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San Francisco Mayor, Transportation Chief Don’t Agree On Meter-Free Sundays

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — While popular with weekend drivers in the city, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s request to eliminate Sunday parking meters has not found much support among city transit officials.

Lee called for a return to free-metered Sunday parking in his state of the city speech address last January.

“Forty percent of it is all about hurt; the income is derived by us ticketing you and making you pay some $70 for maybe parking five or ten minutes past your time,” he said.

But Ed Reiskin, director of transportation of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, told the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday that free meters on Sundays is just but one option on the table.

Another option, he said, is to make meters free but enforce the four-hour limit or make motorists pay on Sundays but direct most of the enforcement elsewhere.

“An expensive citation on Sunday would be significantly diminished but not lose a 100 percent of all the good transportation benefit and what we believe is very good policy that program divides.”

He said that option would significantly reduce the possibility of getting a ticket.

The mayor office told KCBS that Lee is only willing to consider “no enforcement” and not more or less.

KCBS, KPIX 5 and San Francisco Chronicle Political Insider Phil Matier said that Reisken’s option of charging meters with less enforcement is bit like playing Russian roulette for motorists.

Reiskin, he said, does not want to lose income from the Sunday meters because it’s used to keep Muni afloat.

Matier also noted that Reisken, was hand picked by Ed Lee and said the different stance on the issue should play out interestingly politically in the next few months because the mayor is trying to pass a $500 million transportation bond for fixing the city’s streets.

“Mayor Lee said he wants one thing and then you have some one within the department and Board of Supervisors that moving against him. I haven’t seen that in a long time at City Hall,” he said.

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