Is Congestion Pricing the Solution to San Francisco’s Traffic Woes?

A new report paints a grim picture of San Francisco’s traffic future. Without radical reductions in auto usage, the city’s downtown will be ‘mired in gridlock.’ Is a controversial congestion pricing scheme the solution?
May 22, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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A new report by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority reveals that “[u]nless private automobile traffic is reduced by 27 percent over the next three decades, congestion levels in [downtown San Francisco] will be unmanageable, with vehicles stuck at a standstill and pedestrians and cyclists prone to increasingly dangerous conditions,” says Will Reisman.

Could “a long-discussed and controversial congestion-pricing scheme” be the solution?

Although “[i]nstalling bike paths, widening sidewalks and adding high-occupancy vehicle lanes to freeway on-ramps,” could potentially reduce gridlock, a congestion pricing scheme previously studied by the Transportation Authority could cut traffic by 10 to 15 percent, says the new report. “It also would generate tens of millions of dollars for other transit needs.”

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Published on Sunday, May 19, 2013 in The San Francisco Examiner
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