Gov. Gavin Newsom (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Newsom vetoes plans to charge drivers for using Lombard Street

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday vetoed legislation that would have allowed San Francisco to charge drivers for using the crookedest street in San Francisco.

Assembly Bill 1605, from Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would have let the Board of Supervisors implement a pilot program requiring drivers to make a reservation and pay a fee for using Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth streets.

The legislation was intended to alleviate traffic woes in the heavily-trafficked tourist area.

But in a letter to the California State Assembly, Newsom said the legislation would have created “social equity issues.”

“As the former county supervisor representing this neighborhood, I am acutely aware of the need to address congestion and safety around Lombard Street,” Newsom wrote. “However, the pricing program proposed in this bill creates social equity issues.”

“Access to this iconic attraction should be available to all, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.

Ting had argued that the bill was necessary to improve public safety and quality-of-life issues for neighbors, with Lombard Street drawing up to 17,000 visitors a day on busy summer weekends, according to his office.

Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who represents the area on the Board of Supervisors, had similarly said that the bill would improve traffic and safety issues.

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