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SFGate: Oakland worse for parking than San Francisco

Posted on Wednesday, March 26 at 5:12pm | By 

People foolish enough to try and park their cars in San Francisco often whine and gripe about how bad the city is for parking.  But according to a new study, we’re not the worst in the nation — or even in the Bay Area.

The study by Nerd Wallet, which describes itself as “a consumer-friendly financial literacy website that helps consumers make better decisions about their personal finances and more,” ranked San Francisco as the nation’s third-worst place to park. Oakland was No. 2. Chicago won the title of worst place in the U.S. to park but since we don’t drive there very often, we’ll ignore that, except to enjoy the fact that someone has it worse.

The analysts who conducted the study took into account the price of parking (daily and monthly) in each city as well as its motor vehicle theft rate (“You shouldn’t have to worry about your car after you’ve parked it,” they wrote).

That nerdy worry drove Oakland to the first runner-up position. San Francisco’s high parking prices pushed it to the No. 3 spot.

According to the study, San Francisco charges an average of $29 a day,  or $375 a month, to park but people who leave their cars are 5.53 percent more likely to have a vehicle to return to than parkers in the average locale.

Oakland, on the other hand, has 124.59% more motor vehicle thefts per capita than the national average, the survey says. But parking is a lot cheaper at $15 a day or $195 a month.

Behind Chicago, Oakland and San Francisco, the survey’s next-worst cities for parking are New York, Boston, Honolulu, Washington, Seattle, Philadelphia and Sacramento (really).

The best cities to park? Top five: Boise, Idaho; Greenville, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Raleigh and … Walnut Creek — the best place to park in the Bay Area.

So if you’re a nerd who watches your wallet, you’ll park in Walnut Creek — paying $12 a day or $95 a month — and take BART to Oakland or San Francisco.

– Michael Cabanatuan

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