Let's start out by not painting a picture of utopia.
Congestion in New York City is not going to be solved by tolling a few of the East River Bridges or putting a cordon to the north of 60th Street.
|Move NY fair tolling plan|
There are going to be some distortions in economic activity because of the placement of the cordon on 60th Street, and by the adding of tolls on some crossings.
Roads aren't going to be better managed, nor is public transit going to be better managed just because New York City gets some more money from motorists. There are more fundamental governance, incentive and management issues with all of that infrastructure.
However, on balance the plan by Move NY called "Fair Tolling" will make a positive difference. It will reduce congestion, it will encourage more use of public transit, walking and cycling, it will improve mobility to those locations to the east with higher tolls, and will improve air quality.
No other single policy measure can have such a positive difference on New York transport and the environment, whilst also having positive impacts on the economy. It wont be sufficient, but it will be a very positive change indeed. There will be less car use around downtown Manhatten, and possibly a little more on the periphery where tolls will reduce. There will be more efficient use of crossings, as some motorists don't divert to avoid tolls. Buses, trucks and taxis should have much easier trips, and there will be more public transit usage. There may even be more cycling if the infrastructure is up to it.
There will, of course, be more money to spend on transport infrastructure, but it will take some convincing for enough people to be willing to pay for something they don't pay for now. That's what needs to happen in the coming years. Years I say, because it takes patience and time, and for it to be known that this isn't going to go away. There may be one or two more failed attempts politically at pursuing similar reforms, but the logic about doing so is difficult to undermine completely. At best opponents don't like it because they don't believe they can convince voters to like it.
So let's go through some of the key issues.