Understanding San Francisco's Congestion Pricing Study

In this op-ed, the executive director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority makes a case for congestion pricing in the City, though he is quick to indicate the SFCTA is only studying the concept to see if it could be applied there.
December 17, 2008, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"There is no high-tech solution to congested streets; no magic bullet. We need a concerted set of actions to ensure that San Francisco's growth will be sustainable and that it will not degrade our quality of life", writes José Luis Moscovich, the executive director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

"This is a study to establish whether the concept could work here, not a proposal to implement it tomorrow. According to the technical analysis, the proposed plan that reduces the most congestion while causing the least negative impacts, would price access to the entire northeast quadrant of the city only between 6 and 9 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. There would be no pricing at all midday, in evenings, or on weekends.

The revenue generated through congestion pricing would be used to increase transit service in and out of the pricing zone. The Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard bus upgrades to bus rapid transit lines are an example.

Our habit of driving everywhere for every purpose is largely responsible for traffic congestion, and for climate change impacts. Congestion pricing can help us break out of that cycle. With the best supply of transit this side of the Hudson River, nobody will be left stranded in San Francisco."

Thanks to Melissa Hippard

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Published on Friday, December 12, 2008 in San Francisco Chronicle
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