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San Francisco Bay Area Bridge Tolls to Jump by $1 on Jan. 1

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — If soaring gas prices weren’t enough of a hit to your pocketbook, transportation officials reminded San Francisco Bay Area commuters that bridge tolls will be increasing by $1 on New Year’s Day.

The Bay Area Toll Authority said the increase will go into effect on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges. It does not impact commuters using the Golden Gate Bridge.

The increase is the second of the three $1 toll increases approved by the state legislature in 2017 and by voters through Regional Measure 3 in June 2018.

Regular tolls for two-axle cars and trucks (as well as for motorcycles) at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay, Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward bridges will rise to $7 from the current $6.

Tolls for vehicles with three or more axles also will rise by $1 to $17 for three axles, $22 for four-axles, $27 for five axles, $32 for six axles, and $37 for combinations with seven or more axles.

The peak-period toll discount for motorcycles, carpools and qualifying clean-air vehicles crossing any of the state-owned toll bridges on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. will also increase from $3 to $3.50.

Transit officials said the approximately $4.5 billion generated by the increase will help fund improvements to State Route 37 in the North Bay, freeway interchange improvements in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties, the purchase of more new BART cars and extension of the BART system from Berryessa to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara among other projects.

The Bay Area Toll Authority has also announced a sharp reduction in the penalties associated with toll violation notices sent by the FasTrak® customer service center to customers with unpaid invoices for toll bridge crossings.

Officials said that effective immediately — and retroactive to all violation notices since Jan. 1 of this year for outstanding tolls at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay, Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward bridges — the penalty for first violation notices drops to $5 from the previous $25 and the penalty for second violation notices falls to $15 from the previous $70.

Bridge customers who paid toll violation penalties earlier this year will receive a refund for the difference between the amount they paid and the amount due under the new policy. Distribution of these refunds is expected to begin in February 2022 and continue over the next several months, after which a claim process will be posted at www.bayareafastrak.org for customers who believe they are owed a refund and did not receive one.

Original Article: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

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Prior Infection, Vaccines Provide Best Protection From COVID

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A new study that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.

Original Article: seattletimes.com

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UPDATE: 2 Pedestrians Killed, 1 Hurt in Horrific San Jose Collision

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Two pedestrians were killed and another injured Tuesday night after they were struck crossing Almaden Expressway in San Jose.

According to San Jose police, officers responded to the area of Almaden Expressway and Foxworthy Ave. for a traffic collision involving a vehicle and three pedestrians at approximately 8:24 p.m.

A preliminary investigation has revealed that a 2017 Toyota sedan was traveling northbound on Almaden Expressway in the No. 1 lane in the area of Foxworthy Ave.

The Toyota then struck three adult pedestrians who were crossing Almaden Expressway outside of any marked crosswalk. The pedestrians were crossing from the west side towards the east side of the expressway.

The investigation has also revealed that the vehicle had a green light at the intersection.

Two male pedestrians were transported to local hospitals where they were pronounced dead. A third female victim suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. The identity of the victims will be released by the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office after their next of kin are notified.

The driver, who also sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital, was cooperating with the investigation. There was no indication of drug or alcohol influence.

San Jose police said it was the 6th fatal collision and victims number 6 and 7 of 2022. This is also the 4th and 5th pedestrian fatalities of 2022.

Anyone with information on this investigation is urged to contact Detective Templeman #3566 of the San José Police Department’s Traffic Investigations Unit at 408-277-4654.

Original Post: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

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US Faces Wave of Omicron Deaths in Coming Weeks, Models Say

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The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, yet COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing. Deaths could top 1 million by early spring. “It unfortunately is going to get worse before it gets better,” an epidemiologist said.

Original Article: seattletimes.com

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