BERLIN - MARCH 13: Rush hour traffic makes its way through the district of Steglitz on the ninth day of a strike by Berlin public transit authority (BVG) workers on March 13, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The workers are represented through the ver.di service industries labour union, which is pushing for higher wages in negotiations that so far have made little headway. The strike hits Berlin public bus, tram and undergound train services. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Drivers are accustomed to heavily subsidized streets, but new proposals in San Francisco could have them finally pulling their weight.
Officials are considering targeted new fees for people who clog streets with massive vehicles day in and day out. The program would likely start in 2015, and would only last a few months as a pilot.
The new tolls could amount to about $1,500 a year for incorrigible every-day drivers. Bikes, pedestrians, and transit riders wouldn't be charged, but transit congestion could increase with fewer people willing to get in their cars.
The fees would pay for street repairs and discourage car usage, in concert with new incentives to use alternate forms of transportation. A new pedestrian plan is in the works, as well as extensive bike network improvements. Muni is considering augmentations to its service, which would upgrade the agency from "annoyance" to irritant."
It's only fair, shifting the burden of repairing streets only the people who use them -- and cause them to wear out. Drivers may object to the fees, but despite the complaints they'll still have a pretty cushy ride. A comfortable seat in a private vehicle where you can listen to your own music and get where you're going quickly and easily: isn't that worth a few extra bucks? If not, you could always get a bike or a bus pass, like tens of thousands of other San Franciscans.
According to religious experts, there is no God-given right to drive a car everywhere you go.
Among the fees: $3 to leave the northeast portion of the city, a few undecided dollars to cross the southern border, and more fares for parking.