Infrastructure & Environment

San Francisco Parking Program Eases Congestion

San Francisco hopes that by raising some prices based on supply and demand, it can ensure there’s always at least one open spot on every block. According to a New York Times analysis, it may be working.
by | May 2012
 

Finding a parking space in downtown San Francisco is getting a little easier -- and pricier. The city is still phasing in its much talked-about congestion-pricing program for parking meters -- using sensors to gauge how many on-street spots are available on a given block, and then raising or lowering the rates based on supply and demand -- but a recent analysis of the city’s parking data by The New York Times suggests that the effort may be working. San Francisco hopes that by raising some prices as high as $6 an hour, it can ensure there’s always at least one available spot on every block. Last summer, the city began adjusting meter prices every two months, and it seems to have somewhat alleviated parking congestion. “While only a third of the blocks in the program have hit their targeted occupancy rates in any given month since the program began,” according to the Times, “three-quarters of the blocks either hit their targets or moved closer to the goal.”

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