The $17,000 Parking Meter: What Makes 3216 Pierce St. So Special?

A short stroll away from popular San Francisco attractions like the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio, and Marina Green, 3216 Pierce St. has become a go-to parking spot for many visitors. In fact, over the past year, the single parking meter located near the intersection of Pierce and Lombard streets managed to collect an impressive $17,000 in fees. This feat crowned it as the city’s top revenue generator when analyzed against meter transaction data by The Standard.

Drivers definitely don’t shy away from paying for the convenience. Between noon and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, parking at this spot costs a hefty $10.75 per hour, up from the $10 rate during the weekdays. Leaving your car parked there for an entire weekend day will set you back $82, as per the city’s parking pricing data.

These substantial fees have turned the block of Pierce Street, stretching from Lombard to Chestnut streets, into a formidable source of income for the city. A mere 15 parking spaces on this block collectively raked in almost $186,000 in revenue over the past year.

Interestingly, a parking garage with 116 spots on the same block offers a significantly more economical deal, charging only $19 for 12 hours of parking.

One driver, Rachel, who secured a spot in her Mercedes SUV on a Tuesday, wasn’t surprised to learn that this location ranked among the city’s priciest for parking. She remarked, “It was still cheaper than paying a ticket.”

From September 26, 2022, to September 26, 2023, San Francisco’s parking meters contributed a substantial $51.7 million in revenue, based on the analysis. Hourly rates at some of the most expensive meters in the city have entered double-digit territory since the introduction of demand-responsive pricing in 2017. This approach adjusts prices for the most sought-after parking spaces to encourage turnover in high-traffic areas, ultimately aiming to enhance parking availability.

For the most part, the city’s meters operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, with a few high-demand locations also charging on Sundays. Last May, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency considered extending these hours until 10 p.m. before city supervisors requested a pause for an economic impact study. This study is anticipated to conclude sometime in the coming fall, according to an agency spokesperson as told to The Standard.

Which Parking Meters Make the Most?

Throughout the past year, San Francisco’s parking meters displayed a wide range of earnings. Meters along upscale corridors in the Marina and Pacific Heights neighborhoods collected five-figure sums. In contrast, sections of the Financial District, especially those near the Embarcadero, generated thousands of dollars during the same period.

Conversely, earnings in the SoMa and Mission districts were notably lower, with certain meters recording less than $100 in transactions for the entire year.

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