SF's Parking Meter History

By Finding the Sweet Spot
|  Friday, Jan 7, 2011  |  Updated 12:24 PM PDT
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SF's Parking Meter History

When was the first parking meter installed in San Francisco?

A) 1849
B) 1930
C) 1947
D) 1962
E) 1979

Answer: C) August 21, 1947 at Polk and Bush

With over 24,000 parking meters blending virtually unnoticed into the urban environment of SF, it may seem as though parking meters have always been around. You would have to be in your 70’s to remember those pre-meter days.

It was shortly after the end of WW II, with San Francisco’s population exploding, that the streets had become snarled with traffic. The City also was in need of a cash infusion in order to continue to provide services and a decent quality of life for its 120,000 new residents since the beginning of the war.  It was the perfect storm.

On August 21, 1947 the 29th mayor of San Francisco, Roger Lapham, took the helm of the movement to bring San Francisco into an era of transit modernization.  Along with the plan to install parking meters, he also endorsed the dismantling of the cable car system which would further bring San Francisco into the “Modern Age”...

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