God Told Me To Park Here

SFMTA 'Leans Toward' Formalizing Illegal Sunday Double Parking For Churchgoers

The SFMTA is set to decide on Tuesday whether or not to formalize the currently illegal practice of churchgoers every Sunday turning the Mission's Dolores Street into a parking lot. The Examiner reports that despite wide community opposition to the practice, officials are on the verge of approving a 12-month pilot program that would make the practice legit.

"I suspect we'd lean toward a pilot," chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors Tom Nolan told the paper. If approved Tuesday, the program would essentially be an official seal of approval for the current state of affairs.

This news is sure to frustrate neighborhood residents, who in a fall 2015 survey overwhelming voiced their disapproval of the church double parking: 75 percent of survey respondents opposed the current state of affairs, and 74 percent of area residents supported completely banning median parking on Sundays.

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22 Responses:

  1. MrEricSir says:

    I wonder how much SFMTrA would need to rent a tow truck on Sunday mornings?

  2. bobbybobbob says:

    What is your complaint with the double parking? It seems like an orderly solution. I get the sense that it's just that you hate churches.

    • jwz says:

      Let's say the neighborhood was popular with golf enthusiasts, and they had been breaking the law for years, but the police and the city government didn't do anything about it because they were terrified of going up against the powerful Golf Lobby. These golfers said things like, "But where are we to park? Do you really expect us to pay for parking in the voluminous, multi-story garage at Mission and 17th and actually walk three blocks to the golf course like normal people? The golf course that, unlike any other field of human activity, is already subsidized by being tax free?"

      And then the city government conducted a survey of the actual residents of the neighborhood who, in a 3/4th majority, said "That is some serious bullshit."

      So then the government said, "I see your point, golf enthusiasts! Carry on!"

      So yeah. I kinda do hate churches. There's a lot to hate.

      • bobbybobbob says:

        Golf and most other activities people park for are not really comparable. This is just for an hour or two on Sundays at regular times and then as the congregants exit the double parking is undone in an orderly fashion. This seems like a total non-problem to any sane person and you come off as having a weird chip about it. The city would probably also do well to cater the kinds of people who go to church regularly, as they tend to be orderly, actually pay taxes, maybe even raise the next generation of citizens, that sort of thing.

        • Pavel Lishin says:

          I won't stand for this slander against golfers. Who are you to suggest that they're a disorderly, unlawful bunch who raise nothing but criminals, if they raise any kids at all?

        • Chris says:

          I'm a supporter of tax-free religion but institutionalizing law-breaking for church-goers is both super ironic and bullshit. Pay to park, park farther away, take transit, or choose another church.

          • bobbybobbob says:

            I am not a supporter of tax free religion. I think religion is always and everywhere highly political and pretending otherwise perverts the institutions. I support revocation of the religious exemption so that religious leaders can openly advocate political messages.

            This parking thing is just obvious and laughable sniping from bitter sterile people who hate organized religion because it makes them feel bad. Odds are there have been exactly zero real problems from it and it's just bitter sniping. Here's an idea: change the law so that between 7AM and 11AM on sunday double parking is legal. That'd solve things, but no, obviously the whiners like JWZ would hate that because the issue isn't actually parking. The real issue is they hate families that go to church.

            • jwz says:

              Here's an idea: change the law so that between 7AM and 11AM on sunday double parking is legal.

              If you had actually read the article, you would have realized that A) this is exactly what is being proposed and B) 75% of the people who actually live in the neighborhood oppose it. But the churches are getting their way anyway, because churches.

              That'd solve things, but no, obviously the whiners like JWZ would hate that because the issue isn't actually parking. The real issue is they hate families that go to church.

              Go fuck yourself.

            • Pavel Lishin says:

              Odds are there have been exactly zero real problems from it and it's just bitter sniping. Here's an idea: change the law so that between 7AM and 11AM on sunday double parking is legal.

              Why not make that change for Saturdays, too? If there are zero problems. Maybe even extend it through the entire week?

    • jwz says:

      Corollary: when someone says "it's hard to park in The Mission", what they are actually saying is "it's hard to park in The Mission and have someone else pay for it."

    • robert_ says:

      Quite simply, why should churches get a privilege over other people, groups and institutions?

  3. nooj says:

    I'll allow it, if bars get to double park one night a week.

  4. My favorite thing about the church parking is that non-churchgoers have started doing it too. Blending in like cuckoos. Brunch-seeking cuckoos.

  5. Greatevil says:

    Have you considered filling the parking with cars not associated with the church? If it is ok for them then it is ok to fill the spaces with others.

    • jwz says:

      Explain why it's sensible for people to park in the middle of the street on Sunday, but not on Saturday, or on Wednesday at 3am, or all day long, or on any other street in the city. Show your work.

      And again, 3/4ths of the people who actually live there don't want this at all.

      • Greatevil says:

        My suggestion was a form of protest not a justification.

        • jwz says:

          That's the kind of protest that gets you Brexit and President Trump.

          • Nick Lamb says:

            At least you guys might get to escape President Trump. If you're lucky not only is Trump too lazy to start a coup when he loses, but his supporters are too and six months from now Trump is a joke you can laugh while telling.

            We're already stuck with the Brexit mess, even if we manage to puzzle out a way to "fail clean" and stay in the EU we can rely on a large fraction of the population to believe that the problem is they were somehow "betrayed" and that their fairy tale could come true if only they were even more stubborn and obnoxious.

          • Jonathan says:

            It kinda hurts as a UK person to see us be the "lesson learned" for others, but I can't argue that it's not fair.

  6. Blake says:

    I'm one of the 3/4's that filled out the SFMTA survey; as did all of our neighbors. It's pretty shocking that the SFMTA would go so completely against the public's wishes:
    A) Using public common space for the parking of private automobiles, whether for religious or Dolores Park communing purposes, flies slappingly in the face of SF's Transit First policy.
    B) Reducing Dolores and Guerrero to one southbound lane is dangerous (especially for fire and emergency vehicle mobility) and creates traffic congestion.
    C) Church and state must remain separate, horrible problems arise otherwise. Because, history.
    D) If this illegal misuse of our public space is finally curtailed, perhaps the communities that these churches serve will organize mass transportation and/or legal parking options for their members, a win for the churches and for San Francisco. This issue doesn't have to be divisive, but giving up privilege always is...

  7. Eli the Bearded says:

    I had no idea it wasn't legal to park on the left side of Dolores when I moved to San Francisco, so I did it from time to time. Then some guy in orange vest told me it was not allowed because I wasn't heading in to the church. My mind exploded.

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