Tenderloin residents and community members are collecting signatures for the removal of metered parking on the 100 block of Eddy Street between Mason and Taylor. Petition supporters say that removing parking spaces will aid in decreasing drug activity that cars help to shelter.

the block has experienced “a dramatic uptick in open and less open drug dealing, street-based games of dice and other open gambling, and aggressiveness

Director of Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing, Doug Gary, said the block has experienced “a dramatic uptick in open and less open drug dealing, street-based games of dice and other open gambling, and aggressiveness from unwelcome visitors to those who live and work on the block, blocking passage on the sidewalks and parking illegally.”

Gary’s organization runs the Empress Hotel, a homeless housing community at 144 Eddy St. The Empress’s neighbors at the EXIT Theater are also involved in the group’s efforts. Their managing director, Richard Livingston, initiated the petition.

While one might think that a lack of available parking would deter business from venues like the EXIT Theater,  a recent Environmental Impact Report found that less than 3% of EXIT Theater patrons parked on the street, preferring public and alternative forms of transportation.

The petition was inspired by a successful campaign led by Central City SRO Collaborative, which removed one block of parking on lower Turk Street after a Tenderloin Housing Clinic survey revealed it to be one of the most violent blocks in the city. Parked cars provided Turk Street drug dealers with anonymity, making drop-offs quick and difficult to track.

The 2014 Turk Street parking ban reportedly resulted in a dramatic decrease in illegal activity. Petition supporters like Gary and Livingston hope that replicating the Turk Street program on Eddy will “decrease the camouflage that parked cars and trucks provide, increase sightlines for SFPD and other engaged parties, and otherwise improve the quality of life on the street and sidewalk of the block.”

Do you think banning Parking on the 100 block of Eddy is a good idea?