State assembly approves toll, reservation system for San Francisco's Lombard St.

SAN FRANCISCO -- California assembly members on Thursday approved a pilot program that would charge drivers to go down San Francisco's crooked Lombard Street.

Lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 1605 51-18, according to the office of Assembly member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who introduced the bill. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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In addition to the toll, the bill would also make drivers reserve a spot before heading down the iconic Russian Hill street.

With the site attracting more than 2 million visitors annually, traffic congestion in the area has created a safety issue, Ting's office said.

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The bill is also necessary because existing law forbids a local agency from imposing a tax, permit fee, or other charge for using its streets or highways.

If approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the city would then be responsible for determining how much to charge and how to implement the program, Ting's office said.
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