While it seems unlikely a bill like this would ever get passed, but just the idea that the City Hall is considering some sort of toll for drivers to enter the city and create more congestion makes us excited. The NY Times looks at how various groups are looking at using congestion pricing in NYC to encourage people to use mass transit and carpools, versus driving their cars in and thereby promoting traffic, increasing cancer-causing agents, and slowing down buses. The Partnership for New York City, which is run by city business leaders, has been investigating the proposition for many months, and the ideas are still in the works (some highways would be free - FDR, West Side Highway - but driving in some parts of the city would be less expensive than others...and it's unclear whether city driver would have to pay a flat fee for keeping a car in a the city or get a discount versus commercial drivers) - read the article, it's all very fascinating stuff. This quote from Ernert Tollerson of the Partnership says it all:
"Is there an opportunity to create a congestion-relief zone that would help this global city? This is a city that wants to add tens of thousands of jobs, but we can't continue to build streets and roads. For the long-term growth of the city, we need demand-management tools."
The Bloomberg administration says this is not a part of its second term agenda, but you never know, now that he's in office. The article also notes that London has used congestion pricing with success (more from the BBC) and it's an idea that other U.S. cities like.
Congestion pricing is a big part of what Nobel Prize-winning economist William Vickrey studied. Vickrey won the Nobel in 1996 while teaching at Columbia...and then he died three days later while driving on the highway (those were high and low times in the econ department). Gothamist likes to think that he's smiling right now.