March 6, 2012
Mr. Tom Nolan, Chairman
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
San Francisco, CA
Dear Mr. Nolan and Board Members of the SFMTA:
We are writing on behalf of the 800 congregations of many religious faiths in the City and County of San Francisco.
We understand there is a proposal to extend parking meter usage on Sundays in certain parts of the city, perhaps extending throughout the city. Such an extension would put an intolerable burden on the vast majority of our Christian churches that hold services on Sunday morning, especially in those neighborhoods where the maximum time on a parking meter is one hour. One can only imagine the exodus of congregants out of our churches 50 minutes into worship services in order to feed a parking meter. Given the distance that some would have to walk to feed the meter, many would opt to simply leave, missing not only some of their time at worship, but the all important fellowship time after services. Few of our congregations have parking lots, especially those historic congregations that built their sanctuaries before wide use of the automobile.
We understand the need for more revenue and one could see this extension as a simple way to do so. However, the law of unintended consequences here would have a serious impact on the life of our communities of faith.
We respectfully ask that you change your plans to extend metered parking on Sundays.
Rev. James DeLange, Chair
Rita R. Semel, Executive Vice-Chair
Michael Pappas, Executive Director
Cc: Mayor Edwin Lee
Mr. David Chiu, President, Board of Supervisors
SFIC Leaders Speak Out on KCBS Radio:
SFIC ENCOURAGES CONGREGATION LEADERS TO ATTEND AND SPEAK OUT ON THIS ISSUE AT UPCOMING SFMTA HEARINGS: