Congestion Charges don’t solve the problem of cruising


Congestion Charges don’t solve the problem of cruising

New York’s Mayor is considering a law that would charge automobiles $8 a day to enter the city, and charge $21 for commercial trucks.  The idea is to reduce congestion, as much as 40% of which is caused by drivers looking for a parking space. That being the case, the congestion charge won’t help. People will still be cruising around looking for a "free" parking space.

What has to happen is that the city needs to increase charges for on street parking. If they are set high enough, people will either park off street or find another way to get around in the city. The idea is to get people to make a quick decision to either park and pay a high rate or find lower priced parking in a garage.

Although Bloomberg cites London as a grand success for the congestion charges scheme, the fact is that it works in London because they have  a $12 an hour fee for on street parking. People immediately go into a nearby garage or they don’t drive. The congestion charge most likely has a limited effect.

It would seem that parking facility owners would support such a high on street charge. They could fill their garages by keeping the fees below market rates. People would still come downtown, but they would park off street. They would drive immediately to a lot or ramp with a large "P", knowing that was the place where parking costs were lowest.

Makes sense to me.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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