Well, we had a good run of it.  Free meters on Sundays in San Francisco, that is.  After 65 years of providing meter-free Sunday parking, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has decided to enforce parking meters on Sundays.

A few details:

  • it all starts on Sunday January 6, 2013 (however, January 27th is when they start issuing real tickets),
  • parking meters will be in effect from noon to 6:00 p.m. with four-hour time limits,
  • meters will be programmed for prepayment so you can pay if you arrive before the meter is in effect,
  • rates are the same as they are on Saturday

SundayMetersPosterSFMTA’s reason behind the change is “parking management” and, to a lesser degree, revenue generation.  The MTA is updating its old parking rules to help businesses and drivers (“parkers”?) and to ease traffic congestion.  Enforcing meters on Sundays is meant to benefit drivers, who will find parking spots more easily; merchants, who will see that more available parking spots allow customers easy access to their businesses; and Muni, which will be the recipient of the Sunday parking meter revenue of about $2 million a year.  As SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose explained to the SF Chronicle, “Back in the 1940s [when parking meters were first used in San Francisco], most businesses were closed on Sundays, so there was no need for metering,..But now it’s just like a Saturday, with businesses open and plenty of traffic….This isn’t meant to be a revenue program, it’s meant to improve parking management throughout the city.”

As a small consolation, the word on the street is that for the first three Sundays you’ll only get a warning/reminder if you are parked at an expired meter.  Full enforcement starts on January 27, 2013.  It’s time to start emptying the change in your pockets and wallets into that coin collection jar or to purchase a stack of non-refillable SFMTA parking cards.

NOTE: Meters in Fisherman’s Wharf and in Port of San Francisco jurisdiction will continue their existing Sunday enforcement schedules.

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