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Lombard Street Reservation System

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Come the spring of 2020 anyone wanting to drive down the iconic Lombard Street, might need a reservation first. That is if state bill AB1605 passes. 

Reservations, along with modifications to street engineering and enforcement, are being considered to help improve quality of life conditions and safety on streets surrounding the crooked block.

Much like the system that has been in place for the past year at Muir Woods, anyone wanting to drive the crooked portion of Lombard Street will need to make a reservation and pay a fee. Pedestrians will still be able to take on the hill one foot at a time.

The proposal has come about due to the constant volume of visitors to the street, with cars idling for up to 45 minutes and some even catching fire. On the busiest days, there is a queue of cars for up to 10 hours a day.

While most visitors to the street are tourists, four to seven percent are San Francisco residents, according to recent studies done by the San Francisco Transportation Authority (SFCTA). The SFCTA is leading efforts to propose a logistically feasible and financially viable system to mitigate congestion in the area caused by this local attraction.

Initial research outlined in the most recent study done by the SFCTA has noted that the willingness-to-pay-range is between $5 to $10 and would allow for the creation of a predictable, visitor-friendly system. The plan drafted by the SFCTA, proposes a cost of $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays.

The proposed reservation and pricing program would be cost-neutral. Reservation fees collected would fund system staffing and enforcement in the field, administrative management and maintenance costs. Monitoring and enforcement of the proposed system and changes to street engineering would not be possible without the SFMTA's Parking Control Group and San Francisco Police Department traffic officers. 

Stay tuned as AB1605 continues to make its way through the state Legislature and the Concept of Operations goes to vote at the September SFCTA board meeting. More to come later this year.

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