SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It’s getting harder for drivers to park in San Francisco, and it’s not just because of increased traffic. Some parking spots are actually disappearing, in the name of safety.
The Tenderloin is a tough neighborhood in just about every respect, and that includes parking. But in recent weeks, finding a space has become even tougher. “We call it daylighting,” said Tom Maguire of the SFMTA.
Daylighting is a fancy word for removing the parking spaces at busy pedestrian corners. The curb gets painted red at the former parking spot, the meter disappears. What’s left is what the city calls a safer intersection.
“That conflict between turning vehicles and pedestrians is such a common cause of serious collisions and fatalities here in the city,” Maguire said.
The idea is to keep pedestrians from having to peek around cars. “It’s just about getting drivers and pedestrians to look out for each other here on the streets of San Francisco,” Maguire said.
In the Tenderloin alone, that means the loss of 80 parking spaces. “I think that’s just way too much space to be taken away,” said Timothy Joseph, who drives in the neighborhood.
Frustrated drivers say they’re all for safety, but they’re also quick to point out that visibility is a two-way street. Joseph cited as an example pedestrians who are looking down at their phones. “Hey, you need to be paying attention to where you’re walking in society, period,” he said.
The city says safety comes first, and that means daylighting will come to a few more neighborhoods. “Places downtown, South of Market, in the Mission,” Maguire said.