Parking Reform Alone Won’t Solve Congestion

Room Eight contributor and Streetsblog commenter Larry Littlefield has a thorough critique of the congestion pricing alternatives released last week by anti-pricing group Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free. 

Proponents of congestion pricing, who would probably otherwise support many the alternative’s ideas, immediately blasted it for being what it probably is –- a red herring designed to ensure that nothing 203396002_f378185804.jpghappens, existing privileges are maintained, and problems are not solved, but the public is confused about who is to blame and thus just shrugs its shoulders. The typical Albany win over the public, in other words. Still, there is enough of interest in the proposal that it deserves a thoughtful review, and such a review finds that it is essentially an extension of current policies, and has the same hole as those policies. 

Since most of these are sensible measures they shouldn’t be rejected out of hand. But they don’t do anything to discourage through traffic, an issue the opponents acknowledge. Even so, the congestion pricing opponents, in recommending variable tolls for peak and non-peak hours and higher costs for parking have accepted the concept of using pricing to limit the over-use of a scarce resource, a large leap for them to make if they have in fact made it. Perhaps they should be given a little credit rather than just ignored.

Here is the complete article

Photo: roinks/Flickr