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Congestion Pricing - Are you for or against it?



  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Good point. And to those people that oppose government meddling, how about this? Let's take the complete opposite approach and turn our roadways over to the private sector. How much would they charge to drive the streets of Manhattan?

    I'm not opposed to government programs. I'd like to see people have food, shelter, clothing, education, health care and maybe a few other things. Driving the streets of Manhattan is not going to make my list of entitlements. In fact owning and driving a vehicle wont make the list either. So if the price of driving starts getting too expensive my suggestion is either stop driving or get a better job.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Turning public roads into private enterprise is just around the corner. That's what it looks like is going to happen to the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike. Rather than a sale, which was the original idea, it would be a long term lease with the expectation of significantly higher tolls.

    That one affects me much more than the Manhattan idea, especially since the part of NJ that I live in has few alternate routes.

    This all strikes me as a slippery slope.

    I will say that I've seen a privately owned bridge that worked just fine down in Florida. Out in teh panhandle there's an island that just had ferry service. The folks wanted a bridge in the worst way but teh state kept turning them down. They finally formed their own bridge authority, floated bonds and built the bridge. The state liked it so much they wanted to buy it but were turned down by the authority.

    Truth be told if the Manhattan plan goes through I'd likely not change my habits. I don't go often enough to make it a significant expense - and Philly will still be free.... Oh, and the toll you pay to get into NYC would be counted towards the mid-town fee.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    It might work in places like NYC that have an excellent public transit system. However, if you live in Philadelphia with a poor system like SEPTA, you're screwed. My second job requires reliable transportation - that definately does not mean SEPTA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I think the public transportation system in America is a disgrace.


  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    To be fair, there hasn't been an incentive for it to be good. Cheap gas, high incomes and one huge country have historically seen to that.

    It will be interesting to see how much of a positive effect ("externality") that congestion pricing will have on public transportation in the areas where it's implemented.

    The London Underground is already a great system (though at 6 bucks a one-way ticket, it oughta be...), but I'd bet that the congestion pricing helped it be better.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,975
    I think the public transportation system in America is a disgrace

    I blame the road and highway builders lobby and AAA.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well it might have helped if General Motors didn't buy up the Los Angeles intercity rail system, tear up the tracks, and dump the rail cars into the ocean. Yeah, it's true, it really happened.

    But they did sell Los Angeles some buses!


  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    This "lane leasing" idea is also in effect in Britain. The one thing that it has done is produce really well-maintained roadways. In general, I feel that most tasks that government performs, private industry could do better & cheaper.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    They will be hard pressed to improve on the Garden State Parkway. Considering the volume of traffic it sees the condition is amazing.

    The turnpike on the other hand could probably be contracted to a kindergarten class and not run any worse.

    If they are going to lease these things out I;d like to see some accountability built in. Without it these are just an invitation to print money.

    I agree that public transit is mostly an abomination and for the reasons mentioned - high paying lobbyists to keep it at bay, lack of public will, cheap and plentiful gasoline... Most of us would take our won car anywhere rather than use mass transit.
  • arm51arm51 Posts: 4
    Congestion Charging is an interesting beast. I can understand how you would want to charge more or less depending on the fuel economy\size\CO2 emissions of the vehicle, but there is a point where it won't affect the amount of people bringing in high emissions cars into a congestion zone. If we look at London, one of the main reasons that Congestion Charging has worked is because of the Tube (as has been stated earlier). However, in London I believe that if you register your vehicle as a minicab, you don't have to pay the Congestion Charge. I may be wrong on this, but that is what I have heard. Also, the current push by Red Ken to increase the charge by up to £25 is ridiculous. Porsche has already stated that they would like a judicial review of the pricing proposal.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    Quadruple the fines for being ticketed during the congestion periods. :(
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,744
    Just could be the next cause of flight from the cities. Maybe living in a State that epitomized urban flight I might be tainted. Because at one time traffic in the city made it too hard to find parking so all the business started moving to malls and industrial parks. It seemed as if there was some movement back to the cities in the last few years. But if people are going to have to pay higher fees just to enter the cities why bother? Years ago I passed up a promotion working for Xerox because I would have to transfer to Santa Monica. Parking would have been a pain and housing was higher than the rest of the surrounding area.

    Unless you have a reasonable public transportation like London you are punishing the working person.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    As someone who lives in NYC, and lived in Manhattan for several years.... and owned/parked a car there!, this whole thing is multi-faceted. When I was paying $300 each month to park I kinda sucked it up... I could have done what friends did, and parked the car 30 minutes away, in a lot in Brooklyn or above 96th street and cut that in half, however convenience, my inability to manage a real schedule, and a demanding job made the lot in the basement of my apartment building "worth it."

    Now I live on Staten Island, and have no choice but a toll bridge if I want to drive off the island - was my choice to move to SI, got more room, diff QOL, etc, so it was "worth it."

