Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

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Do I bring a Car to San Francisco for Law School

Yes, Definitely.
10
20%
No, You're either misinformed, or an idiot.
23
47%
Maybe, but you could probably get by without one if you are savvy
16
33%
 
Total votes: 49

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oberlin08
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Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby oberlin08 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:29 pm

Ok theres a post on having a car in law school, I already know this. But I want to know about San Francisco specifically. I'm considering coming from D.C. --> U San Fran. I wouldn't expect to have to drive it to class everyday, but I'm thinking maybe it would be worth it for other stuff?

I've heard mixed things about this:

Cons
- San Fran public transportation is relatively unreliable and shouldn't be ALL the time, especially after late nights
- Parking in SF sucks, its hard to find a spot and expensive to pay for one

Possible Pros

- I'd still be relatively transient as a student moving 1-2 times a year depending on what I would be doing during the summertime.
- And theres the possibility of wanting to do something outside of SF proper during the summer too which might be more difficult if I dont bring a car?
- Then there is buying stuff every once in a while that would make having a car really convenient - like a 40 lb bag of dog food for my dog etc..


Any insight would be appreciated!

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nahgems
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby nahgems » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:36 pm

In SF citycarshare is really cheap for students. If you need a car for anything, use citycarshare. But you won't need a car. Just make sure your apartment is convenient to public transit.

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tallboone
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby tallboone » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:37 pm

You will go crazy having a car in the city, it can be a real nightmare. Coming from DC, the Muni/Bart in SF and the Bay Area might be a little shitty because it wasn't federally subsidized to the point of D.C., but it's still one of the best in the country. (Personal rankings public transit: D.C.>NY>SF>Chi>everything else) You will be fine and less stressed if you leave your car at home.

fortissimo
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby fortissimo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:39 pm

If you want to leave the city at all, you will need a car. The BART only stops at a few places and the buses are a major pain in the ass to ride since they take so long and go on roundabouts. A trip that would normally take you 30 minutes driving in the Bay Area would end up taking you 2/3 hours via public transportation. On the other hand, it is impossible to find a parking spot in SF and the streets are very zig-zagged with tiny, narrow lanes (which is why if you do bring a car, to bring a tiny one).

This is why I vote no, because you won't find parking and many apartments have no attached parking, but prepared to be stuck in a very limited and small location since Bay Area public transportation blows.

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jks289
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby jks289 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:44 pm

Depending on the neighborhood you can find a spot and leave it there (you'll have to move it for street cleaning). Since you won't drive everyday, it is only a pain once a week or so.If you foresee wanting to leave the city on the weekends (there are tons of nice places to visit) I think its a good idea.

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tallboone
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby tallboone » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:48 pm

nahgems wrote:In SF citycarshare is really cheap for students. If you need a car for anything, use citycarshare. But you won't need a car. Just make sure your apartment is convenient to public transit.

+1 Excellent Advice. http://www.citycarshare.org/

redginseng
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 am

Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby redginseng » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:50 pm

You don't need a car in SF. If you can afford it, why not, but parking space is really expensive.

floppymex
Posts: 118
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby floppymex » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:57 pm

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Last edited by floppymex on Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:01 pm

Don't bring it unless it's a hybrid.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:02 pm

fortissimo wrote:A trip that would normally take you 30 minutes driving in the Bay Area would end up taking you 2/3 hours via public transportation.


This is definitely not always the case. There are lots of places I go via MUNI instead of car simply because the subway is so damn fast. Same with BART. It all depends on where you're going and what you're trying to do -- but the above is a dramatic oversimplification of things.

I have a car here and I'm glad I have it -- as long as you're vigilant about parking tickets and smart about when you use your car (i.e. not to go out and park downtown for dinner on a Saturday night), it's not that bad. I live in a pretty busy area, but my apartment came with a neighborhood parking sticker, so I can park on the street without much trouble.

It's great to have a car to go to the airport, East Bay, Daly City (Target, etc.) with ease. Plus it's great to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy the nature up in Marin -- you can't get to all of those great beaches and hikes easily without a car.

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chadwick218
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:07 pm

No car needed ... I worked in SF for a year and found it cheaper to simply public transportation and taxi's when I needed to travel longer distances than bring a car ...

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mnolen
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby mnolen » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:10 pm

I wouldn't do it unless you're willing to pay $200-300/month for a parking space. Depending on the neighborhood, parking can be extremely difficult, especially in the evening. MUNI isn't my favorite but I find it fairly reliable. If it's so late that you feel it's dangerous, take a cab - getting most places in the city won't cost you more than $10. My boyfriend drives to and from work in Emeryville and when he came home past 5, parking is a nightmare.

