San Francisco

Lawmakers Clear Another Hurdle for SF's Lombard Street Toll

California lawmakers on Thursday voted to approve a toll that would require drivers to fork over money in order to drive down San Francisco's famed Lombard Street.

Leaders behind the effort hope the toll charge would reduce congestion at the popular tourist attraction in the Russian Hill neighborhood. The bill will now head to Senate for consideration.

State Assembly Bill 1065 would require motorists reserve a spot and pay a toll before driving down the street, according to the Office of Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

It would authorize the city to start implementing the pricing and reservation program at the iconic street, which, according to Ting, attracts more than two million visitors annually.

"In recent years, the crowds and traffic congestion have become a safety issue for that neighborhood," Ting said in a statement on April 15.

"We must implement a system that enables both residents and visitors to enjoy the 'crookedest street in the world.'"

A 2017 study conducted by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority found that by managing access to the crooked part of Lombard, located between Leavenworth and Hyde streets, the city could regulate traffic congestion at the entrance and reduce the length of cars in the queue.

According to Ting's office, the legislation is necessary because existing law forbids a local agency from imposing a tax, permit fee, or other charge for using its streets or highways.

CORRECTION (May 2, 2019, 11:37 a.m. PST): The previous version of this story erroneously reported the legislation's next step in the Senate.

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