SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The city of San Francisco is mulling a plan to ease the congestion on the 1000 block of Lombard Street that includes imposing a fee, which could range from $5-$10.
Lombard St. is one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions and is known as the crookedest street in the world. It’s so popular that on some weekends, there is a line of cars all the way down to Van Ness Avenue.
The plan is called the reservation and pricing system. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is contemplating the idea of charging $5 to $10 for people to drive down Lombard Street–$5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Residents in the area are willing to hear out any idea to ease congestion.
“If people really really want to see it, 5 bucks is not much for a car,” said resident Bernice Lee.
Tourists feel differently about imposing a toll on a public road. Julie Caldicott from South Africa chimed in, saying, “No I think that’s far too much. It’s not fair. We would come down on our bicycles and enjoy the ride.”
“It’s a scenic route and it should stay that way,” said Cole Wilson.
Along with the fee, drivers will have to make reservations, which will be spaced out in 30 to 60 minute increments. With the reservations, city planners estimate there will only be a line of roughly eight cars at a time.
The other issue is figuring out how to implement the reservation and pricing system. One of the ideas is to install a FasTrak like system, but some residents are skeptical about leaving it up to technology to operate the system.
Those living on the 1000 block of Lombard Street will be exempt from the fee and the fee will also be waived for their guests. Residents can weigh in on this idea next week at a community meeting at the Yick Wo Elementary School.
Ultimately, state legislators will have the final say on this proposal since it involves implementing a toll on a public street. If it passes, the new system could be in place by next summer.