Eastern Neighborhoods United Front is a group of neighborhoods and individuals in the Eastern part of San Francisco that joined together in early 2012 to support Eastern neighborhoods’ residents and businesses. Thank you for your interest in our local organization, and for your concerns and work for the future of San Francisco neighborhoods.
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Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF)
Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) was created in early 2012 when a number of San Francisco’s eastern neighborhoods united to voice their concerns and opposition to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SMFTA) parking management plans. We decided that we want a voice in determining our future.
SFMTA Actions/Neighborhoods Meet
After noticing SFMTA’s planned meter installation flyers on telephone poles in early January, residents from Potrero Hill, Dogpatch and Northeast Mission (NE Mission) packed City Hall to protest. Neighbors quickly met and exchanged notes, vowing to fight MTA’s plans to blanket the city with a new type of parking meters called ‘smart’ meters.
Stories of how smart meters were being installed in various neighborhoods and future plans upset residents. In Mission Bay smart metered spaces were left empty by Caltrans commuters who then traveled to the 22nd St station to avoid the meters. NE Mission saw a blanket of meters in their neighborhood plan. Potrero and Dogpatch residents saw plans for 2 hr limited parking and residential parking permit areas being changed to metered areas.
Neighborhoods Unite 2012
Neighborhood groupsthen joined together to form what later became ENUF. On January 30th at Z Space, with the media present, ENUF met with a number of MTA and city officials, including three District Supervisors and the Director of Transportation at the MTA. The Director apologized for the lack of community outreach stating ‘we want to get it right,’ and ‘we’ll take as much time as necessary.’ SFMTA agreed to work with residents on a more palatable parking plan.
Widespread Media Coverage
Our situation has been documented by local and national media. After the injunction was filed, SFMTA postponed immediate plans to install meters. MTA statements do not always correlate with reports in the media, leading many to question the intentions of the MTA. San Francisco holds up their ‘Transit First’ policy as a successful system to be emulated by other cities. A quick review of MTA finances proves otherwise. MUNI, San Francisco’s public transportation system, is deep in debt and both Muni riders and drivers are complaining:
In March 2012 the media reports that SFMTA’s deficit is reported to be $28 million , and projected overtime for this department alone for the year to be $60 million. Muni Reforms Haven’t Curbed Runaway Overtime – Yet
On one hand, the city claims their ‘Transit First’ policy is a national success. On the other, SFMTA finances and citizen outrage prove otherwise. Citizens, including tourists, agree these transit policies are not exemplary models. Residents and businesses question basic MTA assumptions.
SFMTA asserts that:
- Citizen taxpayers are demanding free parking;
- MTA has the final word in controlling the streets;
- MTA’s goal is to increase parking availability;
- MTA needs to calm traffic and parking by eliminating parking spaces;
- Rather than using a variety of tools, SFMTA will solve parking and Muni issues by metering;
- Revenues gained from parking meters will go directly to Muni; and
- Drivers and taxpayers should pay whatever debts Muni and SFMTA incurs.
MUNI Budget Shortfall
According to financial reports, 30% of Muni’s budget comes from meters, fines and fees. Muni has operated in the red for years. As drivers’ costs have escalated, Muni’s services have gone steadily downhill. Earning money is not MTA’s problem, spending is. They spend more time planning the city of the future than managing the reality of today: the deterioration of MUNI. MTA’s solution for fixing MUNI is to raise parking fines and fees by metering after 6pm and on Sundays, as well as blanketing neighborhoods with meters. A plan has recently been passed to increase expenditures by millions more than the SFMTA has to spend. We feel it is time to say enough.
ENUF is currently organizing block-by-block to determine the needs of the eastern neighborhoods. Why? The MTA counted the supply of parking in our neighborhoods, but did not count the demand. Thus, MTA plans do not reflect neighborhoods’ needs. At the January 30 meeting MTA acknowledged that outreach was poor, and that they ‘want to get it right,’ and ‘we’ll take as much time as necessary.’ We expect our efforts will result in a more tailored parking plan that meets the real needs of our neighborhoods rather than the one-size-fits-all plan to blanket the areas with parking meters.
Each neighborhood works independently as well as together to realize our shared goals. ENUF unifies residents and businesses to determine the future of our streets and neighborhoods.