San Francisco, CA – Tourists may soon have to make a reservation and pay a fee in order to drive down the famous crooked segment of San Francisco’s Lombard Street. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) unveiled a new proposal, AB 1605, that would authorize the City and County of San Francisco to establish a reservation and pricing pilot program for the world famous attraction.
“In recent years, the crowds and traffic congestion have become a safety issue for that neighborhood,” said Ting, author of AB 1605. “We must implement a system that enables both residents and visitors to enjoy the ‘Crookedest Street in the World.’”
With its eight hairpin turns and scenic views, Lombard Street attracts more than two million visitors each year. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority concluded in its 2017 study that managing access to the tourist attraction has become necessary and recommended a reservation and pricing system. This strategy would regulate demand and flow at the entrance, while reducing the length of cars in the queue.
Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who represents District 2 where the crooked segment is located, is author of a resolution backing AB 1605. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on her resolution on Tuesday, April 16, at its meeting. “We must try out the Reservation and Pricing system as our next step towards meeting the needs of both tourists and residents. The system will address the blocks of bumper to bumper traffic that build up on the way to the crooked street, improve the experience for tourists, and better the quality of life for the residents,” said Supervisor Stefani.
AB 1605 is necessary because existing law prohibits a local agency from imposing a tax, permit fee, or other charge for the privilege of using its streets or highways. If approved, the City and County of San Francisco will determine how to implement a reservation and pricing program and how much to charge. As demonstrated by the systems regulating visits to Muir Woods and other parks in California, one of the most efficient ways to manage vehicle congestion is through an electronic system administered without staff, minimizing the visual impact on Lombard Street.
Ting’s bill will be considered by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday, April 22.