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Toll Proposed for San Francisco's Crooked Lombard Street

A San Francisco city supervisor has proposed a toll for cars traveling on the city's famously crooked Lombard Street in order to ease the 600-foot thoroughfare's overwhelming congestion.

About two million tourists visit the hilly zigzag each year, and the traffic can be maddening for residents, especially during the summer, when as many as 17,000 drivers and pedestrians come to Lombard Street each weekend.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, whose district includes the street, thinks the city should adopt a plan similar to one envisioned by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Drivers would have to make reservations to travel Lombard Street ahead of time, and then an electronic system would collect tolls. Driving on the street without a reservation would cost more, and residents who live there would be exempt.

Before the toll could become law, it would have to pass muster with California state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown. According to the transportation authority, it would likely be the first street toll ever assessed by a U.S. city.