    In theory, I understand cong pricing... in fairness, what I do for a living means I spend a ton of time in places other than midtown, and to be blunt, when I go in I have the option of billing it all as expenses. I see this costing the city: many of the folks who drive in are your middle/upper management driving in from LI, Westchester, and NJ. They are not going to stop driving in. They might stop buying lunch, they might choose to telecommute more often. They might choose to work from the satellite office. So they will be choosing not to spend time/money in the city.

    What I hope is that measures like this drive more companies to understand that a centralized workforce, built around the "9-5" schedule is obsolete and counterproductive. The infrastructure exists for remote access to networks, decentralized (and productive) workers, less congestion, AND cleaner air.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,221
    Mike Bloomberg's grand plan to get his billionaire hand into the pockets of hard working men and women went down in flames today as the NYS legislature refused to even vote on the measure. The plan is now considered DOA for the time being.

    Perhaps if the crooked pols who run New York State and NYC would stop stealing our money to pay for their hookers and to put their girl/boyfriends on the state payroll there would be money for improved mass transit. As it stands, every time there is a need for funding these bozos come up with a new fee (tax). Bloomberg can fly to work in his own helicopter so why should he care if we go broke getting to work.


    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    And New York's loss is (possibly) Colorado's gain.

    Now that New York state won't be getting the $350 million from the federal government, the feds are now looking at alternative projects that could use the funding.

    One of these projects is the widening of the Boulder Turnpike (aka US 36) from Boulder to the Denver suburbs. Possible uses include adding lanes (only 2 each way at the moment) or a dedicated car pool / HOV lane.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    they recently floated the very interesting proposal to initiate a congestion charge on one approach to the City (the one leading from the Golden Gate Bridge) in order to pay for its repair. Since it is a state highway (highway 101) it seemed outrageous to introduce a special fee to repair it, and so far it is bogged down over this issue.

    To me, the more pertinent issue is how can it be a congestion charge if it doesn't penalize everyone entering a certain area? Under the proposal, entering SF from the east bay would not have incurred the charge, so the fee targeted the people in the bedroom communities north of the bridge.

    How does the NY proposal work? Is it similar to London, where a circle is drawn around downtown on the map and everyone inside it has to pay?

    In principle, I am FOR that type of charge in the few places mentioned previously that have (a) a huge downtown congestion problem; and (b) very effective public transit. From what I know of the U.S., I could count the cities that qualify on one hand: NY, Boston (I base this one on third-party info), Chicago, SF, and....???? Someone mentioned DC?

    Also, has anyone studied what traffic and parking are like just outside the boundary of the congestion zone? Do lots of people drive as far as they can drive and then hit the transit only once it would cost them to drive any further downtown? If so, that stinks for the residents and businesses around there, doesn't it?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    The New York idea struck me as nuts. It was kind of like the London plan except rather than a circle they just drew a line across and said if you're below this line it's $8. Funny thing - the crossings from New Jersey, with the exception of the George Washington Bridge, all are south of the line so that the moment you hit the city you've been nailed. This would effectively end any voluntary visits to the city for me.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Yes, but at least they defined an area. The SF proposal only defines a road that will carry the charge.

    Even if they manage to get the idea to fly in its current form, which is highly unlikely, they won't succeed in their goal because people will just cross two bridges to reach the City, thereby bypassing the surcharge (and still saving money, even though they have to pay two bridge tolls). They need to delineate an area which represents the toll zone, regardless of which direction you enter it from.

    And they are chasing those same federal funds here with this cockamamey plan that it sounds like they are in NY.

    And of course, the folks that would be impacted by the fee in its current form are the only ones NOT living in a part of the bay with train access to downtown. Brilliant. There is ferry service, so maybe they see that as an acceptable substitute.

    And folks who actually live in SF will never have to pay the fee. I believe with the London plan even city residents that live outside the zone pay the fee if they enter the zone.

    One final note: in SF we have already made the parking so limited and so expensive that most workday commuters ALREADY use the trains and buses. That might be a better approach to reducing congestion than this charge, which makes things difficult for tourists and the like. Tourism is an important component of the economy in San Francisco.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,221
    "...And New York's loss is (possibly) Colorado's gain..."

    Wrong! If the whole congestion pricing scam was just chasing federal dollars we all lose. Where does federal funding come from? Our pockets! It's just a different pocket they are stealing it from. I am just amazed that people still think that there is free government money. :cry:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    One final note: in SF we have already made the parking so limited and so expensive that most workday commuters ALREADY use the trains and buses. That might be a better approach to reducing congestion than this charge, which makes things difficult for tourists and the like.

    Agree. When there is enough congestion, the price of gas is high-enough, and the private sector prices parking based on congestion factors, you have sufficient factors to deter more people from entering an area in cars.

    Government and its added costs are not needed. I think congestion is just another issue that government thinks they need to intervene in, and a method to increase their revenues and find jobs for their cronies.

    Personally I already avoid going into Boston due to the traffic and expenses. Why would we want the government in our wallets again? That is masochistic.
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