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San Francisco Parking Shortage Prompts SFMTA To Propose Pilot Program

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – It's no surprise that parking is in short supply in San Francisco.

And if you're a local with a parking permit, it doesn't get much better.

Now there are some changes in the works. For some neighborhoods in San Francisco, parking in front of your own home has become a luxury.

San Francisco resident Mary McFadden said, "Oh my goodness, well right now I'm parked 3 1/2 blocks away from where I live. and that was the closest that I could get after driving around for, I'm not kidding, 20 minutes."

Each day, hordes of commuters flood various neighborhoods, park their cars, then jump onto a bus.

And so now, the SFMTA is considering a residential parking permit in two neighborhoods that don't currently have one: Dogpatch and Bernal Heights.

As part of the proposed pilot program, the number of permits would be capped at two per household.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said, "We're going to start very slowly, try to ensure that we're getting feedback from the community, feedback from the residents in the area, to ensure that what we're putting forward is working."

To give you some idea of how much of San Francisco is covered by residential parking permits, SFMTA gave us a map.

The grey area – about half the city -- still has no residential parking permits.

The colored areas show zones where you can buy up to four parking permits per household, way more permits than there are spaces.

Rose said, "So we're looking at ways that ensure. Maybe we issue less permits and that turns into more parking spaces available for these residents."

Jim McGuire lives in a part of Noe Valley that does not require parking permits.

At nearly $200 a year, he says they are a necessary evil.

McGuire said, "I would not be opposed to it. And that's kind of strange...but the residents have a lot of street parking that we need and it's occupied from people from other neighborhoods that park here."

The pilot program will go before the full board this summer. But the proposal to reduce the number of parking permits isn't likely to be brought up for discussion until 2019.

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