go ahead and invite the vampires (SFMTA) into our home (neighborhood) so that they can wreak havoc (wreak havoc). When it spreads to my block, I’m not going to blame the vampires. I’m going to string garlic around the idiots who invited the vampires into our shared home because they thought that their siblings were using more than their fair share of blood and that inviting in vampires would take care of the problem.

      • “ALLOW” them to have 10 cars?!?! Your authoritarian word choice is revealing.

        Fortunately, we don’t get to tell other adult citizens what to do.

        Not just yet…

      • @ Kenny, you reminded me of when I lived at 15th & South Van Ness back in the late 90’s and people were putting up signs in their windows stating how long they’d lived in the neighborhood for some political reason or other that I can’t remember now. Same as it ever was. Laughing out loud over here!

      • You put quotes around a word nobody in the thread used except yourself. That’s not a real thing. I also said some people love cars. Some people just do. No judgments. I do happen to think it’s a little selfish that some people fill their garages with stuff yet have 2-3 cars they park on the street. I know some. In fact, I am friends with some. I’d say it to their face. No biggie. Just an opinion. Do you really doubt that that is common? If you disagree, that’s cool.

      • @ uncle ernst,

        Ha. yeah. You’re right about that. I spent my 20’s in the Mission and people loved the temporal flex move there too.

    • @Iris, putting aside the unnecessarily sarcastic comments from GGS and Kenny, if your neighbors are in a two unit building and have 8 cars, it sounds like they would be covered under this proposal. I believe it said 4 cars per house. Wouldn’t a two unit building be considered 2 houses?

      That said, 8 cars for 9 adults who are all part of the same family does seem excessive.

      • The current cap is four permits per household. The proposal would cap the number to one permit per driver/two permits per household.

  22. I, too, am frustrated with the bait and switch. I have reached out to the city to express my concern. It was strange because in the response I received from Kathie Studwell, she copied Ellen on our email exchange even though I had never included her in my emails. I am very concerned that this has not been and continues not to be a neutral and fact-driven process. My recommendation is that we inundate them with messages. I don’t have phone numbers, but these are the emails I was given:

    Kathie Studwell at
    Pamela Johnson at
    Ben Jose, at
    Hank Willson at

    • When I wrote to Kathryn Studwell in December about this she responded with an email signature that included her number: 415.701.5708

  23. the real culprit is going to be parking meters just wait and see. as far as counting non-residential cars during daytime hours, they need to take into account the # of residences w/out garages…the fact that many work from home and many leave their vehicles on the street while taking BART, bus and bikes to work. Also anyone can piggyback onto an already approved RPP street and not worry about non residents parking on their street. I think limiting the number of permits to 1-2 per household is great, but what about all those renters with multiple roommates? The entire idea of RPP is impossible to regulate. Remember there are projects being approved w/less off street parking than the number of units being built…some even have no available off street parking (presumably because they don’t think senior citizens drive)

  24. If you have been reading and/or posting on this thread and feel strongly that RPP is not a good fit for Bernal, please contact Kathryn Studwell at SFMTA and voice your concerns: 415.701.5708, It’s crucial that they hear from the majority of us who feel this will not solve the problem and are now being offered a ‘bait and switch’ that was not what we signed up for.
    (thanks to BK and Neighbor Against RPP in Bernal for supplying the contact info)

  25. Pingback: Wednesday: Community Meeting on Controversial SFMTA Parking Permit Plan | Bernalwood

  26. Pingback: SFMTA Faces Criticism During Tense Meeting on Northwest Bernal Permit Parking Plan | Bernalwood

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