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Old 02-23-05, 04:52 PM   #1
ostro
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San Francisco: No Cyclist Bridge Toll

Hey Everyone,

Take moment to tell the GGB District Toll folks we dont want to pay a buck to ride across the bridge!

https://www.sfbike.org/?ggb&PHPSESSI...14f9688#action

-----------------------------------------------

FROM LINK BELOW

You've probably heard by now that the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District is considering a proposal to charge a $1 toll to all bicyclists and pedestrians who cross the Bridge. (See SF Chronicle articles below for background)

The SFBC - and many, diverse organizations across the Bay Area and California - believe this is a bad idea. First, the proposed toll would raise a minor amount of funds for the Bridge District (an estimated half million to a-million-and-a-half dollars a year, which is, at best, just 2% of the $108 million deficit over the next five years). Given the downsides to a toll on bicyclists and pedestrians, this is not a significant amount of funding and is not worth pursuing.

https://www.sfbike.org/?ggb&PHPSESSI...14f9688#action
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Old 02-23-05, 05:00 PM   #2
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At least you have the option!

I'd pay a buck to cross the Whitestone, Goethals, Outerbridge, or Verrazano if the option was there. Stupid Robert Moses...
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Old 02-23-05, 05:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
At least you have the option!

I'd pay a buck to cross the Whitestone, Goethals, Outerbridge, or Verrazano if the option was there. Stupid Robert Moses...
They are building a new east span of the Bay bridge, which is "supposed" to have cyclist access. Which would be freakin awesome, but of course budgeting issues will cut cyclist/pedestrian access.
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Old 02-23-05, 05:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ostro
They are building a new east span of the Bay bridge, which is "supposed" to have cyclist access. Which would be freakin awesome, but of course budgeting issues will cut cyclist/pedestrian access.
Great, that gets me to Treasure Island. How'm I supposed to get the rest of the way?
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Old 02-23-05, 05:48 PM   #5
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Do cars pay anything?
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Old 02-23-05, 05:55 PM   #6
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cars pay something like $5, i think they want to up that to $6
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Old 02-23-05, 05:59 PM   #7
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cars pay something like $5, i think they want to up that to $6
OK then, to play devils advocate... why then is it not right for cyclists "that have the same rules and rights to the roads" to not pay something?
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Old 02-23-05, 07:13 PM   #8
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Tolls of $10 for cars and 25c for bikes would be appropriate considering their relative contribution to maintenance costs.
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Old 02-23-05, 08:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
Tolls of $10 for cars and 25c for bikes would be appropriate considering their relative contribution to maintenance costs.
Hmmm, how much are we going to charge Mother Nature? The roadways really don't take up that much of the maintenance costs either. It's the exposure to the salty ocean air that causes most of the maintenance. On the Bay Area bridges, they essentially start at one end doing "preservation" work, and when they finish at the other end, they just go back and immediately start over again.
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Old 02-23-05, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
At least you have the option!

I'd pay a buck to cross the Whitestone, Goethals, Outerbridge, or Verrazano if the option was there. Stupid Robert Moses...
It's a crime what Robert Moses did to the Varrazano bridge in not allowing cyclists/peds to walk over that bridge. He also built it so trains could not go over it and now the city has to pay tens of millions supporting a free ferry system from New York City to Staten Island. Incredible.

I'm still waiting for the Outerbridge path to open. Do you realize how much time we can save going to the Jersey Shore if they opened that bridge to cyslists/peds??? HOURS!

It's incredible to think how much money these bridges cost and the tolls DO NOT make them profitable operations! It makes you wonder how much money we are spending to support this motor centric lifestyle.
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Old 02-23-05, 11:40 PM   #11
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There's a long running rumor in New York that Robert Moses intentionally designed the overpasses on Parkways in Long Island to be as low as they are so that buses, which at the time carried black people to parks and such, couldn't bring them to the beaches.

I don't know if it's true, but that rumor isn't going away, has never been disproven, and considering how his bridges are evidence of his dislike for cyclists, I have no reason to believe that his "designs" on the Wantagh and Meadowbrook are coincidental either.
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Old 02-24-05, 01:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve

It's incredible to think how much money these bridges cost and the tolls DO NOT make them profitable operations! It makes you wonder how much money we are spending to support this motor centric lifestyle.
If they decide not put a cyclist route on the new bay bridge, they will force people to use public transporation and cars. My initial thoughts were somewhat conspiracy theory like, but it makes some sense. they want to force people to pay the tolls and the public transport fees to pay for the projects they created. If they create this option, it can reduce congestion, pollution and wasted hours sitting in congestion.
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Old 02-24-05, 04:53 AM   #13
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The $1 toll may be bad policy, but it's not an outrage. It's fine to lobby against it, but I hope the Bay Area bike community keeps this issue in perspective.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-24-05 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 02-24-05, 06:16 AM   #14
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THEY, THEY,THEY How about YOU, YOU, and YOU, YOU put the dude with the gar in his mouth and the empty words spewing from his face in the Govs seat to make changes. So stop whining and make HIM toe your interests
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Old 02-24-05, 08:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
It's incredible to think how much money these bridges cost and the tolls DO NOT make them profitable operations! It makes you wonder how much money we are spending to support this motor centric lifestyle.
That's cause they are saddled with bloated bureacratic infrastructures. NYC / NYS public service employment is akin to corporate welfare.
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Old 02-24-05, 10:10 AM   #16
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No, it's because the bridges were supposed to only have tolls until they paid for themselves. The Verrazano, for example, paid for itself almost 20 years ago and they're still charging tolls because, well, you wouldn't wanna lose all that revenue, now, wouldja?
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Old 02-24-05, 10:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
It's a crime what Robert Moses did to the Varrazano bridge in not allowing cyclists/peds to walk over that bridge. He also built it so trains could not go over it and now the city has to pay tens of millions supporting a free ferry system from New York City to Staten Island. Incredible.
Pretty bad, I agree. But here in Boston, we have three tunnels plus the subway that connects downtown with East Boston, where Logan Airport is. Bicyclists can't ride in the tunnels, nor can they bring their bikes on the subway for most hours of the day. Plus, the eliminated commuter ferry service between East Boston and downtown about a decade ago.

