In our CD4 district, New Jersey vehicular traffic has returned with a vengeance to pre COVID level with longer peak hours, gridlock and very bad air quality.
According to the New York Times , total registrations in the city for passenger vehicles reached 2.2 million in 2021 up from 1.9 million in all of 2019, according to state records. Traffic snarls fueled by a plunge in transit use and car pooling, soaring car ownership and a surge in delivery trucks trying to keep up with an e-commerce boom. The skyrocketing traffic is not just maddening to drivers; it has made the city’s streets deadlier for pedestrians and cyclists — traffic fatalities have risen to their highest level in nearly a decade — and contributed to higher levels of climate-changing emissions.
The best – and possibly only – solution is congestion pricing which, when implemented in London, reduced traffic by 20% and fatalities by 14% and significantly improved air quality.
The proposal for Manahttan below 60th Street does exempt drivers with a yearly revenue lower than $ 60,000, as well as persons with disabilities and emergency vehicles. The toll applies only once per day.
In order to get the benefits of congestion pricing for our district, where 80% the population does not drive, two measures must be adopted:
- New Jersey drivers must pay the full congestion pricing toll . The volume of New Jersey vehicles must be reduced, not only to eliminate constant gridlock and terrible air quality, but to facilitate the Bus terminal expansion with an increase in buses in the Lincoln Tunnel.
- NO exemptions must be given to municipal employees or even to electric cars. Potentially a surcharge should be applied to SUVs who occupy much more space and pollute more than traditional vehicles.
Upcoming Public Hearings
The Environmental Assessment document is available for review online at https://mta.info/CBDTP.
The agencies are currently accepting comments from the public on the proposal. Members of the public can participate in a public hearing online or submit their comments by September 9.
Ways to Comment on the Environmental Assessment
Comments are being accepted online, by email, mail, phone and fax, and at a series of six public hearings concluding on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Members of the public who wish to speak at the hearings can sign up online at mta.info/CBDTP. The hearings will be accessible online at mta.info/CBDTP at these dates and times:
Locations: Hearings will be virtual via Zoom and livestreamed at mta.info/CBDTP. By PC/Tablet/Smartphone: Join link: https://mta.zoom.us/j/82606738045 Webinar ID: 826 0673 8045
By Phone: Dial-in: 1-888-788-0099 (toll-free) Webinar ID: 826 0673 8045, #,
In addition to the hearings, there are many ways the public can make their voices heard. The agencies will collect public feedback on the Environmental Assessment online as well as via email, mail, telephone voicemail and fax.
Comments may also be provided to FHWA. Email: CBDTP@dot.gov, Mail: FHWA – NY Division, RE: CBDTP, Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building, 11A Clinton Ave, Suite 719, Albany, NY 12207