Rejoice! Our lives are about to get better, from a congestion, air quality but also safety standpoints.
London implemented congestion pricing over 10 years ago and reduced its road traffic by 15%. in 2015, Lancaster University Management School studied the effect Congestion Pricing had on traffic safety and concluded that it reduced crashes leading to fatalities and injuries by 40% in the congestion zone and 13% in the adjacent counties The study attributes these remarkable results to the fact that with less congestion, trips are more predictable and thus less stressful for drivers.
Applying these findings to New york city, CHEKPEDS found that congestion pricing could reduce fatalities by 71 and injuries by 17,000 over the next two years in New York City, if congestion pricing was implemented. This would move up by years our reaching the goal of Vision Zero at no cost to the city.
Of the top 10 legislators whose constituents would benefit the most from congestion pricing, Queens representatives are in 4th and 5th positions , three more are from Brooklyn and one in the Bronx, showing that Congestion pricing really benefits all New Yorkers
Beware of exemptions:
The current plan provides exemptions for emergency vehicles as well as vehicles carrying persons with disabilities. It also gives a tax credit to drivers earning less than $ 60,000 annually.
Many categories of users have started to clamor for exemptions. The law requires that the plan raise $ 15 billions for the MTA to fund public transit . It means that each exemption will require lawmakers to find a compensating revenue , and the easiest way will be to increase the fees. Also every exemption claimed by residents of the cordoned zone, will open the door for outer boroughs’ residents to claim the same one. Residents in the cordoned zone are on average wealthier than others.
Consider the fact that every exemption will put more motorists on the road and decrease our chances of a safer city . This in itself, should be a powerful motivator to shut the door on any exemption.