San Francisco looks into congestion charging

If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear … a money clip. The city creatively known as “The City” plans to study the possibility of “congestion charges” — making drivers pay to enter downtown during business hours. Critics include some stores in high-traffic areas, which fear that disincentives for downtown motor travel would hurt business. In London, which pioneered the concept three years ago, congestion charges have reduced downtown traffic by 30 percent and brought in about $350 million for the government. They take it very seriously there: London mayor Ken Livingstone this week lashed out at the U.S. ambassador to Britain for refusing to pay the charge, saying he shouldn’t “skive out of it like some chiseling little crook.” You can expect to see the phrase “chiseling little crook” in Daily Grist regularly in coming weeks.