Parking Reform Alone Won’t Solve Congestion

Room Eight contributor and Streetsblog commenter Larry Littlefield has a thorough critique of the congestion pricing alternatives released last week by anti-pricing group Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free. 

Proponents of congestion pricing, who would probably otherwise support
many the alternative’s ideas, immediately blasted it for being what it
probably is –- a red herring designed to ensure that nothing 203396002_f378185804.jpghappens,
existing privileges are maintained, and problems are not solved, but
the public is confused about who is to blame and thus just shrugs its
shoulders. The typical Albany win over the public, in other words.
Still, there is enough of interest in the proposal that it deserves a
thoughtful review, and such a review finds that it is essentially an
extension of current policies, and has the same hole as those policies. 

Since most of these are sensible measures they shouldn’t be rejected
out of hand. But they don’t do anything to discourage through traffic,
an issue the opponents acknowledge. Even so, the congestion pricing opponents, in recommending variable
tolls for peak and non-peak hours and higher costs for parking have
accepted the concept of using pricing to limit the over-use of a scarce
resource, a large leap for them to make if they have in fact made it.
Perhaps they should be given a little credit rather than just ignored.

Here is the complete article

Photo: roinks/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

T.A. Responds to ‘Keep NYC Congestion’ Plan

|
Media release from Transportation Alternatives:  Transportation Alternatives ("T.A."), New York City’s advocate for cycling, walking and environmentally sensible transportation, has raised serious questions about the motives and efficacy of a proposed alternative to congestion pricing that has been presented to the New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission. "It’s ironic that Transportation Alternatives should have to […]

Congestion Pricing Should be Attached to Parking Reform

|
The daily scene on SoHo’s Crosby Street, jammed with illegally parked government employees. The Observer reported on Wednesday that Walter McCaffrey’s Committee to Keep New York City Congestion Tax Free recently solicited UCLA parking policy guru Donald Shoup to do a study of curbside parking policy in New York. Carolyn Konheim, a Brooklyn-based transportation consultant […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

|
Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]

Weiner on the Environment: Big Talk, Small Stick

|
Where’s the beef? Under Rep. Anthony Weiner’s plan, vehicles, like the one above, would not be charged a fee to use New York City’s most heavily congested streets On Monday evening, just hours before the federal government’s announcement that it would give New York City $354.5 million to kick-start Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. […]

Pricing Alternatives Fail the “Reality Test”

|
A side-by-side comparison of PlaNYC congestion pricing and alternatives offered by pricing opponents shows that the Bloomberg proposal is the only one that would have an immediate impact on auto traffic while improving transit. Further, the report concludes that plans put forth by Congressman Anthony Weiner, Council Member Lew Fidler, and Keep NYC Congestion Tax […]