This past Friday, a coalition of business, civic, & labor organizations known as Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free released alternatives to Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. The goal of the coalition’s plan is to ease traffic in Manhattan’s central business district. Their plan calls for the following:
- Increased meter parking (Including introducing metered parking on streets where you can currently park for free)
- Expansion of taxi stands
- Raising parking ticket fines (Mainly increases to fines that cause congestion such as double parking, blocking intersections, etc…)
- Reducing the number of parking permits issued to city employees
- Adjusting traffic signals to help traffic flow smoothly
- Creating traffic information updates that can be sent to electronic devices
The coalition sent their plan to the same commission in charge of studying Mayor Bloomberg’s plan. The coalition claims their plan would generate more money for mass transit than the mayor’s plan. They claim their plan would cut congestion anywhere between 7 to 11 percent compared to only 6.3% in Mayor Bloomberg’s plan.
Mayor Bloomberg was quick to respond to the coalition’s report. He ridiculed the report on his weekly radio address hours after it was released on Friday. He argues that the coalition’s plan only looks at half the equation while his plan encompasses the entire situation. He also shared the following quote:
“So people that come up with a solution say there’ll be fewer cars coming in _ yeah that’s great, but that’s half the problem. Where’s the money come from for the other side?”
Walter McCaffrey, a spokesman for Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free had this to say:
“Real and better alternatives exist to reduce traffic congestion more effectively and comprehensively without any need to implement a drastic plan which will disrupt the lives of many residents, senior citizens, working people and small businesses in our city.”
Personally I do not support any sort of congestion pricing plan. I have made my feelings known in this entry.