Parking Crisis

Interesting feature in yesterday’s SF Weekly. Its suggestion, more or less, is that the best solution to San Francisco’s “parking crisis” is to do absolutely nothing about it.

I couldn’t agree more.

The last thing San Francisco needs is more parking. The very idea of making the city more comfortable for cars is ludicrous. San Francisco is an amazing, pedestrian-scaled place for one reason: the fact that it’s damned near impossible to drive or park in most of the city. This is what sets us apart from LA, Sacramento, or San Jose; San Francisco is a dense, urban area which more closely resemebles New York or Boston than other places in California.

And I say this as someone who lives in the city and owns a car. Early on, I realized that, in San Francisco, my car has two main purposes: to get me to the supermarket and to get me out of the city on a moment’s notice. I haven’t used it for commuting in years, and there are very few places I drive within the city anymore. Rather than bitching about the parking in, say, Chinatown or the Financial District, I make the bold step of NOT TRYING TO DRIVE THERE.

It’s amazing how simple this is. Strangely enough, most of the areas with the worst traffic problems also happen to be some of the best-served by transit.

Frankly, I think that anyone who voluntarily drives to a job in downtown San Francisco during rush hour is a flaming idiot who deserves whatever inconvenience he or she has to face in the process. And guess what? Building even more parking spaces (which will encourage even more cars) will make it even worse.

It’s amazing how quickly the “parking crisis” diappears when you finally realize that you can avoid it simply by, well, avoiding it…