SAN FRANCISCO—A Curb Management Strategy was released on Tuesday, February 18, detailing how the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will deal with current issues regarding curb and street resources in the city. Mayor London Breed endorses two strategies in a letter: congestion pricing and extending metering to evenings and Sundays.
San Francisco is only 47 square miles, but the strategy reports the city is “the nation’s second densest large city after New York City” which is sextuple the size.
According to the report, almost half of San Francisco’s jobs are held by people who live outside of the city. In addition to these commuters, ride-hailing services, bike-sharing, on-demand delivery services, and commuter shuttles clog streets that weren’t designed to benefit these new services.
Services like Lyft and Uber—and their food-based counterpart Uber Eats contributed to “half of the total increase in congestion since 2010” in addition to increasing double-parking and blocking traffic or bike lanes.
San Francisco’s population projected to reach 1.1 million by 2040, “the SFMTA’s Curb Management strategy is a roadmap” intended to help guide the SFMTA in allocating curb space to benefit both “current and future demands for curb access.”
Mayor Breed addressed SFMTA’s Chair Malcolm Heinicke and Board of Directors about the strategy in a letter that same day. She wanted to highlight congestion pricing and Sunday and evening metering as “essential to the future sustainability and livability of this city.”
Breed writes how congestion in San Francisco’s most populous streets resulted in delaying transportation, business deliveries, and emergency services along with contributing to air pollution of citizens residing in that area. Adding congestion pricing is intended to alleviate these issues.
Driven by the success of other cities who have adopted congestion pricing, Breed is “convinced that we must develop a model that works” while being sure to “consider those who are least able to pay or have limited transportation options.”
Extending metering hours will help “reduce congestion, emissions,” said Breed, “and safety issues with double parking and circling the block looking for a place to park.” As for Sundays, the Mayor hopes to find a balance regarding the faith-based community. The strategy will determine areas that will benefit most from extended hours.
On the timeline of this project, extending metering is described as “mid-term” and congestion pricing as “long-term.”