Permit Parking Coming to Northwest Bernal as SFMTA Approves Plan

This week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Board approved a plan to implement a residential permit parking (RPP) scheme along select streets in northwest Bernal Heights. The vote on the SFMTA Board was unanimous.

Under the new RPP, which will be the first permit parking zone in Bernal Heights, residents who live on designated streets will be able to obtain permits allowing them to park their vehicles on the street throughout the day.

Parking for people without permits will be limited to 2 hours maximum from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm.

The Bernal Heights RPP will be the first in the City to reduce the number of permits each resident is eligible to receive. Under the new system approved this week, each RPP household can receive one permit per driver, with a maximum two permits per household.

Permit parking will go into effect along 16 blocks in Bernal Heights where more than 50 percent of residents signed a petitions to join a permit parking system. The Bernal streets that will have RPP include: Coleridge (1- 199), Coso (1 – 199), Fair (1-99), Lundy’s Lane (1-29), Mirabel, Montezuma, Powers, Precita (1 – 299), Prospect (00-199), Shotwell (1400 – 1599), and Winfield (1 – 99).

Under the RPP system, permits are issued only to people who live at addresses on streets within the permit parking zone.  SFMTA surveys indicate that 77% of the vehicles currently parked on the streets in the new RPP zone belong to people who live within a half-mile of the zone, an indication that many those vehicles likely belong to other Bernal residents.

Bernal residents who live on streets adjacent to the RPP zone are not eligible to receive permits and will not be able to park legally in the RPP zone during daytime enforcement hours.

The SFMTA’s petition system had been criticized by some Bernal neighbors who said the process was marred by irregular deadlines and poor communication on the part of SFMTA staff.

At Tuesday’s SFMTA Board meeting, some members of the public expressed concern that RPP will make it harder for teachers at Leonard Flynn School in Precita Park and workers at nearby nonprofits to find daytime parking. Precita Park is not in the new RPP zone, so teachers and nonprofit workers do not qualify for parking permits. To address these concerns, SFMTA may alter its rules to issue permits to some teachers and nonprofit workers outside the RPP zone.

Permits will become available and signs will be erected to designate the RPP zone within a few months.

Tuesday: Final SFMTA Board Hearing on Northwest Bernal Permit Parking Proposal

Next Tuesday, Jan 16, the SFMTA Board of Directors will hold what may be the final hearing on a controversial proposal to implement a Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program in northwest Bernal Heights.

Tuesday’s hearing about the Bernal RPP will include a public comment period. If the SFMTA Board then votes to approve the Northwest Bernal RPP plan, residential permit parking will likely go into effect on the specified blocks within a few months .

SFMTA’s announcement about the hearing says:

NORTHWEST BERNAL HEIGHTS RPP HEARING

Residents of northwest Bernal Heights have petitioned the SFMTA to form a new residential parking permit area to better manage and find parking closer to their homes.

The proposal will be heard by the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 1:00 P.M., at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102, Room 400. Interested parties are invited to attend and comment on the proposal.

The following blocks are proposed for residential permit parking: Coleridge (1- 199), Coso (1 – 199), Fair (1-99), Lundy’s Lane (1-29), Mirabel, Montezuma, Powers, Precita (1 – 299), Prospect (00-199), Shotwell (1400 – 1599), and Winfield (1 – 99).

The proposed RPP area will have the following policies for the number of permits that may be issued per address:

  • One permit per driver; two permits per address
  • Permits for medical care and child care providers do not count towards the two per address limit
  • Additional permits may be issued to an address if parking is available in the immediate area and the permit is for additional licensed drivers in the household

More information about the parking planning efforts in NW Bernal Heights can be found at www.sfmta.com/northbernalrpp or email InfoRPP@sfmta.com.

For those who can’t attend the hearing on Jan. 16, comments to the Board can be submitted via email at MTABoard@sfmta.com.

The proposal to introduce RPP in northwest Bernal has been deeply divisive, pitting Bernal neighbor against neighbor, and block against block, over the question of whether or not permit parking is appropriate for the neighborhood.

In addition, multiple changes to the proposed RPP rules and irregularities in the SFMTA’s petition process have prompted some Bernal neighbors to question the accountability and competence of the SFTMA’s permit parking program staff. Additional question have been raised about the integrity of SFMTA’s vehicle census data.

Advocates for the Bernal RPP say permits are needed to prevent daytime workers, commuters, and air travelers heading to SFO from occupying scarce parking space in northwest Bernal Heights.

Critics point to SFMTA surveys which show that 73% of the vehicles currently parked on the proposed RPP streets belong to people who live within a half-mile of the zone, an indication that many those vehicles likely belong to other Bernal residents. SFMTA’s survey indicates that 19% of the vehicles parked in the RPP zone today belong to people who live more than 2 miles away.

