It’s been awhile since I’ve spent “living” time in San Francisco. Oh, I lived here before, back in 2005. Then, the lure of the East Bay and an easier living in Oakland lured me to the art, the artists, the new entrepreneurs and less of a heavy street vibe of pay, pay, pay. And last year, I was lured even further to the easier climes of the South Bay greeted by clean, well-paved streets and no parking meters anywhere you roam. A city that doesn’t gouge you? wow!
I’ve been working in SF since the early 1990’s, so it’s not like I’m not ever here, but when I arrive at my teaching job at the college, I have a faculty placard that allows me to park in the lot. So, I’m not quartered-to-death at 5-min per quarter at a meter like in the rest of San Francisco.
If you go to a ballgame at the prized AT&T Park to see the San Francisco Giants, the meters go UP from 6p – 10p anywhere within a mile radius of the stadium…to $7.50 per hour. Yes, you read that correctly. A game will usually go until 10p, so to park within a mile of the stadium, it’s $30 for the evening – same amount of money the ParkAmerica or whatever the hell their newspeak corporate name happens to be to get to park right next to the park. Wonders never cease.
SO, where does all of that extra money go? The city has to be making a kajillion on the parking fees alone. The streets are riddled with potholes, dirt, and litter — an absolute negligence that is further compounded by the street cleaning signs on a busy thoroughfare like Geary Blvd which note: NO PARKING on Mon. Wed. Fri. and Sat. from 7a – 8a for street cleaning Really? Do they really clean the streets on 4 mornings a week or is the city wrenching every nickel in parking ticket fees out of its residents? Oh, and they just added paid parking on every main street on SUNDAYS. Yep, noon – 6p. There isn’t even a day free of parking fees anymore.
I’m sure there’s a plan in the work to start charging the homeless a fee for laying on the sidewalks…or did I read that’s already in effect? Heinous.
If you want to read an excellent point-of-view of the homeless in another fine American city, then subscribe to my new blog pal’s postings at GottaFindAHome. The corporate state is happening at a city near you. And it’s getting harder and harder to live in some cities even as a fully-employed person with benefits.