Rumors about possible Alameda bridge tolls spark community outrage

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- A rumor about tolls on Alameda's bridges has sparked a slew of comments and emails to the city council.

Vice Mayor of Alameda John Knox White tells ABC7 News the people have nothing to worry about, at least for a long time.

He tells us the rumor started after a city council meeting where they spoke about a Climate Action and Resiliency plan to reduce greenhouse gases in this city.

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The initial idea was to take certain steps to achieve 50 percent reductions of greenhouse gases by the year 2030. Then another councilmember suggested they could go a bit further and reduce greenhouse gases by 80% if the city stalled bridge tolls of $5 to come in and out of Alameda.

"To set the record straight nobody has proposed a toll, nobody is looking at a toll. There are no plans on voting for a toll," White said. "It's a glim in someone's eye that came up on a city meeting at one point and we said, well what would happen if we did that?"

The 150 page Climate Action and Resiliency plan states options to reduce greenhouse gases by the year 2030; including safe bike lanes, more bus lines and 2,000 new trees in the next 12 years, but the tolls were also mentioned.

"It's not proposed and nobody is moving to say this is how we're moving forward. That conversation hasn't even begun if it ever does," said White.

The silver lining? Alameda residents are submitting their ideas on how to reduce greenhouse gases to the city.

"We were in the store and the kids were talking about how they need more water bottles because don't want to use the plastic kind that are purchased often," said Alameda resident Janea Jackson.

On July 16th the Alameda council will vote on the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. If approved the city will then decide how to implement the plan.
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