December 8th, 2006
This is the week, for some reason, where traffic was front and center – and especially one strategy for addressing traffic congestion, congestion pricing, the practice of charging vehicles for driving into a traffic-clogged part of town during peak periods. It is one of the strategies that has been successfully deployed in London, where traffic has decreased 17 percent.
This week saw two separate reports on traffic and congestion pricing — one of which, from the Partnership for New York City, says that traffic congestion costs $13 billion a year in lost productivity – a column by Gotham Gazette’s land use topic page writer Tom Angotti, and a public forum.
It has now received some editorial support, more or less:
“While the idea is politically dead on arrival, a serious study would shed light on the value of congestion pricing here,” writes the Daily News (second editorial). “Would benefits of speedier traffic outweigh the pain of hammering thousands of drivers, many of whom lack viable public transit, for, say, $75 a week? We’re skeptical, very skeptical. But let’s have a look”
An echo in an editorial in Newsday: Even though “Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not ready to push for congestion pricing,” he “should quickly apply for federal funding to study what can be done and how it might work in practice.”
Update: The New York Times has now weighed in as well: “The discussion of how New York might implement a pricing plan is less important right now than keeping it on the table as an option.”By Jonathan Mandell on December 8, 2006, 7:27 am
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