Congestion pricing in Manhattan

London Congestion Pricing SignBloomberg is floating the idea of congestion pricing for cars driving below 60th during rush hour. A Quinnipiac poll suggests that the only people who actually favor the plan (naturally) are those living in Manhattan. The outer boroughs are not amused.

New York certainly wouldn’t be the first to do this: London, San Diego, and Singapore, I believe, all require cars to pay for a permit to drive within particular zones. In fact, London has recently been dealing with the possibility of increased fees and growing zones.

I love the idea of charging people to use the roads when they are most crowded. It just makes good sense. (I also support closing Central Park to cars.) New York, unlike most cities in the US, has a pretty good public transportation system. And New Yorkers make good use of that system. It’s not our problem if people in Queens don’t want to ride the subway in.

But more than all of this, I really like the idea of using this as a way to encourage people to use alternative vehicles. In London, you can get a waiver if you have an alternative vehicle. If pricing was similar, and you drove your car in the city a lot, you could see a three thousand dollar a year bonus for driving an electric car.

I really hope that Bloomberg pushes for this. As he says, anything that improves the quality of life in the city is worth it.

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