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Monday, November 17, 2014

If You Don't Want to Pay a Toll to Bike the Golden Gate Bridge, Sign This Petition

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 11:24 AM

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If you're pissed about this plan that'll force pedestrians to pay a toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, well now there's something you can do besides complain about it. 

A group of pedestrians and cyclists who are dead-set against having to shell out money to walk or pedal across the Bridge have started a petition, demanding officials kill the idea altogether. As of today, some 13,000 have signed onto the petition, which claims the Golden Gate Bridge Board is "unfairly removing money from the pockets of citizens who are already struggling to afford the city."

“This tax would discourage pedestrian access on the bridge and unfairly remove money from the pockets of citizens who are already struggling to afford the city,” explains Julie Mastrine, a Care2 staffer and resident of San Francisco. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition also opposes a toll for people biking and walking on the Golden Gate Bridge.

On October 19th, the Golden Gate Bridge’s Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors voted 10 to 9 to consider a toll for every pedestrian and cyclist who crosses the bridge. Obviously, it's an unpopular proposal among pedestrians, but it is a way to offset a $33 million deficit projected over the next five years, officials say. 

Similar measures have been floated many times before — none of which have stuck. But pedestrians were once required to pay a toll when the bridge was first built (of course, rent was much cheaper then). From May 1937 to 1970, pedestrians walking the Golden Gate Bridge were required to drop payment in a coin turnstile. There's not been a toll since.

“Depending on how severe the tax is, it could encourage car use, exacerbate congestion, and discourage healthy activities that should be free for all citizens,” adds Mastrine. “If the city needs help funding repairs and maintenance, it should reallocate existing funds and/or provide opportunities to give a voluntary donation instead of forcing all residents and tourists to pay.”

Bridge district staff have until 2017 to research how much the fee would be and how much revenue it would generate. The findings will then be presented to the board, which may then vote on its implementation.

In any event, you can sign the petition here



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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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