Mayor Bloomberg framed the proposal in a chilling scenario that would see one million new people descend on the city by 2030, bringing more carbon emissions, new housing shortages and creating a gridlocked hellhole that would make today’s traffic jams look like a Sunday afternoon drive in the country.
Bloomberg figures the move to congestion pricing with the $8 levy could generate more than $500 million a year. Similar steps have been taken in Singapore, Stockholm and London.
Not everyone has New York’s advantages – a compact city with an extensive and comprehensive mass-transit system, though it, too, is struggling with relentless growth in a nation where the population doubles every 40 years and is headed for one billion by the end of this century. Many cities – Los Angeles springs to mind – have even dismantled mass transit to encourage car use.
The Times applauded Bloomberg’s proposal, then urged him and other public officials to take care the money goes to improve public transit in the outer boroughs, especially for those who will need better buses or subways when they leave their autos behind.