Streams

The Price is Right

Friday, June 08, 2007

Kathryn Wylde, President and C.E.O. of the Partnership for New York City, then, Kelly McMillan, chief of staff for Richard Brodsky, New York State assemblyman (D-86th District-Westchester County), debate the pros and cons of congestion pricing.

Guests:

Kelly McMillan and Kathryn Wylde

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Comments [14]

Geoff Lee from NYC Manhattan

Instead of taxing commuters with congestion pricing, Bloomberg should first eliminate illegal parking abuse by government workers, including NYPD, with parking placards. NO PERMIT ZONES means permits are not allowed. The City has lost countless millions on meter parking alone because of illegal parking permit abuse. Congestion would be greatly reduced by strict enforcement of NO PERMIT ZONE laws and enforcement of restricted use and distribution of parking placards - many, many THOUSANDS of parking abusers would become mass transit commuters = less congestion, less pollution, and millions more in daily meter money for the City.

Jun. 08 2007 11:20 PM
Santo from Crown Heights

Who are these people who won't mind shelling out 8 dollars per ride into manhattan? are you new yorkers CRAZZYYY?????? you gotta be kidding me. You want me to in addition to metrocard, etc, spend 8 bucks a ride in addition to the tolls i might pay during the week like the verezzano etc? Mayor Bloomberg is a bandit, and NYC citizens are suckers, as they watch this. Probably the reason for this is so they can watch the world now as they enter manhattan. In the meantime, we as new yorkers are getting soaked. Doesn't anyone care about this?????????

Jun. 08 2007 12:25 PM
Jody from Brooklyn

Regarding Singapore, they call this system the "big brother." The system is enforced by a network of cameras and RFID tags or equiv. technology. Traffic moves well in Singapore. Most people take the subway for what I saw were 3 reasons. First, the subway is very clean, modern, connected and there is a timetable where trains run on a schedule. Second, there is also a system of services below ground from shopping, health services and eating. And third, the cost of obtaining a driver's license, from what I was told, could be as much as 100K. The buses are not populated like the subway and there are few taxis. From what I saw, it was the "haves" on the streets and the "have nots" underground on the subways. Not something I'd like to see in NYC.

The Singapore toll is taken in very specific area's of congestion, unlike the NYC proposal for points of entry below a specific street, focusing on cars in specific traffic problem areas, not cars coming from specific locations. Tolls are calculated on a time basis which relates more to addressing congestion issues than a flat fee.

Jun. 08 2007 11:06 AM
Commuter Guy from Brooklyn


This past year my wife and I were finally priced out of Manhattan. We run a small business supplying visual elements(props) and packageing to the retail fashion industry. Were once we could take samples to clients using a cab, now we must have a car. Having to move out of the city center has actually increased our "carbon footprint". It is no joy sitting in traffic already, not to mention the condition of the roads leading in and out of the city. I cannot imagine the increased congestion at the bridges and tunnels if this idea takes effect. In addition a small business such as ours cannot neccesarily pass on the additional overhead. We already feel penalized for not having the million $ to stay in Manhattan, how much will we have saved at $21/day. I was all for something like congestion pricing when we lived in Manhattan, now I see the other side, literally. Will this actually relieve any congestion, or just put money into the city's coffers.
M.Meyers

Jun. 08 2007 11:05 AM
Be from Manhattan

If Bloomberg were serious about reducing traffic it would actually enforce the traffic laws. Police ignore cars going through red lights, and sitting in the box. City buses are the worst offenders. THe MTA should instruct bus drivers to never even attempt to go through an intersection unless it can make it through all of the way. Blockages of intersections are responsible for more than half the congestion.

And if Bloomberg and the city were actually serious about all of this, they would not be cracking down on bicyclists, by arresting them and writing tickets, with selective enforcement of traffic laws. The city needs to remove parking spaces on one side of every street and add dedicated bus and bike lanes. THAT would decrease the number of cars in the city.

People who need to drive into the city are going to continue to do so. Those who are wealthy will be unfazed, but those who not wealthy and on fixed incomes, and do not live near public transportation will be hurt by this plan. NYC certainly needs to have less cars, but there are better alternatives.

Jun. 08 2007 10:54 AM
gino from brooklyn

I think if you are going to create a tax of going to the city there should also be a way of encouraging people to not use cars, such as discounts for people who walk or ride their bikes over the bridges. Maybe they get an EZ pass for the bridge that then transfers to an account where they get free subway rides or tax breaks for NOT polluting. We always think of creating new laws to keep people from doing things (where the government enjoys more revenue) instead of offering incentives to people for doing good things for everyone.

why is this never discussed?