Plus, if you leave anything that even looks valuable in your car, it WILL be broken into. You'll undoubtedly get tickets, and they're ridiculously expensive... yeah, the more I think about it, you REALLY shouldn't take a car unless you absolutely need to.

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birD
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby birD » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:16 pm

I live right in downtown Boston and I have a car. I love it. I would hate to be here without a car I would feel trapped. It sucks having to walk to public transportation when it's cold and having a car is great for that. It will also give you the opportunity to take internships and things that are farther away because you can drive to them. Plus you can get away for a weekend if you want. bring your car!

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iShotFirst
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby iShotFirst » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:17 pm

As an above poster said, MUNI sometimes gets a bad rap. Its still better than the VAST majority of American cities. DO NOT BRING A CAR TO SF. You will end up paying an insane amount of money for a parking space and will probably just tear your hair out eventually with all the traffic. Its just not worth it. Just get a car-sharing membership for all your 40-lb bag related activities. The only reason to have a car here is if you live across the bridge or you go out of the Bay Area frequently(like every weekend). Beyond that, MUNI and BART will be all you need. Don't forget this is a pretty walkable city as well, once you get over having to walk up and down the hills.

And San Francisco's weather never gets as cold as Boston or any northern city where you are freezing while waiting for public transport.

fortissimo
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby fortissimo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:17 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:
fortissimo wrote:A trip that would normally take you 30 minutes driving in the Bay Area would end up taking you 2/3 hours via public transportation.


This is definitely not always the case. There are lots of places I go via MUNI instead of car simply because the subway is so damn fast. Same with BART. It all depends on where you're going and what you're trying to do -- but the above is a dramatic oversimplification of things.

I have a car here and I'm glad I have it -- as long as you're vigilant about parking tickets and smart about when you use your car (i.e. not to go out and park downtown for dinner on a Saturday night), it's not that bad. I live in a pretty busy area, but my apartment came with a neighborhood parking sticker, so I can park on the street without much trouble.

It's great to have a car to go to the airport, East Bay, Daly City (Target, etc.) with ease. Plus it's great to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy the nature up in Marin -- you can't get to all of those great beaches and hikes easily without a car.


I was talking about leaving to and from the city or just traveling around the Bay in general. It may be quicker (sometimes) if you are traveling within the city itself, but if you want to leave SF, public transportation is a major pain in the ass. I think Nor Cal as a whole is definitely "car friendly" . The BART has very limited stops and then you have to catch the bus or the light rail to get to your location, which generally takes far more amount of time than driving to your destination.

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calgal17
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby calgal17 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:19 pm

NO. I had a car for a few weeks when I first moved to the city and ended up having to drive it back home to SD and leave it with my parents. Finding parking is a nightmare, especially if you go somewhere all day (I was working full-time). And street sweeping can be really ridiculous. I was living in the Mission and I kid you not, there was street sweeping every single weekday on alternating sides of the street so you had to move your car EVERYDAY even if you had the perfect sweet parking spot plus a lot of the spots were 2 hours only. :evil: Anyway, the whole city isn't this bad, but I would not suggest it. Public transit is pretty awesome, if slow at times.

Edit: I'm also a member of City Carshare and it's awesome in a pinch. And it's a nonprofit so you can feel your dogooder points as well :wink:

fortissimo
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby fortissimo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:26 pm

mnolen wrote: Plus, if you leave anything that even looks valuable in your car, it WILL be broken into. You'll undoubtedly get tickets, and they're ridiculously expensive... yeah, the more I think about it, you REALLY shouldn't take a car unless you absolutely need to.


haha, agree with this, and that reminds me of an amusing story. My friend's car was broken into twice (windows shattered) in a period of 3 months. Right after that, he got a ticket for parking. A month after that, someone stole it. The weird thing is that his car looks like a piece of crap. This is another reason why my other friend got a moped (dangerous, but you can bring it indoors and it's much more fun than driving.)

jarofsoup
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:21 pm

I would not have a car unless u have a garage. There are a lot of car break ins. Bart is really awesome so is muni. But of u mountain bike or surf and go to marin or Santa Cruz you will need a car.

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Zapatero
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby Zapatero » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:24 pm

Zipcar FTW

I lived in SF and worked in San Mateo, so I needed a car. It all depends on where you live. I lived in the Sunset for a while, and parking was a breeze there (the area is pretty lame, though, and somebody broke into my car and stole my GPS). Afterward, I lived in the Marina, and parking was a nightmare. Not only will you have to fight for spots, but you need to get up early all the time and move your car for street cleaning, lest you incur the fine for not doing so. My personal advice would be to avoid having a car at all costs, live somewhere near the BART or MUNI, and use Cityshare/Zipcar to do your shopping, etc.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby Great Satchmo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:32 pm

I live in downtown San Francisco, and now work in the city, I've been here for just about a year now.

