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38 Impact of the Westminster City Parking System to the decreased number of parking tickets. During this period, on Traffic on-street parking system expenditures ranged from just under £40 million to slightly over £47 million. Expenditures increased It is difficult to point out specific effects of the parking pro- roughly 3% over the previous year. From FY 2004/05 to FY gram in Westminster because it has evolved gradually and a 2008/09, expenditures averaged £43.7 million. Overall, nearly true "before" and "after" is difficult to determine for compar- 58% of parking revenue for the 2008/2009 year went toward ison. However, as the program has evolved, it has become more expenditures, netting roughly 42% of gross revenue (Westmin- efficient in the enforcement of parking regulations and has ster City Council, 2009b). Fluctuations in the most recent supported improved safety conditions in the area. The addition year's revenues and expenses over previous years are largely of CCTV has greatly improved the efficiency of conducting due to the issuance of fewer penalty charge notices (PCNs) and maintenance activities and has improved safety monitoring the elimination of the clamping and removal program. (including assisting in drug crime arrests). Also, the new pay-by-phone cashless payment option is perceived as being more user-friendly and convenient. Most importantly, the 2.5.2 SFpark Smart Parking parking pricing system has remained flexible and continues Management Program to evolve year after year to meet the city's needs (Westminster Overview of the SFpark System City Council, 2009b). Through an Urban Partnership Agreement with FHWA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is Financial Performance of the Westminster City the lead agency for a pilot parking program called SFpark. Parking System SFMTA is responsible for managing city-owned garages, lots, Detailed financial data from the Annual Parking Report 2009 and on-street parking throughout San Francisco. Pilot testing prepared by the City of Westminster is shown in Table 14. The of SFpark was performed in the Embarcadero neighborhood in annual on-street parking revenue collected over the previous May 2009. Beginning in February 2010, the pilot program was 5 years has ranged from £65 million to nearly £85 million, aver- expanded to several additional neighborhoods, including aging £75.6 million during this period. On-street parking rev- Rincon Hill, Hayes Valley, the Civic Center, the Financial Dis- enue for the 2008/09 Westminster fiscal year decreased roughly trict, the Mission, Fisherman's Wharf, the Marina, and the Fill- 3.5% in comparison to the previous year. This was mostly due more District. In many sections of the city, a major contributor Table 14. Westminster parking program financial performance, FY 2004/05 to FY 2008/09 (£ million). Fiscal Year 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 Average Revenues Enforcement: PCNs 36.0 31.1 38.2 41.9 35.4 Enforcement: clamp & 4.6 2.9 3.7 4.3 0.3 removals Paid for parking 24.4 23.3 22.6 27.3 33.0 Permits and suspensions 7.2 8.1 9.8 11.4 12.3 Misc 0.7 Subtotal 72.2 65.4 74.3 84.9 81.7 75.7 Expenditures Enforcement 29.4 29.6 30.5 34.4 32.4 Paid for parking 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.3 4.3 Permits and suspensions 1.2 1.4 1.3 1.4 1.9 Other infrastructure 1.3 1.0 0.42 1.2 1.0 Overhead 6.0 6.1 6.7 6.6 7.7 Subtotal 39.9 40.1 40.9 45.9 47.3 42.8 Operating income 32.4 25.4 33.3 38.7 34.4 32.8 Operating Costs/ 55.1% 61.1% 55.1% 54.3% 57.9% 56.7% revenues Gross margin 44.9% 38.9% 44.9% 45.7% 42.1% 43.3% Source: Annual Parking Report 2009, Westminster City Council, 2009b
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39 to congestion is traffic caused by vehicles circling to find curb- Prices for parking spaces will be the same from one day to side spaces. According to the SFMTA, the intent of the smart the next, but will vary by time of day in an effort to smooth out parking program is to provide a system that makes parking demand during peak periods. It is hoped that as parking spaces more available by adjusting the price of parking to meet become more expensive, some drivers will opt to park slightly demand. SFpark will also use websites, text messaging, and further away from their destination to obtain a cost savings variable message signs to provide information about the avail- and/or shift their schedule to off-peak times. Parking prices will ability and price of parking spaces to make it easier for drivers vary by city block. In this manner, it is hoped that parking to find parking. By directing drivers more quickly toward park- demand can be redistributed to areas with higher available ing spaces that fit their respective cost points, parking demand capacity, thereby optimizing usage and freeing up high-demand can be redistributed more efficiently, improving traffic flow for areas. private vehicles and city buses alike (SFpark, 2009). This pricing system will be re-evaluated every 4 to 6 weeks. The Port of San Francisco had previously conducted a pilot To avoid large variations in parking rates after each review on-street parking study in 2006, which found that location and period, the maximum amount that parking prices can fluctu- time of day were the biggest factors in parking demand. They ate per hour will be $0.50. On-street and SFMTA-managed lot also found that a significant number of people only pay for half rates will range from $0.25 to $6.00 per hour, and SFMTA- of their stay, patrons parked an average of 75 minutes, and that managed garage rates will range from $1.00 to $10.00 per hour. there are a high number of disabled placards. Enforcement was Payment for parking will be collected via multi-space meters also found to be relatively low. Revenue would be expected to that accept coins, credit cards, debit cards, and the SFMTA increase with