By Anna Duckworth

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is revisiting a proposal to charge a sidewalk toll for people who walk or bike across the iconic span.

The bridge district is facing a $33 million deficit over the next five years. The sidewalk-toll initiative is just one of dozens of possibilities for closing that gap. The proposal was pitched by the board’s financial advisory committee on Monday.

District spokeswoman Priya Clemens said they are in the earliest preliminary phases of consideration. She said on Friday morning, the board will decide if they even want to entertain the possibility of having a sidewalk fee.

“If they say yes, then they’re empowering the staff to go ahead and research the topic and work on it,”

The concept of a bridge fee is not popular with many of the sidewalk’s users.

One man who was walking it on Tuesday said the iconic landmark needs to remain accessible and that even charging a nickel would be too much.

A similar proposal was part of the district’s plan five years ago, but that plan was deferred. 10 years ago bridge officials abandoned efforts to impose a sidewalk-cyclist toll after opposition from bicycle groups. The bridge had a 10-cent sidewalk toll from May 1937 to December 1970.

Clemens said the earliest a sidewalk toll would be implemented would be 2017.

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