All-electronic tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge began Wednesday, but some drivers may have been a little too eager to take advantage of the lack of congestion.
Some drivers were clocked at speeds of 60 mph going through the now-vacant toll plaza, according to the California Highway Patrol.
That’s more than double the posted 25 mph limit through the toll booths, which are narrow.
“There’s not a lot of room to go left or right when you’re going 60 mph and through the tolls,” Officer Andrew Barclay said. “Our concern is that if someone who thinks they’re not supposed to be in one lane and they move quickly to another, and all of a sudden you have a car going 2 mph in front of you when you’re doing 60.”
Barclay said traffic headed into The City goes from three or four lanes across the span to 11 at the toll plaza, which could add to the desire to increase speed.
“It’s great for traffic management,” Barclay said. “There are more places to go so traffic is flowing more freely than before, but we are seeing some high speeds.”
Barclay said additional officers were at the bridge all Wednesday and will remain in the area for several weeks.
The Golden Gate Bridge officially switched to electronic tolling early Wednesday after months of preparation and publicity.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District expects to save $16 million over the next 10 years, mostly by cutting labor costs, according to district officials.
Drivers who don’t have FasTrak can pay a one-time fee at a kiosk before or after the toll plaza, or pay by mail after a camera photographs the license plate and sends a bill to the corresponding address.
Electronic signs were posted from Petaluma to the bridge to warn drivers of the change and to keep traffic moving. But Barclay expects that during the transition, those who haven’t heard about the switch — including tourists — will need time to adjust.
Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the bridge district, said despite the warnings, some drivers did pause at the plaza.
“They were looking for someone to pay or what to do now,” she said. “It’s a big adjustment for drivers. We’ll continue to tweak things. We’ll have to tweak the signs to include the speed limit.”