San Francisco Chronicle transportation writer Michael Cabanatuan reports the Golden Gate Bridge is pursuing variable tolls. The hypocrisy of affluent Marin County commuters and their elected officials in the article is unfortunate. Many are opposing the eminently sensible idea of charging a higher toll at rush hour, which will encourage those who can shift trips to other hours to do so, encourage some commuters to carpool or take the bus, and reduce congestion for all vehicles on the bridge during rush hours. Even more remarkable is the strident opposition to using some or all of the increased toll revenue to replace the worn-out and dangerous approach to the bridge, Doyle Drive. Who do they think is going to finance that project, the tooth fairy? Commuters to and from the San Francisco business district are the primary users of Doyle Drive, and their gas taxes don't produce anything like the half a billion dollars needed to construct the replacement in the next decade or two. I can't think of a more urgent and appropriate use for Golden Gate toll revenues than fixing Doyle Drive.
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