Monday, April 23, 2007

Congestion pricing in New York City

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg unveiled a plan to reduce New York's contribution to global warming. As a one-time Manhattan resident (and life-long NYC lover), I'm all for the greening of the great city.

Among the 127 proposals is congestion pricing in Manhattan below 86th Street. As in London, Stockholm, and Singapore today, in the near future, it will cost you a daily fee to drive your private car on Manhattan streets. Revenue generated will fund mass transit.

But, how does it matter to us here in Red Sox nation?

It's a harbinger of what's to come.

One day, Boston's going to have some similar scheme to reduce driving to and within downtown and the Back Bay. In Newton, we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure to get additional Newtonians into Boston by train, trolley, bus, and bike. (We're going to need improvements to that infrastructure even without congestion pricing. The combination of the Mass Pike tunnel to South Boston and cheap surface parking makes it relatively attractive to drive to downtown from Newton. As South Boston develops, the cheap parking is going to go away, making it a lot less attractive.)

And, an aggressive plan to reduce private car travel in New York City indicates that the threat of global warming is serious enough that we're going to have to confront the problem in Newton, too. It's not only big cities that have to reduce traffic volume.

In Newton, we have to start thinking about development patterns, traffic and parking policies, regional mass transit initiatives, and anything else that will reduce our dependence on cars and trucks.

There isn't going to be a single, massive cure to what is now universally recognized as a problem. We have to make lots of incremental, coordinated steps.

1 comment:

Little Blue PD said...

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion & Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg? Check out the map!

Check it out!


Little Blue PD