Vote on Doyle Drive toll postponed

January 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's Board of Directors postponed voting today on the controversial proposal regarding a toll to pay for reconstruction of Doyle Drive.

District spokeswoman Mary Currie said the board voted 10-8 to continue a vote on the issue but no date was set for that vote. Board members did not agree on how the Doyle Drive reconstruction should be financed, Currie said.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority wants to get legislative authority to implement and collect a toll so it can qualify for $158.7 million in federal funding for the $810 million project. The Transportation Authority asked the District to support its efforts to get the legislative approval.

The District's Board of Directors today considered a resolution that neither supported or opposed the toll and the District insists it does not have the authority to grant anyone the right to collect tolls.

The resolution states any toll must be imposed on all users of Doyle Drive, not just motorists who enter San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The resolution also states the toll must be collected at other locations other than the Golden Gate Bridge and that toll revenue should also be used to provide alternatives to single-occupant automobiles on Doyle Drive.

Currie said the board members did not vote today on an alternate resolution proposed by First Vice President Al Boro. That resolution opposes the use of tolls to pay for the Doyle Drive project and it states financing the Doyle Drive project is the state of California's responsibility. Boro's motion was introduced but the motion to continue the matter took precedence, Currie said.

Some opponents of the toll claim Marin and Sonoma County commuters will pay two tolls to enter San Francisco, one to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and one to travel on Doyle Drive.

The District board's resolution states only six percent of daily traffic downtown to downtown San Francisco enters from the Golden Gate Bridge corridor.

San Francisco Police Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese urged the District's board to oppose any toll that primarily affects Marin and Sonoma counties' commuters. He said the toll plan poses "a significant risk of legal challenges."

Veronese is a Democratic candidate in the State senate's District 3 that includes San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma counties.

Mike Kerns, chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and a District board member, said he's against a toll on Doyle Drive because it would affect Marin and Sonoma county commuters and that the state should pay for reconstruction of Doyle Drive, a state highway.

Kerns said the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which also is seeking legislative authority for a toll, intends to asked for an extension beyond March 31 when the authority to collect the toll must be in place. He said he hopes the Bay Area's federal representatives can help find other federal funding for the Doyle Drive reconstruction.


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