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Is it Too Early to Argue About Parking? City CarShare Looks to Expand Curbside

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Parking Day 2009 [Credit: SF Citizen]

We've all seen them driving around town- Zipcar and City CarShare vehicles- but where do they go when not in use? To leased space in private parking lots, often referred to as pods. Most new developments have allocated garage space to them, along with bike storage, as a means to please transit-friendly planners, bloggers and NIMBYS concerned with traffic. Taking the notion that internal combustion engines are not the enemy but tools to be used wisely, car-sharing takes the pain out of the storage and expense of owning a vehicle. The cars are relatively new and unlike the older cars that many of could actually afford, relatively low-emission. Some of us need cars to get to work. For others, reserving a car for three or four hours a week can cover a lot of errands around town that would be otherwise daunting by public transportation, and without the headaches and expense of actual ownership.

The SFMTA is preparing a pilot program to lease dedicated, curbside parking spaces to the non-profit City CarShare for $150 a month. Which sounds a little low- individual parking spaces must generate at least $150 a week in fines, and at some locations it's $3 an hour to park. Advocates say that reducing the number of parking spaces will reduce automobile ownership and use, an oft-stated goal here that the city seems ready to subsidize- and expand, if this pilot proves a success. On the other hand, people have been storing their vehicles for free on the streets for decades. Thoughts in the comments, please.
· SF Considering Renting Street Parking Spots To Car Sharing Companies [SF Appeal]
· CityCar Share [City CarShare]