Congestion Pricing Has Mayoral Support in San Francisco

Additional disincentives for driving (i.e., congestion pricing and new parking fees) are on the mayor's agenda in San Francisco.

2 minute read

February 19, 2020, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

SF Muni

moppet65535 / Flickr

"Car-free Market Street was the first step, but traffic in downtown San Francisco is often still a nightmare at rush hour," writes Madeline Wells.

Mayor Breed is arguing for congestion pricing as an additional measure to reduce automobile trips around the city. Mayor Breed called for congestion pricing in a letter to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors.

According to Wells, Mayor Breed is specifically calling for tolls on busy roads at peak times as well as charges for street parking on Sundays and evenings. Mayor Breed targeted SoMa (South of Market) and Downtown for the reforms.

"Already, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is considering charging a fee to drive in these areas during rush hour, with an expectation to release proposals on the topic early next year. However, the introduction of these measures would require San Francisco to pass legislation that allows the city to charge fees for the use of public roads," according to Wells.

Rachel Swan originally reported the news about Mayor Breed's advocacy for congestion pricing in a paywalled article for the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco is already among the nationwide leaders in wielding planning tools to reverse the dominance of automobiles in urban areas. New York City blocked car traffic on 14th Street in Manhattan, like San Francisco did on Market Street, and is moving forward with a congestion pricing scheme with support from the city and the state.

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