It’s a day late, but I have to link to the hugely important
speech by Michael Bloomberg in which he announced that
New York City was going to introduce an $8 weekday congestion charge. The way
that Bloomberg was speaking, the congestion charge is all but a done deal –
and what’s more, it has federal backing! Reports the NYT:
The city said yesterday that it intended to seek state approval for a three-year
test of congestion pricing and would need to spend $225 million to buy and
install traffic-recording equipment. Officials said the city and state could
jointly apply for grants from the United States Department of Transportation
to cover those costs.
“The federal government really does want to be helpful,” Mr. Bloomberg
said, in a rare departure from his prepared text.
Goodyear has the Streetsblog roundup, which shows how deeply-felt this issue
During the standing ovation that capped things off, one woman was heard shouting,
"Bloomberg for President!"
"What, you want another Republican?" her companion asked her.
"I don’t care what the label is," she said. "I’d vote for him."
And support is coming even from unlikely places:
The Nassau County executive, Thomas R. Suozzi, who has many constituents
who commute by car to Manhattan, also was enthusiastic. “People’s
first reaction is they don’t want to pay,” he said. “But
getting them to switch to mass transit benefits us all.”
When a Nassau County executive supports a Republican’s congestion pricing plan,
I think that’s a sign that it’s an idea whose time has come.