The bedrock conditions that justified congestion pricing in the first place aren’t going away.
By Charles Komanoff
Apr 3, 2020
Look out, Downtown. Manhattan Community Board 1 wants to propel your streets into the 21st century.
During March, a “Fix Canal Street Now” resolution that probably entails taking space from drivers was unanimously adopted by CB1’s transportation committee and overwhelmingly passed by the full board (see p. 29 of this PDF). Now I’ve been invited to kick off the transportation committee’s April 7 virtual meeting with a discussion of congestion pricing’s benefits for CB1 – the area comprising the Financial District, Battery Park City, Tribeca and the zone around the Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall, where I live and work.
My first slides will show how much Lower Manhattan stood to gain from congestion pricing when it started up next year, according to my pre-COVID-19 modeling. The number of cars and trucks pouring into downtown streets from the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges would shrink by 25 percent. Everything about motor traffic that everyone hates – the noise, menace and fumes – would lessen considerably. Buses would run better with less traffic, as the 14th Street busway has been demonstrating for months. And the $12 billion in capital funds earmarked for subways would speed replacement of ancient signals, which would add service, ease crowding and cut delays.