NY State Congestion Pricing
by James Carsey
Driving into Manhattan for work, a Broadway show, or dinner at your favorite restaurant may come with an added cost in the near future but if all goes as planned, the imposed fees will improve the quality of life for many New York City residents and visitors.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Congestion Pricing Plan, part of a larger 20-point agenda for the state of New York, was delivered earlier this year but is not expected to start until 2021. The Congestion Pricing Plan aims to reduce traffic congestion in key areas of Manhattan by imposing fees on cars and trucks that enter the borough below 60th Street. The funds collected from the pricing will benefit the New York City public transit system by making long overdue system upgrades.
Like many public issues that affect our wallets, the congestion pricing plan has its share of supporters and opponents.
- Fewer cars, in theory, will produce less pollution.
- Helps reduce the social cost of driving on Manhattan’s infrastructure.
- Fewer cars on city streets will cut down on travel time.
- Increase in GDP. Traffic congestion in urban cities lowers GDP by as much as 3.50%.
- Create more pedestrian and bike friendly areas within the borough of Manhattan.
- Expensive program to administrate.
- Lost revenue for businesses in the proposed congestion pricing zone.
- Promotes social inequity by imposing a tax on a segment of the poor population.
- More people will use public transit which will overburden the system further.
- Adds another tax to an ongoing list of taxes that residents already pay.
London, Stockholm, and Singapore are successful international models to follow however, New York would be the first city in America to launch the program. Congestion pricing is a bold plan with plenty of criticism but the benefits are positive. The environmentally-friendly measure will save on fuel costs, reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality for millions of New Yorkers. Follow the issue as the details emerge from Albany and New York City.
Sustainable Transportation and Healthy Public Spaces
- Complete Streets
As in the rest of the nation, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow have faced recurring pressures from conventional development that have had substantial impacts on local traffic, village character and the natural environment. As in the rest of the nation, the detrimental impact of auto-centric, sprawl-based development is no longer possible to ignore.
The Complete Streets movement is a national effort of planners and community activists to reclaim our streets for all users — including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Read more about this movement at sustainabletarrytowns.org