Here's a fun stat: 30 percent of traffic congestion in the city is due to circling for parking, according to the SFMTA. Before you lay on your horn out of frustration, download ParkNow, a new app that works with local garages to help you reserve a space ahead of time.
Here's how it works: Up to eight weeks in advance, simply search for parking in a certain area (by zip code or address), noting the times you plan to arrive and leave. You can also place specific requests, such as valet service or room for an SUV.
Potential parking results are then displayed on a map, alongside pricing, so you can weigh your options. (ParkNow even negotiates lower rates with garages, when possible.)
Once you've found your parking match, click on the garage you want and pay for your spot up front (there's no membership fee to create an account). When you arrive, the attendant will direct you to your pre-reserved spot--it's that easy.
ParkNow currently offers spots in Union Square, the Financial District, the Mission, downtown Oakland and at SFO--and is expanding as we speak.
So long, parking rage.