new parking sensors and payment systems that smart cards. In some areas drivers will be able to park for longer would assist enforcement efforts. After conducting the study, periods than current limits allow. The program will be coupled the Port of San Francisco worked with SFMTA on SFpark so with a public outreach program to educate local residents on that parking rates between the two project areas could function how the new program will work and to encourage drivers to under a single system (Moyer, 2008). shift to off-peak parking or transit. It is estimated that there are roughly 320,000 on-street park- To efficiently direct drivers to parking locations that will ing spaces in the city of San Francisco. Approximately 25,000 suit their needs, SFpark will provide real-time information of these on-street spaces are metered. Around 6,000 of these on parking availability, pricing, time limits, and payment metered spaces are located in the SFpark pilot areas. In addi- options. This information will be imparted using SFMTA's tion to these 6,000 metered spaces, there are roughly 12,250 website, text messages, and variable message signs to direct parking spaces in the SFMTA-owned garages and parking lots drivers to SFMTA garages with available parking. Sensors located within the SFpark pilot areas. The goal of SFpark is to will need to be installed that can detect the presence of a maintain one available space for every 10 on-street spaces on vehicle in each on-street parking space included in the park- each block (SFpark, 2009). ing program. Parking meters and sensors will be wirelessly networked to a central database to provide real-time infor- mation to motorists. Parking data will also be relayed to Operations and Enforcement of the SFpark System wireless handheld devices carried by enforcement officials, The project area is composed of 13 city-controlled parking and potentially, maintenance personnel. Software will be garages, one city-controlled parking lot, and roughly 25% of required to coordinate and upload real-time data, analyze the city's on-street metered parking (Loftus, 2008). A survey data, and review parking rates. of all parking spaces in the project area was made, and park- ing locations were divided up into various zones. The parking Impact of the SFpark System on Traffic regulations for each zone (and sometimes each block within zones) may differ from one to the next in terms of meter hours The ability to monitor and manage parking demand is and time limits. Hourly rates for each zone or city block may expected to increase the availability of parking spaces, reduce vary as well, since the demand for parking within each zone congestion, and improve traffic flow. Secondary benefits may will not be equal. Garages will follow similar protocols based include improved safety, a reduction in fuel consumption and on demand and availability, but will be priced lower than on- vehicle emissions, and value-of-time savings to motorists. Any street parking rates in the same areas for hourly parking additional revenues generated by the SFpark system can be because garages tend to be used for long-term parking (SFpark, reinvested into transportation infrastructure and parking 2009). Parking demand for special events may be higher than areas operated by the agencies involved. One potential con- typical daily rates but will be based on the same supply-and- cern is that that smart cards and parking meters might be demand methodology (Roth, 2009). The SFpark pilot areas are hacked into or vandalized in other ways to gain free parking. presented in Figure 14. This impact can be mitigated by implementing greater security
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40 Source: San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2009 Figure 14. Map of SFpark pilot locations. in the controlled parking areas (Loftus, 2008). SFMTA oper- impact SFpark will have on SFMTA's parking revenues when ates only a small portion of total parking spaces in city, which implemented since parking fees have yet to be determined. are primarily reserved for short-term purposes. As a result, the Although parking revenues may increase due to the assessment parking program is expected to have a limited impact on con- of higher hourly rates during high-demand periods, violation gestion in the city as a whole (San Francisco County Trans- revenues may decline as a result of the advanced enforcement portation Authority, 2009). mechanisms that have been implemented. Program revenues are expected to be reported at the end of the 18-month pilot period. Financial Performance of the SFpark System Additionally, it is very difficult to estimate the capital, Prior to the implementation of the new parking program, maintenance, and operating costs of the SFpark program at SFMTA reported that parking revenues were $177 million this time. New multi-space parking meters (serving roughly during FY 2006/07. Approximately $22 million of this revenue 10 spaces) might be purchased and installed for around was from a 25% tax on parking facilities, of which the city $10,000 each. San Francisco Planning and Urban Research receives 40%. Additionally, administration and operations Association (SPUR) estimates that the annual cost of this pro- costs were about $15 million and enforcement costs were about gram would be around $4.6 million, assuming program man- $32 million during FY 2006/07. Debt service costs were roughly agement costs of around $3 million annually. However, this $8 million. estimate does not appear to include installation or replace- As of 2009, the SFpark pilot program had incurred capital ment of in-street parking space sensors, which would have a costs of roughly $25 million. The U.S. DOT's Urban Partner- life of 5 to 10 years. SPUR also estimates that SFpark could ship Program funded 80% of this cost. It is not yet known what generate nearly $40 million per year in new revenue.