Remember back in the day, back when the SFPark website promised that “Drivers will love SFPark?” Well, I do, and so does the Google Cache, at least it does for now.
Anyway, below you can see the old SFPark homepage, the one that was up until just recently. (The word “love” is highlighted because that’s the search term I used to find it in the cache.) Click to expand:
Even without the highlighting, that phrase stood out as a boner. Why, for instance, would drivers “love” an extra 5000 parking meters on spaces that are currently free? How on Earth do drivers, in general, “benefit” from that?
But, as stated, that love language is gone now, so that’s a good thing. What’s left is a patronizing, cartoonish website with a patronizing, cartoonish video that talks about how a third of traffic (or something) in San Francisco is made up of people looking for parking. That, of course, is fucking absurd. I’m sure that stat, employed using the passive voice, if you’d note, might be operational in Chinatown during New Year’s or in North Beach on any given Friday night, but otherwise, it’s fucking absurd.
And do people really all turn into agitated George Costanzas when they park, all raging at the machine? That’s what it’s like, IRL? Really? I’ll bet if you asked what people were thinking about when they’re parking you’d get all kinds of different answers.
But what about these despondent folks waiting for a #5 Fulton for an excessively long time? Could MUNI make a “whimsical video” about what’s on their minds?
(How about a dozen “MUNI sucks” thought bubbles? That would fit the bill.)
The primary beneficiaries of SFPark are those who make money directly off of the program– that includes people making the parking meters, people making commish off of selling the parking meters, people who design the cartoonish website, graphic designers, PR types, people like that. It was the same thing with MUNI’s Culturebus– these types of people make their money whether or not a program succeeds, whether or not a program lives on.
Basically, SFPark will allow the City to collect more money from parking meters. That’s good for some and it’s not good for others. It would be refreshing if the people at SFPark would acknowledge that. Why do they spend so much effort selling a program that’s already a done deal?
SFPark will allow the City to charge up to $18 per hour. That’s something that would be physically impossible with the typical, old-school, non-debit card meters that we’re used to dealing with. Can you imagine putting 72 quarters into a meter to park for one hour? (How often would it have to get emptied?)
Not that it’s not worth it for people to pay $18 per hour to park sometimes. I’m sure that there are lots who would love to pay whatever it takes to park on Columbus right in frontof their restaurant in North Beach on a Saturday night. The problem is that SFPark is going to charge $0 per hour to park in North Beach after 6:00 PM, AFAIK. So does that make sense?
But if Uncle Sucker wants to pay us eight figures to set up this system, that’s its choice.
Obviously, there will be winners and losers whenever a government institutes a new program like this, so it’d be nice not to have such a pollyannish, snow-job website.
Anyway, losing the “love” language is a slight improvement, so hurray for that.