SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill late Saturday night that would have allowed San Francisco officials to devise a reservation and toll plan for visitors wanting to drive down the city’s iconic ‘World’s Crookedest Street.”
Newsom said it was taking the action because “the pricing plan proposed in this bill creates social equity issues. Access to this iconic attraction should be allowed to all, regardless of their ability to pay.”
The Marina District attraction draws more than two million visitors a year and the hilltop road provides both a breathtaking view of the city and the novelty of driving down the street’s hairpin turns.
Early in his political career, Newsom represent the Marina neighbor on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. He said it was his experiences while in that position that made him aware of the traffic problems the street’s popularity causes.
“As the former county supervisor representing this neighborhood,” Newsom proclaimed in his signing statement. “I am well aware of the need to address congestion and safety around Lombard St.”
The new bill would have cleared the way for the creation of a non-resident reservation system to travel on the street and also for a toll to be charged to travel down the twists and turns of the street.
The new law was sponsored by Assemblymember Phil Ting.
“It has become increasingly difficult to manage the crowds and traffic congestion at the Crooked Street,” said Ting in a press release announcing the bill. “Neither the presence of parking enforcement officers, nor the closure of the crooked segment has changed the current situation. AB 1605 offers a solution worth trying to improve public safety and the quality of life for residents.”
The bill was needed to allow San Francisco officials to bypass an existing law that prohibits local agencies from imposing a tax or permit fee for the use of a public street or highway.