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  1. #1
    Member OtheloTheMoor's Avatar
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    New S.F. Electronic Parking Meters

    I realize that you suburban/rural area riders may not see this as being a big concern; but, if you live in a large urban area as I do it is a biggie. I'm really surprised that S.F., being the bicycle-friendly metropolis that it traditionally is, did not think this one through more thoroughly; or , really why cycling advocates were not consulted before implementation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/12/national/12BICY.html

    Here in NYC, through the efforts of an advocacy group of which I am a member, the city admin. just prohibited vehicular traffic from one of our larger parks (Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY) which has the highest cycle use second to Manhattan's Central Park, for most of the day (excepting rush hours).

  2. #2
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    ummm.....hello...password?

  3. #3
    Member OtheloTheMoor's Avatar
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    The link was posted, instead of copy/paste of the article, in the interests of brevity. The resistance to registering at a site that requires one to do so in order to view its material reminds me of the 2nd amendment arguments; as if holding on to your guns is gonna really prevent the government from doing whatever it wants. For crissakes, they have, tanks, bazookas, rockets, WsMD!!! The antidote is a strong, resilient, vigilant democratically elected and respondent government.

    However for, all you info/phobics, here follows the article:

    Cyclists See New Meters as Parking Violations
    By DEAN E. MURPHY


    AN FRANCISCO, Jan. 11 This is a city where cars and bicycles are not always good about sharing. Ten years ago the Critical Mass protest movement started here. Now it is a worldwide phenomenon, with bicycle riders taking to the streets in mass to slow traffic in rush hour. Their point? Motorists need to show more respect.

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    Now the feuding has spilled over the curb into the city's parking meter program. Transportation officials are replacing 1,400 meters with the latest in parking management: high-tech multimeters that serve several spaces and can accommodate smart cards as well as coins. The idea was to eliminate sidewalk clutter while stepping into the 21st century. The problem is that officials were thinking only about cars.

    "We depend on the meters," said Steve Bodzin, who pedals to work in the financial district, where scores of bikes are locked to meters. "The meters are our parking spaces. They would never do that to cars: suddenly change all the parking spaces so that a whole bunch of people would no longer be able to park."

    The problem does not end with the missing meters. Most bicycle locks will not fit around the 225 bulky replacement machines. The bicyclists refer to them derisively as rhinos, a play on the name of the manufacturer, Reino International of Sydney, Australia.

    Making things worse, the city is also replacing its 23,000 other mechanical meters with electronic ones. Those meters are not as bulky as the Reino meters, but they are wrapped in thick protective tubing. Large bike locks fit around the sheathed meters, but the popular miniature U-shaped locks are too small to secure both a bicycle frame and a wheel, as most cyclists like to do.

    "We have gotten dozens and dozens of calls and e-mails about this," said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy group whose members rank safe streets and convenient parking as their top bicycling concerns. "People are asking, `What are these new fat meters?' "

    Though statistics are scarce, a survey in 1997 estimated that 30,000 people a day used bicycles for transportation in San Francisco, whether traveling to work or just to the grocery store. The cyclists are well known for their political muscle. Recently their opposition helped kill a proposal for a fee for walking or bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. In 2001, Bicycling magazine listed San Francisco among the nation's top cities for bicycling, citing the activism of bicyclists as a primary reason.

    Bicycle parking was a serious problem even before the city began installing the new meters several months ago. Last year, transportation officials placed nearly 350 bicycle racks around the city, and they plan to install more this year. In some commercial areas popular with cyclists, like 16th and Valencia Streets in the Mission District, finding a bicycle parking spot on a Friday night can be as hard as finding a parking space for a car. Several years ago, two car lanes on Valencia Street were removed to make room for two bicycle lanes and a bicycle turning lane, part of a 30-mile network of bicycle lanes and paths that the city is considering expanding.

    "In some cases," Mr. Bodzin said, "you often have to park a block away, which doesn't sound like a big deal for car parkers," but "you can't peek your head out and see that your bike isn't stolen." He said four bicycles had been stolen from him in 12 years. "We should be doing things to encourage people to ride."

