Proposed Parking Ticket Increase Is Not A Fair Solution To Budget Woes

 

I write In response to the proposed parking ticket increase brought to my attention by Phil Ting.  I don't know what the solution to the city's budget crisis is, but I do not think that increased revenue from parking tickets is a fair solution. It is the middle class that drives cars in San Francisco and parks on the streets (as opposed to paying for parking lots).  The middle class rents apartments, frequents restaurants and local businesses and pays many taxes to live in the city.  For example, my boyfriend and I rent an apartment in NOPA and share one car.  We are very socially active and frequent events, restaurants and business establishments throughout San Francisco.  We try to limit our driving as much as possible and instead ride our bikes, walk or take muni.  However, riding bikes is not always safe, walking long distances is not always practical and taking public transportation is not always convenient or efficient.  We therefore have to drive our car at times and search for parking.  It is not a pleasant process to search for 30 minutes for a parking space upon arrival of our destination and upon our return home.  Although a registered permit area is only 50 feet from our home, because we do not live on the permitted streets, we aren't eligible for a parking permit.  Thus, we have to search in limited areas for parking.  If we need to run into our house for a moment, we have no choice but to double park.  As a result, parking tickets happen.  And they are already very, very expensive.  To raise the price of parking tickets is an insult to a thriving, contributing factor of society.  I further note that many members of the middle class are families that pay for education and medical programs in this city.  It is virtually impossible for families to take public transportation or bike or walk to their destinations.  To increase the ticket prices that families inevitably incur does a disservice to them and their financial struggles as a growing family.

Again, I do not know what the solution to the budget crisis is, but raising parking ticket prices directly effects the middle class that work, live and survive every day in this city.  We are a major contributing force that is struggling for survival in this economy.  Why not raise parking lot fees for those who can afford to pay more, including tourists who expect to pay more for parking?      

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137