The California Assembly voted 51 to 18 on Thursday to allow San Francisco to pilot a program to carry out a reservation and pricing system on The City’s most famous crooked street.

Drivers could soon have to make a reservation and pay a fee to drive down the distinctive sharp turns of Lombard Street between Leavenworth and Hyde streets known as the “crookedest street in the world.”

Assemblyman Phil Thing (D-San Francisco), sponsor of Assembly Bill 1605, said in a statement that the street attracts more than two million visitors a year and that it has become difficult for The City to manage traffic in area:

“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 bill is needed for The City to do this pilot as current state law says that a local agency cannot impose a fee or tax on drivers for the use of driving on the street.

Ting’s proposal now moves forward to the California Senate for consideration. The deadline for bills to reach Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is Sept. 13.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is already working on a study how The City might execute the reservations and pricing system and expects the study released in the summer.

Before the Board of Supervisors approves an ordinance to conduct the pilot program, The City will need to have to public outreach meetings as required in the AB 1605.

Tilly Chang, executive director of the SFCTA, said in a statement:

“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. The Transportation Authority looks forward to next steps to enabling San Francisco to pilot this project in the near future.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay and covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Follow Jerold on Twitter @jerold_chinn. Email tips to jerold@sfbay.ca.

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