Thursday, December 17, 2009

Will Congestion Pricing Return From The Dead?

Will Congestion Pricing Return From The Dead?: "

2009_12_congestionpric.jpg
Photograph by RGP on Flickr
Even while haggling in Copenhagen, our politicians are still hard at work for us: case-in-point, Mayor Bloomberg did an interview with CNBC yesterday to discuss the MTA funding crisis, and alluded to the possible re-birth of his congestion pricing plan:



'I don't think congestion pricing, or those kind of things, are dead. One-half of the legislature, the Albany Assembly, they tried to pass a bill to put congestion pricing around all of Manhattan and they couldn't get it done. The Senate didn't go along. Next time, come March, they're going to have to balance a budget and I think any kind of revenue source will be on the table...If we had done congestion pricing two years ago, perhaps they wouldn't be in this situation.'



As the Post reports, Bloomberg's controversial idea was to charge $8 to drive into Manhattan below 86th St. on weekdays, based on similar successful pricing plans in London and Stockholm, but it died in the Assembly last year. With the MTA facing a budget gap of nearly $400 million right now, Bloomberg took this opportunity to raise the congestion pricing plan as a solution, although the News reports he was careful to distance himself a little from pushing the idea too hard, saying, 'Whether you see it in New York or not, I'll leave it up to the state legislature.'



However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, seen as congestion pricing's killer, told NY1 yesterday, "[T]he mayor has added congestion by narrowing streets, by putting benches in the middle of the city—and this was the same mayor who talked about congestion when he was going to build a football stadium in the middle of the most congested part of the city. They've now put park benches in the middle of Times Square, reduced Broadway traffic up and downtown from four lanes down to one or two, and lower Broadway down to one lane. So, he's created congestion just in these traffic patterns that have taken place.'





Add to digg
Email this Article
Add to Facebook
Add to Google



"
blog comments powered by Disqus