Congestion Pricing Scheme Up for Discussion in San Francisco

The public is providing feedback for the idea of a congestion pricing scheme that could charge as much as $12 to drive into Downtown San Francisco.

2 minute read

October 5, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

San Francisco Traffic

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / Max Pixel

"The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is seeking 'community input' for a study on charging up to $12 for the privilege of driving into the downtown area during rush hour," reports Phil Matier.

The article serves as an explainer for the concepts of congestion pricing, assuming that the residents of San Francisco haven't been following every twist and turn of the long saga of a similar congestion pricing scheme in New York City.

While pitching congestion pricing as a benefit to equity, safer streets, and cleaner air, the SFCTA's survey is asking for feedback from the public on questions like where the fee should be put in place and how the revenue should be spent. The SFCTA's website includes an interactive game called "Unclog Fog City." Residents who participate in the survey or who play the game are eligible to win gift cards, according to matier.

San Francisco County Supervisor Aaron Peskin is quoted in the article criticizing the outreach effort for the survey as too favorable to the cause.

According to Matier, however, the idea has the backing of other local politicians, including Mayor London Breed. Any congestion pricing scheme approved in the city of San Francisco would require the support of the California State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom, who rejected a toll for Lombard Street in 2019.

Any prospect for a policy debate about congestion pricing is still a ways off, however. The SFCTA is expected to present recommendations based on the public survey in Spring of 2021.

Sunday, October 4, 2020 in San Francisco Chronicle

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