Tuesday: Congestion Pricing Town Hall

Congestion pricing has gained support in the state legislature, and could pass this year. Council members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine are holding a town hall meeting on Tuesday at John Jay College to discuss the details.

Congestion pricing involves charging drivers for entering Manhattan’s central business district, with tolls likely being set up around 60th Street and at other entry points. Some residents have expressed concern that drivers fro the burbs will park their cars in the neighborhood, to avoid the charge, so local officials have discussed possible resident parking permits.

NEWS | 38 comments | permalink
    1. N says:

      As proposed congestion pricing will not raise revenue from commuters already paying bridge and tunnel tolls – it will mostly raise revenue on people who live in manhattan and are using cars to get around. This seems unfair to manhattan residents. Additionally it will push some demand for parking outside of the congestion zone, raising already ludicrous garage prices in residential areas.

      Congestion pricing should be limited to commercial vehicles and all commercial vehicles should be required to pay regardless of the bridge and tunnel tolls.

      • Juan says:

        Beware the law of not-so-unintended consequences – if commercial vehicles have to pay more money, get ready to pay more for groceries and everything else – they still need to make a profit so will pass along the cost to you, the consumer.

        Kind of like how people get so upset about out of control delivery drivers (which I agree is a huge problem) but then complain that their takeout Chinese is 2 minutes late. You can’t have it both ways.

      • miasanmiausa says:

        why do you need a car in Manhattan? Why do you think you should be able to store that car for free on the street?

        • David Vassar says:

          Streets ultimately are public space. Our longstanding tolerance of the abuse of this public asset as free/cheap storage for privately owned vehicles is beyond outrageous given all the deaths, crippling injuries, pollution, and noise caused by these many thousands of multi-ton manslaughter machines. NYC, like cities and towns throughout America, has to reclaim and reallocate this asset for protected cycling infrastructure and safer streets for ALL. And on roads of any substantial width we should install tree-planted medians/pedestrian islands as well as curb extensions to ensure safer crossings, especially for kids and seniors.

          • Sassojr says:

            Hyperbole much? If cars really were multi-ton (nearly all are less than 2 tons) manslaughter machines, they’re pretty inefficient at that (1.4M cars to 200 deaths). We could go the other way and call them independent rapid people movers, but that also accomplishes nothing. Let’s stick to facts.

    2. Sherman says:

      Maybe Levine and Rosenthal should put an electrified fence around the UWS and erect a guard tower to keep out people who don’t live here.

      Having neighborhood parking permits will be a bureaucratic mess and a waste of time and money to enforce. It will also unfairly penalize visitors to the neighborhood.

      • Vasilievich says:

        I bet you don’t own a car…

      • sam says:

        Most other big cities already do this. Neighborhood residents get a sticker. Visitors can park for (usually) 2 hours without a permit. Longer than that they need to use pay spots (meter, garage). Not too difficult. An annual permit fee (usually in the $35-$50 range) pays for much of it.

    3. The W. 80th St. Block Association/Billy Amato says:

      Excellent!!! Yes… as it should be !
      The beginning of many Town Halls to come…and we will be there in full support and with our team.

    4. Lisa says:

      I don’t see any way this doesn’t result in more congestion for our neighborhood, and I don’t know if the residential parking permits fix that. And with the residential permits, how do you account for the rental cars and Zipcars in the neighborhood which may be occasionally parked on the street by residents? We rent cars or use zipcars frequently, and need to leave them parked on the street for an hour or overnight from time to time. This congestion pricing is a dumb idea created by tax and spend politicians, and won’t actually address any of the traffic issues in Manhattan. Instead it’s just going to serve as a catalyst for more taxi driver bankruptcies (I already take taxis less – especially for short trips – because of the congestion charge).

      • Scott says:

        Why do people keep repeating this histrionic nonsense about zipcars?

        Folks, it’s pretty simple. Other cities have RPPs and they work fantastically well. If you want to rent a zipcar they provide temporary passes to qualified residents.

        Let me ask you this. If RPPs don’t work and cause MORE congestion why are all these cities offering them? Why do residents love them?

    5. Paul Constantine says:

      As a native New Yorker (my Metrocard gets me anywhere) I am 100% in favor of congestion pricing… BUT any legislation implementing it MUST include SOMETHING preventing all the residential neighborhoods north of it frok being treated as “park n rides.”

    6. sam says:

      How would this affect drivers who simply want to leave or enter Manhattan to get to the UWS via the Lincoln Tunnel (or 59th Street bridge)? Will we be forced to drive all the way up to the GW? What if you actually live below 60th street?

      In addition to parking permits, Manhattan residents with NY car registrations need a permit to get through the zone without payment. Charge an additional fee for the permit when you re-regsiter your car and show proof of Manhattan residency.

    7. lmn says:

      As someone who uses a vehicle to mainly leave NYC, the congestion pricing is annoying. So I’ll need to either pay extra to leave through the Lincoln tunnel, or go out of my way to take the GWB?

    8. SCR says:

      Make Congrestion Pricing,incumbent on the MTA/NYCTA,actually being capable;of “reforming”themselves. Or more likely,our state’s,governor forcing them;to do so. It should be passed,as a temporary measure. And be,up for renewal,in three-years. We’ll see how,if works? Especially,important,is running more”subway trains”on-time. Whatever,no one should pay a toll into Manhattan,and then the full”Congestion-rate” And no one,should pay this fee more than once,in 24-hours.

    9. adami says:

      I’m still agnostic on this policy, trying to learn more. But for those afraid our neighborhood will become a “parking lot,” the way my parent’s neighborhood in DC handles parking is that residents have stickers on their plates, plus they get “guest” parking permits (to be placed in windshield) for visitors. They could be used for rentals as well.

    10. james says:

      NYC gone amuck! It’s outrageous and it all makes no sense for residents with and without cars on the UWS. Leave us alone!

    11. BW says:

      This works in many other cities around the world! I loved it in London. As a resident within the congestion zone, I paid approx $300 per year to have the privilege to drive in a less-congested (less polluted) central London. How can one complain about that?

      And isn’t it a good thing if it compels people to stop driving and use citibike, walk more or take public transport? Has no one heard of global warming? Wouldn’t it be great if those monies were earmarked to improve public transport? As for zipcars/etc, there’s always a solution – there is everywhere else.

      As for visitors, have them pay a daily charge that also goes towards improving our infrastructure.

      Change is difficult but the status quo isn’t sustainable.

      • KSG says:

        I am against the plan I don’t trust or believe there will be accountability . How much will this pricing increase the service and repair calls? Soon it will be cheaper to toss out my oven every time it needs a tune up.
        Where are the all the funds going from the horrible bridges and tunnels we use? I see exposed rebar on the GW ramps, and I’m sure the tunnel will explode at a moments notice while driving through that sorry tunnel. I think we pay enough. Let them first improve the public transportation before we are burdened with more taxes. Once the options are better and more reliable for commuters, then worry about this issue.
        I still want my kids and grandkids to be able to visit me without them spending $100. to come for tea.

    12. Mike says:

      Only in NYC would they encourage the streets to be filled wall-to-wall with taxis morphed from consumer vehicles and then bitch about congestion. It’s total nonsense to believe these funds would do anything to improve the MTA, they get incessant fare increases and the system only gets worse despite high ridership.

    13. Martha Weissberg says:

      Does this ruling mean that I, a senior citizen and disabled, someone who already saves her pennies to pay for taxis and car service, must pay much more for transport in Manhattan? No elevators or escalators in most subway stations and now much higher prices to take taxis? Are you kidding me? Something is so wrong with this city’s services. Many, many folks need a hand up, and we’re simply being ignored. The whole point of the ADA was to involve everyone in the life of the country. So tell me, would you, why I will now have to pay almost double to get anywhere?

    14. KDG says:

      Let’s make public transportation better for everyone instead of pricing the hell out of everyone’s lives. Don’t commuters already pay enormous tolls, train and bus fees to come to the city? We just making working class people more miserable. Those with big bucks couldn’t care less. What about the cost of delivery trucks and repair workers, no one will want to service Manhattan, we’ll be stranded as we strangle the service workers we need. What about our relatives visiting us? No one will be able to even consider spending the day with their grandparents. Between the tolls and parking I can forget them taking me to appointments when I need them. Who is really thinking this through? I thought our president campaigned on improving our terrible crumbling infrastructure. Bangkok and Hong Kong have better roads and tunnels than we do. What a mess, let Cuomo come up with the funds, I bet he can do it.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        … ummm, congestion pricing is Cuomo’s method for coming up with the funds.

    15. Antonio says:

      A congestion charge is an improvement but does not go far enough, ban cars from Manhattan:

      http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/goodman-cars.htm

    16. MG says:

      Congestion? What hypocrisy. The air pollution (global warming) caused by little used bicycle lanes, clog streets with trucks that make needed deliveries. The bicycle lobby turn out en masse to every hearing, with people who live outside the city turning up to protest for lanes they have not ever used. Study the frqueency of use, and if they are rarely used then eliminate those lanes. I am handicapped and when I am driven to my many doctors, I see only delivery bicycles, who are flaunting all traffic rules. The anti car lobby are forcing their hatred on the rest of us. This is not democracy. Global warming is a greater problem that bicycle lanes.