It's probably about 1/2 mile across Boston Harbor between the airport and downtown, as the crow flies. But if the crow is on a bicycle, his choices for going to Eastie by bike are --

* take a $10 one way for private water taxi service. This is fine once in awhile, but you can't pay $20 a day round-trip for your transportation to work and back home if Eastie is where you live.

* ride a circuituous route through some of the most dismal industrial and crime-laden areas of Chelsea, northwest of East Boston, and then go south and west to Somerville and Cambridge, before crossing the Charles River in the Back Bay. Your 1/2 mile trip just became 12 miles, bunkie!

* buy two bikes and a subway pass. Use one bike to get you to the subway station, and another that you leave locked up in the city (with the requisite $75, thirty pound Kryptonite chain around it so that it doesn't wander away on its own-ee-oh, ya know yerself what I'm sayin'.)

Starting this year, the local transit system is running a new "bus rapid transit" route called the Silver Line. This system runs low-pollution, compressed natural gas-fueled buses in their own right-of-way on public roadways and in the Ted Williams Tunnel to bring people from the city into the airport. Cyclists in Boston have been hammering the Mass. Bay Transportation Authority to put bike racks on these buses ... but ya know --

* "It's too expensive." Of course, the tunnel was built as part of a (get this) $14.6 BILLION construction project, the famous Central Artery/Tunnel Project, better known as "The Big Dig." Part of that money was supposed to be used for congestion and pollution mitigation enhancements -- like bike racks on buses. But -- whoops! There ain't no money left! How'd that happen?

* "It would delay the buses." So add more buses. And wise up to the fact that if someone can't ride the bus, he or she is going to use the road anyway and add to the congestion that delays everybody, including buses. I mean, if you take all the bicyclists out of a city filled with traffic jams, you have a city filled with traffic jams! The bikes aren't putting the traffic there!

* "It's a liability issue." Boston is one of the small handful of transit systems in North America that hasn't added bike racks to its fleet of buses. We're not asking for the whole system to be racked, either -- just this -one route of specially-made buses-.

Bottom line is -- we'd love to have your ferry. Send it over, never mind the drunken skipper who crashed it, we'll test it ourselves.

See, we'll put David Wells on it, and if it doesn't sink, it'll be fine.
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Old 02-24-05, 05:56 PM   #18
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I commented
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Old 02-24-05, 06:23 PM   #19
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"I mean, if you take all the bicyclists out of a city filled with traffic jams, you have a city filled with traffic jams! The bikes aren't putting the traffic there!"
I love that statement. That just says it all.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:03 AM   #20
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The $1 toll would have the benefit of clearly legitimizing bicycles on those bridges. I am generally a bike lane skeptic, but bridges and tunnels are places where seperate bike facilities can be very useful. With the fee, cyclists could more easily demand better facilities.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:18 AM   #21
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I'd say wait six months. See how many pedestrians and cyclists actually use the bridge, then make a judgment call then. If no one is using it anyway, there's no point in spending the money to collect tolls.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by genec
Originally Posted by massbiker
"I mean, if you take all the bicyclists out of a city filled with traffic jams, you have a city filled with traffic jams! The bikes aren't putting the traffic there!"


I love that statement. That just says it all.
I agree too! Tolling bikes (and pedestrians) is going to give one more disencentive to bridge users not to use a car.
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Old 02-25-05, 11:39 AM   #23
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I agree too! Tolling bikes (and pedestrians) is going to give one more disencentive to bridge users not to use a car.
Well not sure I agree with that... the difference in bike verses car tolls could still be an incentive, and as DC mentioned it does have "the benefit of clearly legitimizing bicycles on those bridges."
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Old 02-25-05, 12:01 PM   #24
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I agree too! Tolling bikes (and pedestrians) is going to give one more disencentive to bridge users not to use a car.
If you are serious enough of a bike commuter to bike across the SF Bay Area bridges, a one-dollar toll is not going to deter you. It sounds like the people from Boston are drooling at the thought of getting to use a major bridge for only a buck. Bay Area people, I think you have to step back and think about how good you have it.
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Old 02-25-05, 12:50 PM   #25
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its been a few years since I've ridden across the bridge, but if I recall the bike facilities there are already pretty sweet. There are 2 wide sidewalks, one on either side. One is reserved only for peds, the other for bikes. The only problem is riding around the pillars, some folks fly around those blind corners.

I agree this wouldn't be the end of the world for bay area cyclists, but ... oh screw it, just stick it to the cars, not the bikes! :-)
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