Notes from 12/8/08 SFCTA Congestion Charges Meeting
|December 8, 2008||Posted by jamie under Transportation & Ped Safety||
I slid out of work a little early to attend the SFCTA’s meeting at the Ferry Building about congestion charges. The long and short of it seems to be there’s a group (predominantly younger) who are fans of the idea of charging $3 for folks driving into a designated area of San Francisco on week days between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and there’s another group (about equal in size at tonight’s meeting, and mostly baby boomers or older) who hate this idea. I’m leaning towards supporting it because I want to encourage folks to stop harming our environment and consider some transit alternatives besides driving solo in a CO2 emitting car. As a full-time pedestrian, I’m also a fan of decreasing the number of vehicles on the streets, but this doesn’t really help to resolve the problem of people driving too damn fast and distracting themselves with cell phones and text messaging while turning corners and so on in downtown San Francisco.
One interesting question that came up is the quandary of parents who have to drive in and out of the congestion pricing zone to take their kids to school and then pick them up. As we know, San Francisco’s whacky school district doesn’t naturally allow for students to go to the nearest school .. there’s a whole application process that makes being a parent in San Francisco a huge pain in the ass, or so I hear.
The debate goes on … watch the web site to keep an eye on it if you care one way or the other.
The image below shows the currently favored congestion charge area in dark green – basically east of Divisidero Street and north of 18th Street. If you travel within the green zone (important for Rincon Hill residents), the current thinking is that you won’t have to pay any congestion tolls. If you leave the zone, then you pay the tolls if you move in and out during the toll hours.