If the parking plan is implemented. Bernal residents who do not live at a designated address within the RPP zone who will no longer be able to park on streets in the RPP zone for more than 2 hours between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday.

If approved, the annual permit fee will be $128 per auto and $96 for each motorcycle.

Friday: Meet SFPD Capt. Jack Hart at “Coffee With a Cop”

A SFPD officer meeting with Bernal neighbors at Charlie’s Cafe in 2011.

Neighbor Sarah, Bernal’s intrepid liaison with the SFPD, shares details about a “Coffee with a Cop” event happening on Friday morning, Dec. 15, at Charlie’s Cafe at 3202 Folsom, on the western end of Precita Park.

Neighbor Sarah says:

Please join SFPD Ingleside Station Captain Jack Hart and Ingleside officers for their monthly Coffee with a Cop event – this will take place on Friday, Dec. 15, from 7:30-9:30am.

This month’s event has several attractive features for Bernal residents, including:

 

  1. The location: Charlie’s Deli Cafe, 3202 Folsom at Precita,
  2. The theme: Ugly Christmas Sweaters (wear yours; I’ve been assured Capt Hart will wear his)
  3. The format: meet cops in a casual setting, ask questions, and/or alert them to public safety issues in the neighborhood.
Hope to see you there!

Meet Jack Hart, the New Captain at SFPD Ingleside Station

Capt. Jack Hart at an Oct. 2017 community meeting in Bernal Heights.

This interview was originally published at Hoodline by reporter Will Carruthers and was created in partnership with the Ingleside-Excelsior Light. The interview has been edited and condensed.

On October 21, Captain Jack Hart, an 18-year member of the San Francisco Police Department, took the top post at Ingleside Station, which covers the city’s second-largest policing district.

We spoke with Hart about his background, his first month in charge and the challenges he expects to face.

Hoodline: What’s your background with the SFPD?

Jack Hart: My great-grandfather, Charles W. King, was a streetcar driver going up and down Market Street. He and his wife, Georgia King, had their first son right around April 1906. When the great quake hit on April 18, the hospital they were in collapsed, and Charles joined the Police Department immediately.

His star number was 596, the same star number I wear. He served for 25 years [before being] hit and killed by a drunk driver while acting as a crossing guard for school kids on Alemany Boulevard in 1931.

I grew up in Diamond Heights and I currently live in Sunnyside, both in the Ingleside District. Generations of my family have lived in Ingleside District, yet I have never policed the area because I have worked at four of the other stations: Southern, Tenderloin, Mission and Bayview-Hunters Point.

I’m also an attorney, so I spent several years in our legal office acting as an attorney on behalf of the Police Department in civil, criminal, state and federal courts.

I joined the department in June 1999, so I’m relatively new in the department but I have a lot of family experience. I was a police cadet with the Police Activities League when I was 14.

With all of those connections, it’s not just a professional accomplishment to be the captain of Ingleside Station, it’s also a personal mission because I’m so connected to this district. I want this place to be great too.

How have you spent your first month on the job?

I’ve spent the entire month trying to figure out the cops, the community and the crime, and not necessarily in that order.

I’ve probably been to about 30 community meetings so far. It’s been great because everyone is so motivated to fix these neighborhood issues. I’d be really concerned if there were only three or four people showing up to these meetings, but most of them have 30 or 40, which is great.

Even if they’re yelling at me, it shows me they care.

What are some of the unique features of Ingleside Station and what do you think will be some of the biggest challenges?

One of the challenges of the Ingleside is that it’s a big district. I think we’re about 25 percent of the city, about the size of Daly City with the population of Daly City, basically shoved into one police district. It’s a lot of real estate to cover.

All of that creates this challenge that we are really reliant on our police cars to cover the distance, which kind of sucks, to be frank.

Our challenge is that our cops are all in their cars. They put an average of 50 to 60 miles a day in the car.

One of the challenges is getting officers out of their cars to engage on a block-by-block basis, so that they can understand the unique challenges and strengths of each neighborhood—especially in areas that have violence issues like Visitacion Valley in the Sunnydale neighborhoods.

We’re spending a lot of time down there, and other neighborhoods are not necessarily getting the same investment on a day-to-day basis.

The biggest challenge is that we need more cops. We’re probably a good 25 to 30 cops short of where we should be in terms of all our responsibilities and all the things we need.

Friday: Public Hearing on Northwest Bernal Permit Parking Plan

At 10 am in Room 416 at City Hall this Friday, Nov. 17, the SFMTA will hold a public hearing to discuss yet another revised version of the revised plan regarding the controversial proposal to establish a Residential Parking Permit (RPP) zone in northwest Bernal Heights.