    In 1998, the parking problems became so serious that city officials required parking garages to install bicycle racks. Ms. Shahum of the Bicycle Coalition said the requirement was considered a triumph for cyclists, but enforcement has been lax. A spokesman for the city's Department of Parking and Transportation said only five of 20 city-owned garages had fully complied with the law, which provides no penalties.

    Despite the city's history of parking problems, the complaints about the new parking meters appeared to surprise transportation officials. Oliver J. Gajda, the assistant bicycle program manager with the Department of Parking and Transportation, said that when anyone complains about parking problems, the locations are charted on a map.

    The goal, he said, is to install bicycle racks in the areas drawing the most complaints, to make up for the lost parking. The city has posted a form on its Web site to help bicyclists request racks. But racks may take a year or more to arrive because the city has not set aside money for them. Some sidewalks are too narrow for racks.

    Next month, the city is schedule to update its bicycle plan and may include more radical solutions, like replacing some parking spaces for cars with bicycle parking.

    "Parking is a huge issue for everyone," said Mr. Gajda, an avid cyclist who does not own a car. "It is a balance we are constantly trying to address."

  4. #4
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Thank you.

    I also have coulrophobia. can you help me with that?


  5. #5
    Max
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    Good article. It gives an interesting insight.

  6. #6
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    We have a similar parking meter system here and it is a pain in the ass. after you park the car, you have to lock the doors, walk down to the solitary meter, wait for everyone else to work out the NEW system and walk back to the car, unlock the doors and place the ticket on the dashboard, and lock the car again. This isn't fun in winter or on a 40C day (yesterday).

    The old meters were great, pull up, lock doors, pay and go. Also the old meters were transferable to the next car. If you had twenty minutes left on a meter the next car could park for free for twenty minutes. The new meters are hourly, so if you leave within the hour there is no transferable time, it is lost. Governments get more money this way.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I was wondering what those things were.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  8. #8
    Member OtheloTheMoor's Avatar
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    Yeah, Dutchy, you hit the nail on the head; the reason for the change is more revenue. A subsequent parker cannot take advantage of the remaining time left on the device by the first one. Sorta like the rounding off to the next whole minute that's done with telephone metering, even though the caller may have only used ten seconds of that minute.

    May seem insignificant, at first, but it definitley adds up over time.
    Last edited by OtheloTheMoor; 01-14-03 at 12:06 PM.

  9. #9
    hehe...He said "member" ChipRGW's Avatar
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    Originally posted by urban_assault
    Thank you.

    I also have coulrophobia. can you help me with that?

    Just relax, breathe deeply and repeat over and over...
    They are NOT evil, they are NOT evil...

    If that doesn't work, then go here.


  10. #10
    Member OtheloTheMoor's Avatar
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    Ok, guys, you got us; so, being that no one else wants to appear so unsophisticated as to not know what "caulrophobia' is, I'll ask. What the **** is "caulrophobia". Now, considering ChiRGW's post, I would assume that it is a "fear of clowns". And a question arises, did you guys have to look up that one? I can't imagine that it just came off the top of your heads.

    If so, maybe you should get out and ride a little more often.

  11. #11
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Originally posted by OtheloTheMoor
    Ok, guys, you got us; so, being that no one else wants to appear so unsophisticated as to not know what "caulrophobia' is, I'll ask. What the **** is "caulrophobia". Now, considering ChiRGW's post, I would assume that it is a "fear of clowns". And a question arises, did you guys have to look up that one? I can't imagine that it just came off the top of your heads.

    If so, maybe you should get out and ride a little more often.
    just joking with ya. Thanks for the info. If those meters started showing up here, people would either try to stick their ATM card in or try to figure out where to stand to get weighed.





    mental note: must ride more often.


  12. #12
    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    Good article. Montreal has bike racks throughout the downtown area on the sidewalks. Though they are usually full during the summer, but that is what they are for!
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

  13. #13
    Member OtheloTheMoor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Urban__Assault

    just joking with ya

    I realized that, and trust that you realized that I was being lighthearted too (must more often use and master the liberal use of those "smilies " ); re: caulraphobia, that is

  14. #14
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Othelo!

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