In A New Twist, Officials Propose Charging Fee To Drive On Lombard Street

January 24, 2019
Lombard Street

SAN FRANCISCO — To relieve traffic congestion around the iconic curves of Lombard Street, San Francisco officials are proposing an unprecedented fee of up to $10 for drivers to slowly proceed through its twists and turns. 

Under the idea from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, drivers would have to pay $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends to snake along the famed one-block stretch of Lombard Street in Russian Hill.

The fee would also give them a reservation for a time slot for their turn on the street. 

The system is modeled on the reservation system at Muir Woods, a national park in Marin County, that took effect in July. 

The Lombard proposal however would require changing state law, which currently forbids forcing drivers to pay to use public streets, said Eric Young, a spokesman for the transportation authority. 

In a survey of people along Lombard, many of them tourists, said they would be comfortable paying $5 to $10, according to Young. 

City officials will meet Wednesday to to discuss other ideas for easing the backup that spills onto neighboring blocks.