Jun. 08 2007 10:52 AM
Mike from Bronx, NY

The congestion pricing plan is more than fair to drivers (and I say this as a car owner, albeit one who rarely drives and usually bikes or takes the subway when entering Manhattan). As things currently stand 2 people taking the subway roundtrip will pay a total of $8. If you take the LIRR or Metro-North you're paying even more. Congestion pricing will evens things out. Two people from Jersy in a car currently pay a total of $6 to enter the city...why should they pay less than me and a friend taking the train from the Bronx?

Jun. 08 2007 10:49 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Why is it that everything proposed by the mayor for the "public good" is a major revenue generator for the city? Why not re-institute the HOV restriction for rush hour? When this was in place, the traffic situation was great! Why not enforce regulations that help traffic congestion? Double parking; pedestrians bum-rushing intersections at the "don't walk" sign thereby stopping traffic for blocks; ease rather than tighten parking restrictions so that double parking is reduced and the number of people circling the blocks creeping along looking for parking is reduced. Further, why not encourage more fuel efficient and space saving vehicles like motorcycles and scooters? You can fit 8-10 two wheeled vehicles in a space earmarked for a car. But there is no leniency on parking for these vehicles. Just seems like the mayor's plan, while holding some merrit, is motivated more by revenue generation than by real concern for the city health.

Jun. 08 2007 10:39 AM
Ann from New York

I don't buy the argument that congestion pricing is classist/ discriminates against folks with lower income, since (by own anecdotal estimates living and traveling throughout NYC) these citizens are not the folks driving or using taxis in Manhattan. Of course, this impression is not based on statistics, only experience on NYC streets.

Jun. 08 2007 10:36 AM
Blackie from Bronx

I totally support the charge! It is way more expensive to own a car in NY. My insurance is about $1200 a year! It costs about $25 to take the train in from Stamford. Privacy? Who cares! I have EasyPass and a cell phone so the Gov. can pretty much track me where-ever I go. Not to mention Google maps with the street view! I care about fewer trucks in Manhattan, fewer cars and more street life! I care about less pollution. I care about mass transit.

Jun. 08 2007 10:34 AM
Michael Moreno from Middle Village

This is just another excuse to turn NYC into an (even more) elitist island. Corporations get massive tax breaks, affordable housing in Manhattan is disappearing, now this. $21 per day is hurtful to small businesses. To add insult to injury, the MTA plans fare increases. Yes, Bloomberg is looking out for his own people.

Jun. 08 2007 10:30 AM
Paul from Manhattan

It isn't clear to me how the plan will decrease traffic. As I understand it the amount charged to drive downtown will be deducted from the amount paid as bridge and tunnel tolls. That seems to be the difference between the situations in NYC and London. Here most people are already paying to drive downtown, and yet, still there is a congestion problem. If a commuter is already paying $6 to cross the GW Bridge, will s/he leave his car at home just to save $2? As for those of us who live in Manhattan, I, for example, only drive downtown when I really need to (traffic and the lack of parking motivates me not to drive). And, I, too, will pay the $8, because I'm already using the car only out of some real necessity. So the city raises money, but how does it decrease congestion?

Maybe a 'luxury' tax on parking is the solution.

Jun. 08 2007 10:25 AM
frances from brooklyn

1.when abroad in europe i am often surprised by the fact that i simply don't see delivery trucks during the day. has the possibility of limiting delivery times come up in discussions?

2.i heard that the amount of city workers who drive to work is much higher than the rest of us, which i suspect is right given the fact that in brooklyn and downtown new york there are entire streets with no parking signs fully parked with cars that have special permits on their windshields. has there been any discussion about these priviledged few taking mass transportation into the city?

Jun. 08 2007 10:24 AM
Arleigh Hartkopf from NJ

Next time you do a piece on congestion pricing find someone to talk about Singapore. I don't know all the details of their system, but here is what I remember from a conversation with a cab driver there about five years ago:

All taxis (and I think also all private cars) have an EZPass type transponder. So all the obvious stuff like bridge and highway tolls can be automatically collected. Beyond this, there are designated high-congestion areas in the city where drivers pay a minute-by-minute surcharge while they are inside the area during the day. And of course, this being Singapore, the speed limits (at least on the toll roads) are enforced by monitoring the transponders.

Jun. 08 2007 08:48 AM

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