A Brief History of New York City Congestion Charging

madisonmall2.jpg
Car-Free lunchtime on Madison Avenue, April 19, 1971. New York City policy-makers haven’t seriously considered traffic reduction since the Lindsay Administration. (Image courtesy of Jeff Zupan)

This week’s New York Magazine publishes a brief timeline of the history of congestion charging in New York City, adapted from a much lengthier article that I reported and wrote a few months ago. I’ll publish the longer piece later today here on Streetsblog. For now, here is New York Magazine’s Unlocking the Gridlock:

It’s traffic week! And not because of holiday shoppers. In the eye of the storm between election cycles, city politicians have exactly one year to tackle one of the most pressing yet sensitive issues there is: congestion. "The gridlock on our streets has become a brake on the city’s economy," asserts Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an association of top city business leaders. This week, hers and a handful of other groups will roll out reports and hold conferences on the topic. Opponents have been prepping for an all-out spin war. A few weeks ago, Walter McCaffrey, a city councilman turned lobbyist, says he was hired by a nascent group calling itself the Committee to Keep New York City Congestion-Tax Free. Wylde says it’s really just "a front" for the Metropolitan Garage Owners Association. (McCaffrey says the New York State Restaurant Association is with him.) Wylde’s report will propose "anything from improved mass transit to road charges."

Read on…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Just in From London: Congestion Charging’s Street Safety Bonus

|
Add street safety to the list of benefits from congestion pricing. That’s the takeaway from a new “working paper” analyzing traffic crash rates in and around the London congestion charging zone by three economists associated with the Management School at Lancaster University. “Traffic Accidents and the London Congestion Charge” slices and dices the monthly changes […]

Congestion Charging on the Horizon for China’s Cities

|
Which Chinese city will be the first to try congestion pricing? Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai — megacities whose populations are on the scale of New York’s? Or second-tier but still mighty cities (think Chicago) like Hangzhou, Nanjing, or Xi’an? Road tolling à la American turnpikes and thruways is already extensive in China, as a means to […]

Stockholm Voters OK Congestion Charging

|
From this morning’s International Herald Tribune: Near-complete results for the Sunday referendum showed that 51.7 percent of Stockholm voters approved the traffic toll, while 45.6 percent voted against it. The congestion fee was contested when city officials introduced it in a seven-month trial that ran between January and July. Public opinion swung in favor of […]

Stockholm: Congestion Charging is Likely to Continue

|
Last month residents of Stockholm, Sweden voted in a citywide referendum to continue that city’s experiment with congestion charging. By charging motorists a fee to drive into the city center, congestion charging had successfully reduced the amount of time Stockholm motorists spent waiting in traffic by 30 to 50 percent while significantly reducing air pollution and providing […]