Do Not Drive to Manhattan

In what is surely going to become a political hot-potato, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going ahead full steam with his plan to decongest Manhattan by introducing congestion pricing.

The NYTimes ran a big article yesterday on this topic and covered the spectrum of viewpoints on this issue.

Mayor Bloomberg’s fast-advancing plan to charge drivers $8 to drive in the most congested parts of Manhattan may seem geared mostly toward the suburbanites whom many blame for Manhattan’s perpetually snarled weekday traffic.

Personally I am not sure if I do agree with the plan in its implementation, however good it be in concept.

Under the plan, cars would pay $8 and trucks $21 to enter Manhattan below 86th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

If I live in Manhattan below 60th street, I should be able to drive around as I see fit. However in the mayor’s plan I will not be able to do so. I will be charged a certain amount of money to even move my car to the other side of the street for alternate side street cleaning.

They plan to monitor this by putting cameras all over the city at intersections and then software will convert images of license plates into invoices that you will receive by email for all the times you drove the car.

Privacy issues aside, I think this is crazy. It is completely unfair to be charged to drive inside the city if you are already inside, or are a resident. Yes by all means charge those who drive in from outside. But not those who live and call the island their home.

I hope the plan gets modified and they figure out a better way to enforce this.

Otherwise, I am getting a vendor license and will start selling this. And makes lots of money.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jeof (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 12:03 am

    In London they’ve had congestion fees for a few years now – and while it’s worked to reduce traffic some (where Bloomie got the idea), they have a different fee structure for Londoners living inside the C-zone … something like 50-pence a day. If there going to do this in NY, they need to address that type of solution as well. (Though considering the costs of insurance, garages, gas, and the ubiquity of public transport and solutions like Zip Car – why anyone would have a car in Manhattan is beyond me, but hey to each his own.)

  2. Nice Kicks (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    I have been to NYC only once and there is no way I could ever drive in Manhattan. I swear one can walk much faster than driving.

  3. Kathleen (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

    As mentioned above, the London solution would work better for those who live in the affected zone. If I am understanding this correctly, you would get charged the fee while using Zipcar, rental, your own car, etc., correct? So the cost of using these other solutions for people who do not own a car will go up as well, even if they are starting out inside the affected zone and leaving the area. For example, if I drive from Manhattan to New Jersey for work, and I leave after 6 am, will I be charged a fee?

  4. Tracey (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

    I definitely agree with you that it makes sense to have a different rate for those who live inside the city. But even for New Yorkers, I think some kind of driving deterrent is not a bad idea. With a good public transportation system that’s cheap and energy efficient, why drive? The only time I feel the need for a car is when I need to leave the city.

  5. Kathleen (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

    Tracey: Yeah, that’s what I mean – I only drive when I need to leave the city. So if they want to charge the money, why not do it at entry points to the city or entry points to the zone in question, instead of this wacky license-plate thing? I guess it’s not easy to figure out no matter how you slice it.

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