    17. Jeff Segall says:

      Apparently, Albany is so certain that this is going to pass that the state legislature and the governor have already authorized TLC to add $2.50 to the fare of any taxi originating in any location south of 96th Street or driving south of 96th Street. That has led to the absurd situation of the elderly with ambulatory difficulties having to pay $10 for a ride from 100th to 90th Street. Why the rush? and why 96th Street if the proposed legislation is supposed to affect vehicals traveling south of 60th street?

    18. Denton says:

      This has gone from a great way to reduce rush hour traffic and encourage people to use public transportation, to just a huge revenue grab. Commercial vehicles making deliveries should NOT be subject to a congestion tax, they do not have any other way to deliver goods. You can’t deliver a ton of potatoes to Fairway using CitiBikes. Taxis and black cars should not be subject to it either. They provide a useful service. If there are too many of them, roll back the number of TLC permits altogether. And we shouldn’t be penalized because we live here. In the same way that Manhattan residents get a break on parking taxes, they should not be subject to congestion pricing. Yes I have a car. I OWN a parking spot to put it in. I hardly ever drive it, it’s 18 months old and I haven’t even hit 5k miles. This congestion tax has morphed from a way to decrease car use and pollution, to a tax on Manhattan residents, who will have to pay higher taxi fares and higher prices for goods and services.

    19. Carolyn says:

      Large (high and deep) parking garages, safe and secure, within walking distance (or with a shuttle bus) of strategic subway stops above 125th Street would divert cars from below 125th. Low-cost parking could include a round trip MTA pass good for 24 hours (free or discounted).
      More elevators at more subway stops would facilitate train use by people unable to navigate stairs.
      Peseros, inexpensive private cars or microbuses along main routes, would also relieve train congestion and afford quick short-term transportation to non-elevator subway stops.

      • Sassojr says:

        Yep, let’s just “stick it to the poors” by building garages and pushing all the traffic “North of 125th street.” A better reaction would be to ask, why are the garages along suburban rail not big enough to handle the problem at its source?

    20. Dave O. says:

      Will they have pizza?

    21. Pat says:

      Randomly picking 60th street will only cause more traffic at the GWB, drive of parking rates at garages north of 60th street, and as already been stated turn the UWS into a giant park and ride. The only fair way way to stop city congestion is to raise the fares on the bridges and tunnels which discourages drivers coming into Manhattan all together. I would rather commercial vehicles be exempt as they provide goods and services vital to the city.

    22. JC says:

      After living in London for 10 years, I watched how the congestion charges played in that city. Although I didn’t own a car, it did help. More Ubers and private car services were available, as in NYC, so this article from last year gives New Yorkers an idea of what’s to come:

      http://theconversation.com/london-congestion-charge-what-worked-what-didnt-what-next-92478

    23. moi says:

      To get from the F-a-r West Side to the 1,2 and 3 trains from 61st street, with extra fees re. congestion pricing it now costs around 10 bucks by cab including a tip..Up form $6.00 Outrageous when you consider there are few buses except during the times people are coming and going to work. With the large number of retired and elderly people living in the City, this doesn’t work.

    24. As a business owner on the UWS, I’m wondering if we too will be able to purchase a parking permit. Many of the business owners in the area have no other choice for transportation other than their vehicle since many of us commute from areas without much public transportation.

      • Woody says:

        So what you’re saying is that your mom-and-pop stores aren’t really local businesses that sustain the neighborhood by spending your profits locally. You just drive in for the day and take your money elsewhere. Don’t think that’s a good enough reason to get a parking permit.

    25. amelia says:

      My question is why are residents paying congestion pricing from 96th to 86th? or 86th to 79th ? You are charging in PRIMARILY residential neighborhoods the actual RESIDENTS what is actually considered PUBLIC transportation for the residents when the buses or trains are not working properly kids still need to get to school locally parents still need to get to work locally and we are being fined for taking public transportation within our own borough. Biting the hand that feeds the seems twisted and a new way of taxation without representation on residents. I understand coming into city to use city resources without paying taxes here as a resident but why double charge residents who actually LIVE here in residential non commercial areas. Seems like someone pushed that through when no one was looking. very unethical and thoughtless to the children of NY.

    26. Lisa Wolk says:

      As a resident of Far Rockaway,Queens,I am distressed at the jingoistic hailing of congestion pricing,especially by the alleged progressive Democrats. I am disabled and can only travel to Manhattan by car. Even if it were not a personal issue,it outrages me that access to a part of my city,especially one that is at the heart so many cultural and business resources,is to be declared the province of the wealthy and tourists,and the hell with the people of N.Y.