Proposal to charge up to $10 drive on San Francisco's Lombard Street

ByAmy Hollyfield and Jobina Fortson KGO logo
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Proposal to charge up to $10 drive on San Francisco's Lombard Street
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Proposal to charge up to $10 drive on San Francisco's Lombard Street

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new proposal suggests charging people a fee to drive down the crooked section of San Francisco's Lombard Street.

Drivers would be charged $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. You would also need a reservation to drive down the popular section of the street.

The purpose of the proposal is to control congestion. People who live on the street say the traffic has become unbearable, and that the pedestrian traffic is also a problem.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority says about 2 million people visit the landmark each year and neighbors are fed up with it. They've complained about traffic congestion, littering and vandalism.

"They haven't started to address the pedestrian problem. It causes bottle necks, pollution, people go to the bathroom in your carports and in your doorways, they climb on your roof. It has gotten pretty bad," said Lombard Street resident Greg Brundage.

RELATED: San Francisco residents meet over Lombard Street congestion

Some tourists out enjoying the street this morning were OK with the $5 charge, but said a firm no to $10.

Others expressed sympathy for the residents, but would still rather visit the spot for free.

"I guess if you are moving to a place like Lombard Street you know what you are in for, so you shouldn't be surprised if it's a busy place with lots of tourists coming through. But I don't think I would pay ten bucks to drive down. It's good enough to walk and take pictures," said Tom Dickin who was visiting from Australia.

"If I lived here I would be a proponent of that, but as a tourist, obviously I'd rather do it for free," said Tate Hester who was visiting from Florida.

The toll would not apply to people who live on the crooked part of the street. But other residents would have to pay it. We found one woman who lives nearby and likes to take the route on the way to taking her kids to school. She understands why they need to make some kind of change.

"It can get really crazy and traffic is horrible, so I completely understand," said Rachael Maddison.

The proposal could be refined after officials hear public comment. If it were to pass local officials, it would then head to the state legislature. If it passes, the earliest it would go into effect would be summer of 2020.

Transportation officials will hold a public meeting on Wednesday between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Yick Wo Elementary School to get feedback.

A new proposal suggests charging up to $10 and requiring a reservation to drive down San Francisco's Lombard Street.