NYC Congestion Pricing…Fuggetaboutit
August 1, 2007, 11:11 am
Filed under: Computer hardware

The latest high profile debate concerning New York City legislation has surrounded Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to pass the “congestion pricing plan” for reducing automobile congestion and carbon emissions. The plan involves charging motorists an additional fee to enter the city’s most congested areas during peak times.

If you ask me, that plan is more about generating revenue than helping the city achieve a long-term solution towards congestion and pollution problems. It’s no surprise that the London-style plan fore mentioned appears to be a dead one in Albany.

The fact is that New York’s subways and buses are already at capacity, and as we prepare to add one million new residents by 2030, our existing mass transit will require improvements that will take years to put in place. If anyone wants to know what it feels like to be a human sardine, just step into any NYC subway during rush hour and see what I mean. Since the MTA has not bothered to make any subway improvements over the past 50 years, there is less than ample time now to catch up now with the rapid population growth.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If we want to look towards Europe as an example, then let us consider Holland, where bike riding is an everyday part of life. In fact, their entire road infrastructure is designed to accommodate bicycle traffic as well as cars and pedestrians. I know this because when I was visiting Amsterdam, I made the mistake of strolling haphazardly into one of these designated cycleways, only to be greeted by an onslaught of angry cyclists who narrowly missed me as they commuted. I, like many other absent-minded tourists before, no doubt, realized that these bike paths are not to be taken lightly. They are a traffic route like any other, complete with lights, road signs and crosswalks.

Earlier this year, Paris, France introduced the world’s largest and most ambitious bike-share program. The mayor procured 20,600 bikes, which are available at 750 “docking stations” situated every 1,000 feet. With just a credit card, Parisians (and tourists) can now pick up or drop off a bike in any neighborhood in the city for a small fee. Riders no longer need to worry about where to store their bikes. The program’s high-tech stations make theft virtually impossible. And with about twice as many bike stations as Métro stops, a free bike is pretty much always within reach.

When you consider that most automobile trips in New York City are less than five miles, it’s astounding that we have not made bicycle travel more accommodating. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As an avid cyclist myself, I find that bicycle travel is virtually impossible in the streets of New York during normal business hours, not to mention that there are few if any locations to securely lock your bike when you reach your destination. If we really want to reduce emissions and cutback on congestion, then bicycle travel needs to be embraced in NYC.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Of course the city would need to create hundreds of designated bike lanes, but this is simply a political issue, not a financial one. This would require a comprehensive road-sharing plan for bikes as well as cars on existing city streets, and the mayor can do that without having to gain state approval. There are so many benefits to a bicycle-friendly New York that it’s hard to believe we have not embraced it sooner. Bicycling is a wonderful form of exercise; it has no carbon output, contributes to a quieter city, a better quality of life and most of all, it’s fun!!

By Joshua Levitt
E-Commerce Sales and Marketing Manager for

Reuse…Save up to 90% off list price and save the environment too when you shop at


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: