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A Green New Deal Starts Locally

Would You Support Congestion Pricing In Your City?

by Green New Deal Action | 4.2.19

When politicians say we need to "innovate our way out of Climate Change", they are saying this as an excuse for government inaction - if the government were to pass any Climate Change legislation, than revolutionary technology would nerve emerge, the thinking goes.

Not only is that wrong, it misses the point. Innovative solutions to climate change will take place in public policy as much, if not more, than via technology.

If we are going to address Climate Change, we'll need moon-shots, as well as reasonable and highly effective initiatives like congestion-pricing at the local level.

What’s the story?

  • New York City is poised to become the first U.S. city to enact congestion pricing as a means to reduce traffic.
  • Drivers will be charged a fee to cross into Manhattan below 61st Street during the busiest times of the day. Money raised from the tax will go towards fixing the city’s mass transit system, including New York’s decaying subways.
  • While New York lawmakers approved the budget over the weekend, the key details of the congestion pricing plan - including the price of the tolls - will be worked out in the near future.

What are people saying?

Proponents

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated the policy during a recent news conference.
“There’s two aspects to it. It’s M and M: management and money. I’m not going to ask New Yorkers for more money for the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] unless I know there’s a better management system at the MTA. And this does both,” Cuomo said, adding that the “traffic problem … is only getting worse” in the city.
  • Alex Matthiessen, a spokesman for the advocacy group Fix Our Transit, noted that after Stockholm implemented congestion pricing, exhaust emissions decreased 14% in the Swedish city.
“Today marks a historic moment for our State and our City, as we secure the funding needed to start modernizing our mass transit system while curbing costly traffic congestion,” Matthiessen said in a statement. “Once implemented, congestion pricing will create a dedicated funding stream to upgrade the transit system while balancing out and reducing traffic across the city.”



Green New Deal Action

Written by Green New Deal Action

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