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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