Sunday, October 14, 2007

NYC | Congestion Pricing

Traffic congestion is a costly problem for New York City residents, workers and visitors. The problem originates from inadequate pricing mechanisms for the use of roadways and railways in NYC. It is an aspect of the Tragedy of the Commons.

A new report on Alternatives to Traffic Congestion Mitigation in the Manhattan CBD, by the Committee to Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, provides a list of alternative ways to use pricing to reduce congestion in Manhattan's three CBDs. The list is good and the opening up of options to the committee looking at these issues is even better.

A broad approach to congestion pricing and mitigation is provided in Professor William Vickrey's 12 Principles posted at http://tinyurl.com/29vz7n. Vickrey recommended maximizing use of railway tracks by upgrading signal systems to permit shorter headways between subways and using a skip-stop system for local trains to shorten travel times for most travelers with a minimum of inconvenience to a few travelers.