In an email to Bernalwood, SFMTA parking policy manager Hank Wilson explained the details of the latest RPP proposal:

At the public hearing in July 2017, attendees included both supporters and those not in support of creating a new RPP Area. For the most part, supporters live on blocks that voted to be included in the RPP Area, and those not in support live on blocks that did not vote to be included in the RPP Area. A large number of those who spoke against creating a new RPP Area live on Elsie Street, which had voted against joining the RPP Area and was not included as one of the proposed RPP blocks. Most of the folks from Elsie Street opposed the inclusion of the 200 block of Esmeralda, saying that they often used that block to park their cars.

Since the July 2017 public hearing, the votes on the 200 block of Esmeralda have shifted and that block is no longer in support of joining an RPP Area. In addition, the residents of the 0-99 block of Prospect have voted to be included in the RPP area. Here is an updated map of the proposed RPP Area.

As you may remember from community meetings on this subject, the SFMTA is also pursuing some more general RPP reforms. A proposal before the SFMTA Board of Directors was heard on October 3, 2017, but was continued indefinitely by the Board.

Rather than delaying a decision on the NW Bernal Heights proposal further by waiting for the RPP Reform proposal to return to the SFMTA Board, we are moving forward with bringing a NW Bernal Heights proposal to the SFMTA Board.

The NW Bernal Heights RPP proposal will have the following policies for the number of permits that may be issued per address:

  • One permit per driver; two permits per address
  • Permits for medical care and child care providers do not count towards the two per address limit
  • Additional permits may be issued to an address if there is parking available in the immediate area and the permit is for additional licensed drivers in the household

The next step is another public hearing at City Hall on Friday, November 17, at 10am. After that, the proposal will move to the SFMTA Board of Directors. We hope for the proposal to be heard at the January 16, 2018 board meeting, but that date has not been confirmed.

SFMTA also sent an email about the Nov. 17 meeting, which contains some additional context:

The SFMTA has scheduled a 10 A.M. public hearing for November 17, 2017, at San Francisco City Hall, Room 416, to consider modifications to the proposed northwest Bernal Heights Residential Permit Parking Area (RPP).

The purpose of the public hearing is to solicit comment on the proposed new RPP Area. No decisions will be made at this meeting. If you are not able to attend the public hearing, you may submit your comment in writing or by email to Kathryn Studwell, Policy Manager, Residential Parking, 1 S. Van Ness, 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 or email her at Kathryn.Studwell@sfmta.com.

The RPP Area proposal has been modified to:

  • Remove the 200-299 block of Esmeralda Avenue
  • Add the 00-99 block of Prospect Avenue

The proposed RPP Area will have the following policies for the number of permits that may be issued per address:

  • One permit per driver; two permits per address
  • Permits for medical care and child care providers do not count towards the two per address limit
  • Additional permits may be issued to an address if there is parking available in the immediate area and the permit is for additional licensed drivers in the household

How We Got Here

  • Residents of northwest Bernal Heights requested the SFMTA consider establishing a new Residential Permit Parking (RPP) Area, which led to a community outreach process that started in spring 2015.
  • The proposed RPP Area is comprised of those blocks where 50% or more of the addresses voted to create a new area; this voting process was completed in May 2017.
  • Since July 2017, a majority of residents on the 200 block of Esmeralda decided that they no longer support RPP on their block, while a majority of residents of the unit block of Prospect decided to support RPP.

Additional information about the Bernal Heights RPP plan is available on the SFMTA website.

Wednesday: Community Safety Meeting with City Officials to Discuss Recent Crime

Bullet hole created during the Oct. 14/15 gunfire incident on Banks Street. (Photo courtesy of a Bernal neighbor.)

There’s been some unpleasantness lately, like all the wild gang-related gunfire during that party on Banks Street and the aggressive guy who’s been making life miserable for neighbors on the west end of Precita Park.

To address such issues, a community meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 6-7 pm at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (515 Cortland Ave.).

D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen will be there, along with Capt. Jack Hart, the new commander of SFPD’s Ingleside Station. All Bernal residents are invited to attend.

SFPD Begins Foot Patrols in Bernal Heights

SFPDbadgebar

Officers from the San Francisco Police Department have started foot patrols in Bernal Heights, says Capt. Joseph McFadden from SFPD’s Ingleside Station.

Via Neighbor Sarah, Bernal’s valiant volunteer crime correspondent, Bernalwood has learned that two officers have been permanently assigned to the new foot patrols, which began last weekend.

The Bernal foot patrols will be conducted by Officer Al Chan and Officer Kevin Endo, and Capt. McFadden encourages Bernal neighbors to get to know the officers. “Please stop them and say hello,” he says.

McFadden says new foot patrols will mainly focus on Cortland Avenue, but the officers can walk around the area if there are problems elsewhere.  Recently, neighbors have reported seeing SFPD foot patrols on Bernal Hill as well.

Capt. McFadden says he plans to add more foot patrol officers in Bernal Heights as more personnel are assigned to Ingelside Station.

PHOTO: Sara Bassett