Golden Gate Park Gone Wrong

While everyone seems to be focused on the West end of GGP nobody has noticed what they’ve done to the Eastern side. It turns out that they’ve moved the parking to where the bike lane is and the bike lane to where the parking is. This is bad for a couple of reasons.

First, the bike lane isn’t used that much so leaving it next to area where the cars drive makes sense. If a person on a bike is riding by and the driver of the car opens the door to get out without noticing the bike the rider can move a little to the left to get out of the way. Now with the bike lane blocked in by cars and the curb, if a passenger opens the door without noticing the bike you will have two injured people.

Also pushing the parked cars out makes driving more difficult. I find myself not being able to drive the speed limit in the Eastern part of the park now, because I now have to drive very close to the cars. So far this only affects JFK Drive East of Transverse Drive, but if they think of moving it to other parts of the park it will be a disaster.

I used to enjoy my drives through the park as they were always pretty peaceful, now even driving slow I have to be aware of hitting cars. As you can see from the picture in front of me [that I took after I came to a full stop next to the Rose Garden] The car in front of me is not centered in the lane and veering to the left, practically driving on the divider line to avoid hitting the parked cars on the right. I suspect we will be seeing more car accidents in the future along this part of the park because of the dumb idea they’ve put in place.

The other thing that is puzzling me is how packed with cars the park is now. I took the picture above in the middle of the week at somewhere around 2pm. Why are all those cars there or were they there before, but I just didn’t realize them because they were farther away from me? From Transverse Drive all the way up to the Conservatory of Flowers was completely packed with cars and I have no idea why.

Why Parking Sucks in San Francisco

My wife and I took a trip to the local produce market and realized something about San Francisco when you go shopping. Parking sucks. After a trip to Costco the other day where they expect you to make large purchases, ergo vans, trucks and SUV’s I understand why now. San Francisco doesn’t understand that cars have gotten bigger.

My Nissan Altima which I love doesn’t have fold in rear view mirrors. I wish it did though because I’d have almost a foot walk between cars. I literally have to suck in my gut which isn’t that big and I still have my butt shoved up against the other persons car.

When we had a Dodge Intrepid [which my wife used to refer to as the U.S.S. Intrepid because it was so huge] we bought it used and I asked the dealer selling the car why some of the inside rubber for waterproofing was a bit worn and he showed me by getting out of the car in a tight space. It’s basically because people are rubbing their butts against the rubber siding trying to get out in a tight space.

While I won’t call myself skinny I’m only a few pounds overweight, but I can’t imagine how some very overweight people can get out of their cars to shop. The obvious thing to do would be to widen the spaces, but unfortunately we have a lot more people in the city which means a lot more cars. Maybe they could angle the non-parallel spots to a full 90°. That would at least allow for extra space, but might make things difficult for people to learn how to do.  For me, that wouldn’t be a big deal because I have to do that every time I pull into my driveway.

Two SUV’s parked next to each other is a real comedy of errors to watch because the people are trying to be very careful getting out of the car without slamming their door into the car next to them and it’s even more fun to watch when there are people in both cars because they end up in a stare down waiting to see who hits the other car first. I’d love to say I have a good answer for this, but that’s not my job. That’s the job of the Board of Supervisors to handle and last time I checked I wasn’t one of them. For Parking Meters

When I’m out driving around I’ve found that I’ve started to take every quarter in change I have and put it in my jacket pocket, that way if I have to use a parking meter I know I’m covered. Sometimes though I might need to be there for a couple of hours and don’t have enough quarters on me. This happened to me today and I tried out to pay for the parking.

I had to have an allergy test done which for some reason I’ve never had done in my life. The hospital I go to has parking garages, but that would have cost me around $12 for the 2 hours I was there. I found a meter and saw that you could pay by phone. I had no idea how long I would be there, but I guessed an hour and a half would be a good amount to start with. I called the number entered my credit card number and created a PIN number and then entered the code on the parking meter. I was all set. I did have to pay a 45¢ convenience fee which I didn’t like, but the company that runs this has to of course make some kind of money.

As I’m going through the allergy test which was carried out in a Pediatrician’s office [and I didn’t get a lollypop afterwards for not screaming and crying during the test!] I noticed that my time was running out so I opened up the web browser on my iPhone and found that the page was still available and had an extend button so judging from what the doctor said I figured adding another 30 minutes would work. I was then charged another 45¢ convenience fee on top of the last one. In the end I don’t have any allergies and it turned out I had to pay only $4.90 vs. the $12 it would have cost me in one of the lots. Not too shabby, but it would have only been $4 if I had the quarters on me.

When I got home I went to their website and saw that they have a mobile app for iPhones and Androids which is free. It’s much easier to use and doesn’t require a phone and is much more secure. Most meters around the city have the stickers on them so if you’re going to be somewhere for a couple of hours it makes sense, or you can just keep $4 in quarters handy at all times. I did that once and frankly I didn’t like the jangling all those quarters made as I was walking around, so now I keep $2 in quarters as my maximum all of the time. Oh and if you really want to know, I don’t have any allergies.