Would You Pay $10 to Drive Down This Famous Street in San Francisco?

Apr 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Would you pay $10 to drive down San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street (also known as the most crooked street in the world)? A bill proposed by city and state officials on Monday aims to combat the traffic jams plaguing the area by introducing a reservation system — and a toll to drive down the street.

According to CBS, an estimated 2 million tourists per year attempt to drive down the famous street in San Francisco’s residential Russian Hill neighborhood, causing lines of cars that sometimes stretch for several blocks.

“The cars really impact the neighborhood because they line up, they back up, they are sitting idling,” Greg Brundage, president of the Lombard Hill Improvement Association, told the Associated Press.

Photo by KEITH WONG on Unsplash
Photo by KEITH WONG on Unsplash

The street is frequently listed as one of the city’s top sights to see. The neighborhood’s residents created the hairpin turns in 1922 because the street’s 27-degree grade was too steep for the cars of the era. In the 1950s, residents planted flowers like roses and hydrangeas, turning Lombard Street into the beautiful attraction it is today.

But the area’s past residents may have been too successful in their efforts to make the street attractive. Current residents have been petitioning city officials to do something about the traffic, trespassing and trash for years.

The San Francisco Transportation Authority has developed two proposals to address the situation. In the first plan, tourists would need a reservation at all times and would have to pay $5 per vehicle. An alternative plan proposes a reservation system from 9am to 9pm that would charge $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays. The street’s residents would be exempt, as would their guests and people who need to work in the area.

So, would you pay? We put the question out to our followers on Twitter, and got mixed responses. Greer W. called the proposal “a reasonable toll to pay for the traffic congestion that it causes.” And Kevin C., a financial consultant at Charles Schwab, tweeted, “Given that it’s mostly tourists who would likely be paying it, I say go for it. But being a local … no, I wouldn’t pay it.”

Others weren’t quite so diplomatic. “No way, but I’d sure like to get a look at the suckers who would,” one person responded.

If the toll does come into effect, it likely wouldn’t be until 2020, but the city needs approval from the state legislature to charge for access to a public road. So if an iconic photograph on Lombard is on your travel to-do list, you might want to get there sooner than later. Just remember to be respectful of the people who call the street their home.

Featured photo by Omer RanaUnsplash.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.