It's been about nine months since the SFMTA rolled out the high-tech SFPark program, which means it is time again to check in on the deluge of data from those fancy meters. When we last looked at the demand-adjusted rates back in July, the prices weren't too crazy, depending on the neighborhood. Fast forward a couple months, however, and the data-hungry meters continue to widen the gap between the highest and lowest prices — sometimes varying by a couple bucks per hour in the space of a block or two.
After this latest adjustment, parking rates will vary from a low of $0.75 up to $4.25/hr. To date, the most crowded blocks have typically continued to be crowded even after adjusting the prices upward, while under-occupied blocks have not filled up even after dropping the price.
If the pricing spread continues to widen, parking on some blocks in San Francisco will be a considerable bargain compared to spaces even one block away. One particular block in the Civic Center area is $0.75/hr while the next block is $3.25/hr until noon, and then $3.75/hr from noon until 3pm.
So what can we glean from this? Well, no one wants to park on sketchy blocks in Civic Center, for one. But even in the Marina, spots can cost a buck fifty more one block over. On the flip side, drivers looking for parking in high-demand areas must be completely oblivious to parking rates — either they're willing to pay more for a desirable spot, or (more likely) they just suck it up and pay whatever's on the meter they happened to park at while grumbling under their breath about the exorbitant rates in this city.
On the bright side: those sketchy, unused blocks of parking in the Civic Center will only get cheaper from here.