San Francisco considers charging Lombard Street visitors

 Lombard Street is one of the "must-sees" for visitors to San Francisco.

Now the city is considering a plan to charge those visitors to drive down the famous road. The city says Lombard attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. Now, the city is mulling a plan to charge visitors a toll to take a drive on Lombard.

Neighbors say the problem is visitors, lining up and in some cases backing up traffic in the area.  

"It can be all the way down," said San Francsico's Sarah Flynn. "All the way down the street and if you're trying to cross, out for a walk with the baby, it can be hard because the traffic is so heavy."

The city is looking at a plan where visitors would reserve a time and pay $5 or $10 to take the twists. The plan could call for an officer posted on Lombard controlling the flow of traffic or some kind of an automated license plate reader.

"Where the money would go is right back into the system itself, right back into the reservation system. So we're designing the system so it pays for itself and be self-sustaining," said Eric Young from 
San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

San Francisco's supervisors still need to approve the plan and the city would need permission from the state to start charging tolls. "The city cannot unilaterally charge the public to enter a public road. So, we would need enabling legislation from Sacramento to have that happen," said Young.

Residents and their guests would be exempt from any tolls and some say they think it could work to reduce congestion. 

"I'm not sure how the reservation would work," said Flynn. "If you had to have a time to turn up, how they would monitor that. I'm not sure but I feel like it's a good idea."

Tourists who took the drive are split. Some saying they'd pay $5 to do it again others say they'd think twice. "Maybe. I'm not sure 100%. But, possibly," said Kevin Engler.

"I think it's fine. I've been here before, it probably takes money to maintain it," said Satavi Desliva.

The city will be holding another open house on January 30 to discuss the idea.
The earliest that a toll could be implemented would be mid-2020.

One final note any toll would not apply to people who want to walk up or down Lombard.