Yesterday, the Partnership for New York City released it's monster report (here's the PDF) that discusses how traffic congestion costs our region $13 billion a year. Here are some key points, from the PCNY's press release:
- The primary cause for traffic congestion across the city and the region is the density of economic activity in the Manhattan Central Business Districts, which drive a $901 billion regional economy.
- 3.6 million people travel into Manhattan south of 60th Street each weekday, a third of them in cars, trucks or taxis.
- Delays endured by commuters, workers and other travelers annually cost some $5 billion to $6.5 billion in lost time and productivity and up to $2 billion in wasted fuel and other vehicle operating costs.
- Traffic delays add to logistical, inventory and personnel costs that annually amount to an estimated $1.9 billion in additional costs of doing business and $4.6 billion in unrealized business revenue each year.
- There is a net loss in regional economic output of at least $3.2 to $4 billion annually due to loss of productivity, with the greatest losses concentrated in Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island.
- Other world cities, many of which are competitors with New York for business investment and job creation, are moving aggressively to reduce the burden that traffic places on economic activity.
The report recommends that the city investigate adding a congestion tax for cars, as well as increasing parking fees, adding more ferry service and designing better freight loading facilities.
The Sun reports that PCNY's Kathryn Wylde said she would be meeting with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff to discuss federal funding to study traffic-reducing solutions" this week. But, even though he admitted traffic is terrible and is expensive, Mayor Bloomberg doesn't think a congestion pricing plan for New York will ever be implemented: "The politics of a commuter tax in Albany are probably such that we would never get it passed. And what I want to do is focus on those things that we can get passed to help our city." Nice work, Bloomberg - defaulting to the "blame Albany" excuse works every time!
This study from the PCNY stems from its initial mention of congestion pricing last year which got everyone - except City Hall - super excited. And this photograph was taken yesterday in Florida, where Mayor Bloomberg met up with Governor Jeb Bush promote education reform.
Photograph of Mayor Bloomberb sitting amongst fourth graders at a Miramar, FL elementary school by J. Pat Carter/AP