natngav.jpgNathaniel P. Ford, Sr., is just like you: he’s hanging on, waiting for better times just over the horizon. But unlike you, Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., is director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which will reduce service by 10 percent on May 1 and may be forced to cut even further depending on efforts to balance a budget deficit of over $100 million for the current fiscal year through 2012.

But 2012! That’s when it’ll all get better. That’s when Ford hopes to restore the service cut on May 1 and thereafter, he told reporters on Thursday.

“Give us about a year to stabilize the system,” Ford said. After which point, presumably, this whole “financial meltdown” dealio will melt away and, in the general tumult caused by an orgy of bull markets, budget surpluses and general sunshine and rainbows, Muni will put a bus on every frigging block. Or something.

In the meantime, Ford says, the MTA Board of Directors will be presented a radical (but still potential) budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1: one which eliminates free parking on Sundays and extends parking meter hours past 6 p.m. on weekdays.

“We are putting it on the table, for the [MTA] Board to evaluate and get public comment,” Ford said. “It is part of our budget discussions.”

Ford said this only minutes after Mayor Gavin Newsom “unequivocally” said he was against weekday evening parking (as it is loathed by most merchants and especially restaurateurs, for which Newsom has an understandable soft spot); but it will be up to the Board of Directors to either find a better revenue solution or to find a service cut instead. Great job, who wouldn’t want it?

Sunday paid parking could come to select SF ‘hoods between now and July 1: Ford said his agency is canvassing commercial corridors and asking if they would like to be a guinea pig for Sunday parking. Just to try it out. No solid plans yet, but as many as four could participate, Ford said.

Either way, hunker down for a rough 2010-2011, but look forward to 2012. Just like the Republicans!

Photo: Matt Baune for The Appeal

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  • John Murphy

    Just got back from a D8 supervisors candidate forum.

    For the record – regarding parking meter extensions.

    For – Mandelman
    Against – Weiner, Heminger
    Abstain – Prozan

    This despite Weiner talking over and over how much he loves MUNI, that he would cut schools and police before MUNI. By the transitive theorem – free parking is more important than schools or police.

  • John Murphy

    Just got back from a D8 supervisors candidate forum.

    For the record – regarding parking meter extensions.

    For – Mandelman
    Against – Weiner, Heminger
    Abstain – Prozan

    This despite Weiner talking over and over how much he loves MUNI, that he would cut schools and police before MUNI. By the transitive theorem – free parking is more important than schools or police.

  • bloomsm

    The solution to weekday evening meters is to drive a block away from the metered street and hog residential spaces that are free. This will annoy residents near a commercial area, who will pressure the city and cause a backlash. Do you seriously think people in this city will voluntarily just cough up quarter after quarter to park in a metered spot every time they go to dinner?

  • bloomsm

    The solution to weekday evening meters is to drive a block away from the metered street and hog residential spaces that are free. This will annoy residents near a commercial area, who will pressure the city and cause a backlash. Do you seriously think people in this city will voluntarily just cough up quarter after quarter to park in a metered spot every time they go to dinner?

  • John Murphy

    Riddle me this. Which population is larger.

    “residents near a commercial area”

    “MUNI riders”

  • John Murphy

    Riddle me this. Which population is larger.

    “residents near a commercial area”

    “MUNI riders”

  • bloomsm

    @john murphy: doesn’t matter which is larger; the question is which is louder. Or, more appropriately, who gets more attention at City Hall? Restaurant owners, or public transit riders? What did Mayor Newsom previously do for a living?

  • bloomsm

    @john murphy: doesn’t matter which is larger; the question is which is louder. Or, more appropriately, who gets more attention at City Hall? Restaurant owners, or public transit riders? What did Mayor Newsom previously do for a living?

  • John Murphy

    the squeaky wheel gets the grease… this is well known.

    Which wheel are you? I need to know if I should adjust the my decibel level.

    Right now, the MUNI riders are winning. This was off the table, the riders screamed, now it’s back on the table. If it went to the BOS, it would be up to Bevan Dufty who wants to be Mayor. That requires votes – and each person only gets one…

  • John Murphy

    the squeaky wheel gets the grease… this is well known.

    Which wheel are you? I need to know if I should adjust the my decibel level.

    Right now, the MUNI riders are winning. This was off the table, the riders screamed, now it’s back on the table. If it went to the BOS, it would be up to Bevan Dufty who wants to be Mayor. That requires votes – and each person only gets one…

  • Jamison Wieser

    @blooms what you’re saying is transportation policy should favor a minority group which has enough money to buy a car, insurance, gas, and dinner out, but draws the line at 25 cents?

    That is laughable on it’s face and even if car owners made up 99% that kind of selfishness shouldn’t be catered too when riders (who don’t get nights and weekends free) are forced to pony up more money for less service.

  • Jamison Wieser

    @blooms what you’re saying is transportation policy should favor a minority group which has enough money to buy a car, insurance, gas, and dinner out, but draws the line at 25 cents?

    That is laughable on it’s face and even if car owners made up 99% that kind of selfishness shouldn’t be catered too when riders (who don’t get nights and weekends free) are forced to pony up more money for less service.

  • Alex Zepeda

    Scenario B: Sensing the encroachment on their territory residents simply leave their cars on the street on Sundays and do things that don’t involve driving.

    Scenario C: Sensing the encroachment on their territory residents push for residential permits.

    Scenario D: Given the high competition for parking already at these metered spots, residential permits are already required to park in the non-metered spots and your argument becomes moot.

  • Alex Zepeda

    Scenario B: Sensing the encroachment on their territory residents simply leave their cars on the street on Sundays and do things that don’t involve driving.

    Scenario C: Sensing the encroachment on their territory residents push for residential permits.

    Scenario D: Given the high competition for parking already at these metered spots, residential permits are already required to park in the non-metered spots and your argument becomes moot.

  • bloomsm

    Residential permits are irrelevant to someone who is going out to eat or shop for less than two hours near a commercial district. Permits are usually required to park in excess of that limit.

    @jamison: what “minority” group? According to SFMTA’s 2008 San Francisco Transportion Fact Sheet, as of 2006, only 30 percent of San Francsicans took public transit to work. 40.5% drove to work in SF–alone. Fully one third of the city owns at least one car, if not more. There were 473,000 registered auto owners in the City in a city of 744,000 people. If more than half of the city owns a car, and 40% drive to work every day, I’m not sure you can describe car owners/users as a narrow minority.

    My point is simple: people aren’t going to stump up to pay money, they’re going to find other ways to get around it.

  • bloomsm

    Residential permits are irrelevant to someone who is going out to eat or shop for less than two hours near a commercial district. Permits are usually required to park in excess of that limit.

    @jamison: what “minority” group? According to SFMTA’s 2008 San Francisco Transportion Fact Sheet, as of 2006, only 30 percent of San Francsicans took public transit to work. 40.5% drove to work in SF–alone. Fully one third of the city owns at least one car, if not more. There were 473,000 registered auto owners in the City in a city of 744,000 people. If more than half of the city owns a car, and 40% drive to work every day, I’m not sure you can describe car owners/users as a narrow minority.

    My point is simple: people aren’t going to stump up to pay money, they’re going to find other ways to get around it.

  • Jamison Wieser

    @bloom, you’re right, minority is not quite the best word.

  • Jamison Wieser

    @bloom, you’re right, minority is not quite the best word.