Traffic-relief programs to be demonstrated 

Two congestion-pricing plans for The City — parking meters that charge based on demand and a toll on Doyle Drive that varies depending on the time of day — will be touted by visiting federal transportation officials.

Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters will participate in a first-look demonstration of new parking technology that charges more for coveted spots and high-traffic times. The system also signals available parking spots, according to Peters’ office.

In August, San Francisco learned that it would receive $158 million as one of five cities nationwide chosen for a new "Urban Partnership" grant programthat aims to reduce heavy traffic using approaches including tolling, public transit, telecommuting and congestion pricing.

All Urban Partnership grant proposals were required to include some form of congestion pricing — which penalizes drivers for using key thoroughfares during peak driving hours. New York City received $354 million for its congestion-pricing proposal, which includes charging traffic fees to drive into downtown Manhattan.

"Prices can be charged higher when there’s more demand. It encourages people to think about their options, if there’s a bus line or rail line they can take," said Jose Luis Moscovich, executive director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Moscovich said plans for a congestion-priced toll at Doyle Drive — the roadway that connects San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge — will also be discussed at the event.

Of the $159 million awarded to San Francisco, $12 million is for electronic tolling equipment for Doyle Drive, which is slated to be rebuilt according to seismic safety standards.

Moscovich said the toll price has not yet been determined.

The federal grant funding will also be used to support San Francisco’s Sfgo system, a real-time traffic management system that includes traffic signal coordination at 500 key intersections; expansion of the Bay Area’s 511 information system; and a program to link FasTrak and TransLink.

beslinger@examiner.com

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