Do not bring a car.

If you live in the sunset, richmond, or further out from the central area of the city, you can have a car without too much of an issue. However, it probably isn't justified by the cost and potential for forgetting street cleaning and whatnot.

Just do your due diligence for what muni lines you can take to campus, and where the apartment you're look at is.

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bass08
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby bass08 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:23 pm

I've been living in SF for the past few years and own a car so I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in.


Pros of having a car:
-Can get many places in the city relatively quickly.
-Can get shit done on your own schedule (you're going to be busy at law school and you won't want to have to spend an hour or two just running simple errands. Plus, if you're driving around during weekdays in between classes and whatnot, traffic will be light and parking won't be all that bad)
-Don't have to deal with the scum that rides muni.
-Can leave the city and go to other northern california destinations

Cons:
-Parking can be hard to find--you can park on the street, but it will sometimes be hard to find parking and you will have to drive around for a while sometimes until you find a spot. If you are living near USF (in the Inner Richmond district), you should be able to find parking (no need to buy a parking space somewhere). Weekends and evenings will be the hardest time. You will probably have to buy a parking permit for the neighborhood zone(s) area that you are living in. That will run you about $75 a year (although they will probably raise to ~$95 soon). Gas is expensive relative to many places in the country, but it has leveled off in the last year or so and has been steady at about $3 a gallon here.

-Can be expensive to pay for all the costs associated with insurance, gas, permits, maintenance etc, but of course if you aren't driving a lot these costs should be kept to a minimum).


Parking tips:
-make mental note of street cleaning day and time
-turn your wheels if parked on a hill
-don't block driveways

----

If you do bring a car, bring a compact. I drive an 07 VW rabbit. It's great for the city, not too small (see Smart Car), but not too big either (any suv).

Summary:
if you go to USF and live nearby you will probably be fine if you have a car. You will be able to get a permit to park on the street and you don't have to drive very often since you'll be living close to the school. It will be super nice and convenient for when you really want to go somewhere or get stuff done.

However, muni can take you pretty much everywhere in the city. It's not super fast compared to driving, but you can get by just fine. They keep raising the prices though.

Also, there is the carshare option that other people have brought up. Valid option for when you want to make plans that require a car.

It's really up to you and what you would prefer. You'll probably be fine without one, but you may like having the option of it there for your everyday stuff.

Personally, I would be pissed if I had to take public transit everywhere. I hate the people that ride it, I hate the smell, and I hate that it's slow and late often (depends on the line--the one i take routinely is often late). I hate wasting spending an hour traveling on muni when I could've accomplished the same thing in 15 minutes with my car. I just dont have time to waste waiting for and riding on muni for every little thing I need to do or place to go.

One thing--if you're going to USF then you'll be liviing in the inner richmond probably and will probably be close to a Safeway, so that will be convenient. In any SF neighborhood you have corner stores and stuff, but those tend to run more expensive than even safeway, haha.

Eh, hope this information is helpful. I hate driving aroudn looking for parking, but i would hate it more if i had to take muni everywhere. it takes forever.

ps--I got two tickets for street cleaning in the past week. Both perfect storm situtations. Before that, though, I hadn't gotten any tickets for the past 1.5 years or so.

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im_blue
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby im_blue » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:33 pm

If you don't bring a car and take the MUNI, you'll have this to look forward to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx6FRSemW38
http://www.ktvu.com/news/21246099/detail.html

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calgal17
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby calgal17 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:56 pm

im_blue wrote:If you don't bring a car and take the MUNI, you'll have this to look forward to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx6FRSemW38
http://www.ktvu.com/news/21246099/detail.html


haha wow. I rode the bus all the time and never saw anything this bad. Guess I was on the wrong lines...

fortissimo
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby fortissimo » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:00 pm

bass08 wrote:
Personally, I would be pissed if I had to take public transit everywhere. I hate the people that ride it, I hate the smell, and I hate that it's slow and late often (depends on the line--the one i take routinely is often late). I hate wasting spending an hour traveling on muni when I could've accomplished the same thing in 15 minutes with my car. I just dont have time to waste waiting for and riding on muni for every little thing I need to do or place to go.


hahahaha, It frequently smells like urine on the MUNI. The BART has a little more variety. It switches between smelling like a nursing home and having the faint aroma of blood.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Should I bring a car if I move to San Francisco for LS?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:03 pm

Pros:

Image




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