Plan to relieve Manhattan gridlock with tolls gains momentum

NEW YORK (AP) — Bumper-to bumper, horn-honking visitors via Manhattan streets is about as New York as bagels and Broadway. A plan to ease that drawback is tapping into one other mainstay of metropolis life: excessive driving tolls.

The thought, referred to as “congestion pricing,” includes utilizing digital tolling know-how to cost charges to automobiles getting into probably the most closely trafficked elements of city throughout sure hours.

Some huge cities already do it, together with Singapore, Stockholm and London, the place it may possibly value greater than $15 to drive into the town middle throughout peak durations.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed it for New York a decade in the past and acquired a agency rejection from lawmakers who stated drivers headed into Manhattan already get slammed sufficient by bridge and freeway tolls and excessive parking charges.

However with the town’s subway system deteriorating, and politicians in search of methods to pay for a repair, the idea has gotten new life.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who stated final summer time that “congestion pricing” is an concept whose time has come, might unveil a plan to implement a system as early as subsequent week. A spokesman for the governor stated a committee, referred to as FixNY, is finalizing suggestions.

Alex Matthiessen, director of the MoveNY marketing campaign — probably the most vocal advocate for congestion pricing — says New York would grow to be the primary metropolis in the USA to cost drivers beneath such a system, however stated others like San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles are paying shut consideration.

“We’ve a full-blown disaster,” Matthiessen stated. “Our subway system is severely underfunded; it’s fairly unreliable, there are delays and overcrowding and the state of affairs is probably harmful. No different concept has the dual advantage of additionally tackling a really extreme visitors drawback.”

There are nonetheless loads of roadblocks.

Democratic New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated he likes the thought of getting automobiles off the road however isn’t satisfied excessive tolls is the best way to do it.

“I feel there are critical equity points in relation to congestion pricing,” he stated at a current information convention, citing the monetary burden on drivers who can’t afford tolls as simply as the various millionaires who name Manhattan residence. De Blasio has stated he prefers coping with the subway’s monetary issues by imposing greater revenue taxes on the wealthy.

Key particulars, like how a lot it may cost, or the place, precisely, drivers may get hit with the tolls have but to be unveiled. Bloomberg’s plan…

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