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New parking limits on SF’s Winston Drive will displace more than 40 RVs

RV's parked on Winston Dr., near SFSU and Stonestown Mall, in 2021
Don Barrett
Flickr / Creative Commons
RV's parked on Winston Dr., near SFSU and Stonestown Mall, in 2021

Last year, SFMTA voted to install a four-hour parking limit on Winston Drive and Buckingham Way. They said they wouldn’t begin enforcement until they found suitable housing alternatives for the dozens of families living there in RVs.

But residents received a shock last week, when it seemed like enforcement was imminent. Here’s Eleana Binder, the policy manager at GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice.

“Last week, there were signs for the four hour parking restrictions put up on Buckingham Way, and there were also notices given out to the residents on Winston.”

The Department of Housing and Supportive Services — or HSH — has said they are working to re-house everyone who will be displaced. But at Tuesday’s SFMTA Board meeting, it was clear that hasn’t happened. Here’s one of the RV residents, speaking to the Board with the help of a translator:

“Good afternoon. My name is Marcio Bom. We are here because we were surprised. We live in an RV on Winston, and suddenly there were signs everywhere telling us to move, but we don't really have anywhere else to go.”

The move from SFMTA is part of a larger pattern in San Francisco. Just last month, the city began enforcing parking restrictions on Bernal Heights Boulevard, displacing a smaller group of people living there in RVs. But those residents weren’t offered any housing alternatives.

According to Binder, their only ask is that enforcement is delayed until everyone impacted is offered either a safe parking site or connections to housing.

“A lot of folks, especially the folks near Lake Merced, they have kids in school, they have jobs that they have to go to, they have lives that they have to lead. So being displaced to another area can be really disruptive and the whole process can be really stressful.”

The Board did not guarantee an indefinite delay, but said they’d wait until July, when a repaving project starts, to begin enforcement. They also asked that HSH give an update on the status of a safe parking site.

Wren Farrell (he/him) is a writer, producer and journalist living in San Francisco.