Ken Livingstone's Advice For New York

The Mayor of London touts his congestion pricing regime, and suggests that New York and other cities could succeed with a carefully thought out plan.

"The New York State Assembly ended its session on June 22 without reaching a consensus on Manhattan's congestion pricing proposal - a delay that may cost New York City some $500 million in federal transportation money. Assembly members have voiced concerns about the economic impact of the program, the effect on traffic outside Manhattan and even the effectiveness of the idea itself.

Four years ago, London was engaged in a very similar debate. We now have the luxury of hindsight. While the two cities' situations are not identical, they certainly have analogies and therefore, perhaps, the success of London's program can shed light on the current debate in New York."

"In 2003, London put in place a £5 (about $9) a day congestion charge for all cars that entered the center city (the charge is now £8). This led to an immediate drop of 70,000 cars a day in the affected zone. Traffic congestion fell by almost 20 percent. Emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide were cut by more than 15 percent.

The negative side effects predicted by opponents never materialized. The retail sector in the zone has seen increases in sales that have significantly exceeded the national average. London's theater district, which largely falls within the zone, has been enjoying record audiences. People are still flocking to London - they're simply doing so in more efficient and less polluting ways."

Full Story: Clear Up the Congestion-Pricing Gridlock

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