The Case Against San Francisco's Congestion Pricing Plan

In this op-ed, "San Francisco is not London", Steve Falk, the CEO of the S.F. Chamber of Commerce, explains why London-style congestion pricing is inappropriate for the downtown core - that it would only hurt businesses without reducing congestion.

"There is no doubt that San Francisco's freeways, access ramps and surface streets are congested during peak periods, but charging fees to drive downtown will do little to untangle the snarl. Why?

Because most city congestion is caused by heavy regional traffic leading to and from bridges and freeways, not by drivers heading downtown. Imposing a fee to drive downtown will only hurt San Francisco businesses and residents as has happened in Central London."

Falk cites figures showing that businesses have fled London's dowtown only to relocate outside the 'zone'.

As for the tolls charged, "half the money raised is used to collect and enforce the fee, thus a new well-funded bureaucracy has been born, with little to show for its mission."

"We need solutions to reducing the regional traffic other than imposing a congestion fee. Incentives to use regional and in-city public transit, or to drive into the city on off-peak hours, would do more to ease congestion."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG_Library

Full Story: San Francisco is not London


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95