Ting Proposal Allowing Reservation & Pricing System For Lombard Street Approved by State Assembly

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Ting Proposal Allowing Reservation & Pricing System For Lombard Street Approved by State AssemblySacramento, CA – A pilot program to test a Reservation and Pricing System at San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street was approved by the Assembly today, by a vote of 51-18. AB 1605 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) gives the City and County of San Francisco the authority to charge drivers seeking to experience the unique hairpin turns that attract more than two million visitors a year. The bill 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.

“It has become increasingly difficult to manage the crowds and traffic congestion at the Crooked Street,” said Ting, author of AB 1605.  “Neither the presence of parking enforcement officers, nor the closure of the crooked segment has changed the current situation. AB 1605 offers a solution worth trying to improve public safety and the quality of life for residents.”

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) concluded in its 2017 study that managing access to the popular 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.

“We thank Assemblymember Ting and his colleagues in the Assembly for their support for a reservation system to improve safety and congestion on Lombard Street," said Tilly Chang, Executive Director of SFCTA. "The Transportation Authority looks forward to next steps to enabling San Francisco to pilot this project in the near future.”  

A second SFCTA study is currently underway to review options around the Reservation and Pricing System’s technology, method of enforcement, hours of operation, price level and exemptions. The results are expected this summer. As demonstrated by the system 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, which would also minimize the visual impact on Lombard Street.

Two weeks ago, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors also unanimously backed a resolution by Supervisor Catherine Stefani to support AB 1605. She represents District 2 where the crooked segment of Lombard Street is located.

Ting’s proposal moves to the Senate for consideration. This year’s deadline for all bills to reach the Governor’s desk is September 13.