New York City is positioned to become the first U.S. city with a district-scale congestion pricing program. On March 31, the state legislature passed a budget measure for a Central Business District Tolling Program.
Referred to in legislation as the Traffic Mobility Act, the initiative will be implemented by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to accomplish three goals: reduce traffic congestion in the Manhattan CBD, improve air quality, and provide a stable and reliable funding source for the repair and revitalization of MTA's public transportation system.
"The politics will continue to be tricky," says Kate Slevin, senior vice president of state programs and advocacy at the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization for the New York City region. "Putting forward a sound proposal — one that is a good model for the rest of the country — should be the goal."
"When Mayor Bloomberg proposed his plan [in 2008], this wasn't the situation," says Slevin. "We are in a new era when it comes to our climate, when it comes to inequality, and when it comes to mobility. Part of the way to address these challenges is to put forward bold, ambitious plans that can be the model for other cities struggling with these same issues."
Read more in the American Planning Association Magazine.