"Many of the neighborhoods that have the children with asthma are not in the congestion pricing zone," said Silver (D-Manhattan) referring to East Harlem, the South Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which have among the highest childhood asthma rates in the city. "Some of these areas will not benefit."
Key pol questions congestion plan
"In fact, some ... will become parking lots as people drive around the neighborhoods looking for parking spots in order to avoid the congestion-pricing fees," Silver said after a news conference in Albany.
Were it up to Mayor Bloomberg, state lawmakers would give him the go-ahead and ask questions later. The administration knows how business is done up there; it wants a quick-and-dirty, backroom deal. Why else would it wait until April to announce an extraordinarily complicated road-use charge scheme and then demand it sail through the Legislature by June?
In February, British newspapers reported that congestion in the city, after dropping by 30% in 2003 when the program started, is back to pre-charge levels, despite a fee increase of more than 50% in 2005. Meanwhile, the charge zone has grown larger, spreading westward to areas such as Kensington, Chelsea, and Notting Hill. Manchester is now proposing to charge motorcyclists, which have been exempted from fees...
The experience of London points to a problem with the logic of congestion pricing. If the charges work by encouraging more people to take public transportation and deterring frivolous trips to the city, the reduction in traffic would make driving a more attractive option. The number of motorists would increase until equilibrium is reached. The failure to reduce traffic encourages city officials to hike up the fees until they cause enough pain, making the program an increasingly regressive tax.
Also, another aspect of the congestion pricing plan was mentioned in the Daily News:
Bloomberg eying resident-only parking permits
Mayor Bloomberg is exploring the possibility of creating resident-only parking permits to help neighborhoods that may be flooded by drivers trying to avoid the fees that he proposed for entering parts of Manhattan.
City officials acknowledged yesterday that motorists would be charged an annual fee to acquire special resident-only permits, and the fee would be "in line" with similar permits in other cities around the country.
So, here are our choices. Pay to:
a) drive into the city
b) park near the subway
c) not move the car at all
This plan is sounding better and better.