Comments on: McArdle’s objections to congestion pricing http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: BWilsonSr http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15495 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 18:09:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15495 I have yet to ever meet even one smoker who thinks any type of smoking ban is good. The fact is, these types of taxing and bans are why we overthrew the english anyways…if the governments keep it up, what exactly do they think will happen to them? That applies to cirty, state, and federal governments.

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By: Pantalones http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15490 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 17:23:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15490 I don’t have a dog in this fight but it just looks like a state trying to squeeze more money out of their population AND make them “feel” good about being squeezed. This is just another way the politicians take your money and attempt to convince you it is for a good reason.

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By: FrankMcArdle http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15477 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:21:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15477 It is interesting to note that the London experience appears to have had very little long term impact on traffic. The initial drop in mileage and travel seems to have reverted to mean once the congestion charge was internalized in company budgets. The drop in subway usage was probably idiosyncratic,as it was accompanied by the transfer of bus operations to a new operator.

The key issue in considering congestion pricing in New York City should be to understand who is actually driving into the Manhattan core at what times and to what purpose. There does not seem to be any systematic examination of these issues in the latest approach to the issue. In studies undertaken some years ago it was clear that most of the people who drove daily into the core were there for business reasons, not for commuting reasons. Many were sales people who used their cars to make sales calls and were expecting to make more than one trip during the work day. Being in the core was a business trip and that trip is not likely to end if there is a congestion price on top of the parking charges already felt. We also know that most of the people that drive into the core have their parking charges paid by their employer. When you raise the charges, the employer will simply pay more.

Many people firmly believe that there is no economic value to the trips that arrive into the core by automobile or truck. They see it as easy to tax these trips out of existence. But that is not likely to happen without economic cost. What research that was released before the latest venture revealed that most of the people who were driving into the core from elsewhere in New York City were coming from areas that were underserved by mass transit,many from areas originally intended to have subway access in the planning done in the 20s. People in these areas, whether in Bayside or southeast Brooklyn, make a rational choice between a relatively short trip from home to work by car and a multi-leg,much longer trip by public transportation. If it is a business trip,the choice is a no brainer. If their parking is subsidized as a commuter,as happens for people from nurses to surgeons, then it also probably a no brainer. Time is worth money.

Until we know who will be adversely affected by congestion pricing in New York City, then we should be cautious about its introduction. It may turn out to be the last straw for some people who are job generators. We should not forget that New York City’s belief that it could tax manufacturing without effect in the late 60s accelerated the deparure of manufacturing from New York City.

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By: mattmc http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15467 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 05:16:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15467 Rush hour toll pricing makes a lot of sense, as long as you don’t get miles long lines at toll booths.

Dynamic price levels make it hard to plan and are an economic bad idea.

Adding toll lanes to existing roads, creating many more choke points is a horrible idea. HOT lanes must die.

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By: Ledbury22 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15463 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 03:24:48 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15463 Comparing the London and New York buses is a fallacy. Even before congestion pricing, the utility of the London bus sytem far surpassed that of New York’s. Its all the stops, the grid system, and the time it takes to pay that makes the NY system nearly intolerable. Saying that people chose the London buses rather than the tube says nothing about what New Yorkers will do when faced with the same choice.

And I am not sure I understand the logic of lowering the price of subways off peak. If they are underused (and thus more comfortable), and driving and parking is already so expensive, don’t we already have the incentives set up to take the subway at offpeak times?

It really seems as that the only winners here are bikers.

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By: CoreyB18 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15459 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 02:09:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15459 In fact with the exception of express buses that cost more than double (closer to three times) the basic fare, few interborough bus options exist, especially connecting the boroughs outside Manhattan to the Central Business district. As a result, perhaps unique to NYC, added bus capacity and less crowded buses rarely will result outside Manhattan. Buses in Manhattan have redundancies to the subways. Other boroughs have buses to funnel riders to the subways. Those buses run crowded midday as well as rush hours. Only buses that have low ridership at all times have few off hour riders. And several subway lines serving Manhattan can be crowded midday.
Adding more bus and subway riders will just further crowd buses and subways and further inconvenience those who already commute via those modes. Those who advocate the congestion tax care not one iota about the average riders and clear lack a knowledge of the entire city. It is not just looking at a Hagstrom’s (Clearly, the way NYC2012 conceived how to site sports facilities for their failed Olympics bid); it is not looking at and misusing statistics. While it might be nice to delay truck deliveries to overnight hours, in much of the CBD, that remains impractical. NYC is so different and to just drop other models here just does not work. See www.keepnycfree.com for more information.

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By: MeganMcArdle http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15455 Fri, 04 Jun 2010 01:03:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15455 As Mush00m says, I think you’re assuming away the political problem. The political problems with freezing/lowering subway fares are real, and historically they have been accompanied by promises of revenue from elsewhere that have been repeatedly broken. In theory, earmarking is great. In practice, the way it has always worked out in New York State, it has seriously undercut the system.

I also think you’re a bit optimistic about the effect of pricing on peak traffic. People said the same thing about unlimited metro cards, but my understanding is that this is not how it worked out in practice. Maybe it will go down the way it did in London, and maybe it won’t–but then what’s happening to the commuters? You certainly can’t count on that as the only possible outcome, or even the most likely one.

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By: Mr.Do http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15452 Thu, 03 Jun 2010 23:33:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15452 “But on the other hand, we’re talking here about people who are already paying much more than that just for parking.”

Does this make you wonder how effective a congestion charge is going to be?

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By: absinthe http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15447 Thu, 03 Jun 2010 21:07:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15447 If you’re going to earmark it, why not earmark it so it’s used for a tax break? Then you could sell it as revenue-neutral, and legitimately argue that it’s not a tax, but a fix.

The goal here should be to change behavior, not raise money.

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By: mushr00m http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/03/mcardles-objections-to-congestion-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15444 Thu, 03 Jun 2010 20:38:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4118#comment-15444 I think it’s worth noting that “earmarking” congestion funds for transit is absolute nonsense. Money is fungible and the current shenanigans involving the state and the MTA’s budget shortfall are ample proof of it.

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