Congestion Pricing — A Brit’s View


Congestion Pricing — A Brit’s View

I wrote below that congestion pricing is simply another way to tax, and raise havoc with a city’s economy. Here’s a comment by Manny Resores, Mr. Parking Consultancy, in the UK

In common with the retail industry, The effect on Parking was
significant, with some parking lots income within the congestion charge
dropping by as much as 25% and metered parking by a similar amount.

After over 4 years of the scheme, many parking lots usage and income has not yet recovered to the levels prior to the scheme.

In terms of traffic, we still have the same bottleneck of traffic
driving to London, but now 20 – 30% of drivers leave their vehicle
outside the congestion charge, use cheaper parking and get the bus or
subway for the last part of the journey saving not only the congestion
charge cost but the higher cost of parking.

Based on the London experience, the $8 charge in Manhattan will soon
be double or even treble. My suggestion to those operating parking lots
in New York, is to promptly look at good locations for parking lots
outside the zone and get a deal in place soon.

Manny Rasores

Interesting. Manny says parking facility owners in the Big Apple should simply bail out and find parking lots to own in the burbs, or just over the "congestion charge" line. I would hope that they take a careful look. If the free market is allowed to work, why wouldn’t the parking facilities just outside the congestion parking area simply begin charging market rates when the cars trying to get around the congestion parking charges show up? Supply and demand. It will always work.

Of course you should also remember that in London, not only did they raise the congestion charge, but they also increased the area on which it was applied. I can see the area in Manhattan moving north until the entire island is covered.

Once again, from my point of view, this is simply another way to tax the public. People aren’t stupid, They won’t just keep coming into an area, like lemmings, and sit in traffic. They will find an alternative.  It may be that they will move back into downtown areas to be closer to their jobs, or they will find jobs closer to their homes. Its already happening in LA, for sure.

Companies move out of downtown areas because they want to be near their work force. The Internet has made telecommuting a reality. Now "independent" Mayor Bloomberg should simply have patience. The marketplace will work. Of course sometimes government needs to get out of the way.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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