• Jan 2nd 2009 at 2:33PM
  • 37
Boris Johnson for Mayor of... San Francisco? Our favorite municipal chief executive may be taking his time in dismantling the congestion charge in London, but his services may soon be needed in the City by the Bay, as local bureaucrats there contemplate instituting a new charge for motorists wishing to enter – or leave – the city's downtown core.
Driving in San Francisco is already quite an ordeal, and it's listed as the second most congested city in the United States. Motorists already have to pay tolls to cross the bridge and exorbitant parking fees, but the new initiative in the notoriously environmentally-friendly haven in Northern California (a similar initiative to that which failed in New York), could achieve its purpose of deterring motorists from driving downtown altogether. Mayor Gavin Newson is in favor of the plan – which would involve charging cars $3 on the way in as well as on the way out – as is County Transportation Authority director Jose Luis Mosovich, who likens Hurricane Katrina, the economic crisis, global warming, and yes, even terrorism to the city's burgeoning traffic crisis.

[Source: Los Angeles Times | Photo: Panoramio]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I make $250 an hour. My time is more valuable than that of someone making...say $60 an hour. The more money I make, the more I pay in taxes. If a congestion charge is implemented, I'll pay for that too, and the money will go to mass transit and infrastructure improvements. Or, everyone's time can be wasted in traffic. Who wins in all this? We need to implement a carbon tax, reduce job killing income and capital gains taxes. No more free roads, since we already can't maintain the ones we have.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dogmatic egalitarianism is simultaneously one of the best and worst things about America.

      • 6 Years Ago
      soooo... the worse the service gets, the higher the price. Yah that makes sense..... :

      the city should be paying the drivers for such poor service and for making them waste hours and hours in traffic. Time is money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I live in San Francisco and I don't think it's as bad as the article or study indicates. We do have our share of traffic but because the city is only approximately 47 square miles so even a really bad traffic jam would only cause your commute across the city to be delayed an extra 10-20 minutes and there's always clever surface street routes. There are so many ways to get to from point A to point B in San Francisco because most of the blocks are squares and rarely any one way streets.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What planet is your "San Francisco" on? 10-20 more minutes? You mean per block, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought DC metro had the 2nd worst traffic in the nation (behind LA of course)...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I cant speak to the others but I think Chicago is much worse than DC. Mostly because of all the toll booths. DC sucks but it moves.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No, but I bet the legislature votes a cost of living increase despite the majority of the constituents not getting the same from their employers AND being asked to pay more taxes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I doubt a congestion tax will solve SF traffic woes. Like some of previous posts; bad traffic infrastructure, inconsiderate Muni drivers, Double parking a holes(taxis included), Pedestrian right of way abuse, and out of town commuters all contribute to the teeth grinding frustration that is SF in the morning and late afternoon. Don't even get me started if there's an accident on the bay bridge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can't say I have too many issues with SF's public transportation. When I moved there I brought three vehicles with me, daily drivers for my wife and I and one project and was surprised when we used none of them to get to work. There is public trans to get you anywhere. I wasn't too good to ride the buses, though. A lot of SFers are, and even sky-high parking rates don't seem to deter them. Of course much of it is covered by the employers. I wonder how much less commuter trafice there would be if steps were taken to discourage this benefit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SF politics are the worse next to Berkley.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll reitterate my previous comments.... Give the hippies the west coast, and wall em in!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The West Coast will do just fine on its own. We wouldn't really miss the rest of the country haha.
      • 6 Years Ago
      err, left hander (turning onto masonic from fell), where they removed a few parking spaces and have a new traffic light.

      another rant... why do people need to cram into the intersections? isn't it enough that you COULD be the 1st car at the light, instead of pushing into the intersection and then blocking a lane of travel when 'your' light goes red, ultimately ending up with your car blocking other cars that now have the right of way (perpindicular)? maybe if drivers stopped trying to be the last car (or last 3 cars as drivers here also love runnign red lights)...
      then again maybe if there was a gap between red going to green and if the yellows were longer then 4 secs...
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK...the time has come for congestion pricing in SF.
      How about LA too!!! Especially around Malibu. Tax the rich effers!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I live in SF and I can tell you for a fact if the city of SF really cared about reducing congestion, they would improve Muni (our public transit). They, much like GM, had 30+ years to fix this. Not only have they not fixed it, it has gotten worse and in deficit year after year. This is nothing more than a way to generate revenue to offset the city's own budget deficits, which is now $500 million this year. Muni's on time record has never reached 70%, ever! The unions continue to protect workers that do not show up for work or get into horrific accidents. In the last 10 years, Muni paid over $50 million in claims for fatalities that were the fault of the driver.
        • 6 Years Ago
        don't forget to tell judah riders to stay away from 30th ave, lest they get pulled under the LRV...

        my fav muni experience, i'm waiting at the 46/judah inbound. after the LRV pulls up from the turn-around to 48th, it opens doors to let on passengers, and then proceeds to not move for 15 minutes. once the rail pulls up to 46th, the driver boards passengers, and then opens all doors, gets out and goes to the 7-11. i guess the preceding 15 minutes were not enough break for him.
        10 minutes later he comes back, as passengers are off-boarding since the driver is nowhere to be found.

        congestion tax only irritates common people, and helps the well-to-do feel even more self-important.

        this city was simply never designed for the amount of traffic.
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