San Mateo Co. no longer part of congestion toll plan

December 14, 2010 7:22:02 PM PST
A plan to charge drivers heading into and out of San Francisco at peak times cleared a road block Tuesday, but Peninsula drivers do not have to worry about congestion pricing aimed specifically at them.

You can beat City Hall, just ask state Assm. Jerry Hill. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors in their capacity as the Transportation Authority, voted Tuesday to move forward with a study of so-called congestion pricing. The plan would be to charge tolls to motorists entering or leaving San Francisco. There were two geographic areas under consideration, including San Mateo County.

Hill, who represents San Mateo County, went to City Hall Tuesday and warned city lawmakers if they pushed to study congestion pricing that in his words "erected a border," he would introduce legislation in Sacramento to block it. Supervisors agreed to take that option off the table.

"This is the last thing we need right now," Hill said.

The study will now look only at the Northeast quadrant of San Francisco, an area bordered by Laguna and 18th streets. Motorists could be charged $3 during peak commute times when they enter or leave that quadrant. Another option is to charge $6 when leaving only, during the evening commute.

"I don't think there is anyone here who wants San Francisco to follow the path of other cities that have been traffic disasters," Supervisor David Chiu said.

With Tuesday's vote to move forward, the Transportation Authority will now apply by Jan. 18 for federal funding to pay for the study. It is expected to cost between $1 million and $2 million. If congestion pricing ever becomes a reality, the earliest that might happen is 2015.


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