After 16 years of slogging its way through municipal, state and federal government and every imaginable form of public process, congestion pricing is finally on its way to New York City. If all goes as planned, then anyone who wants to cram a car or truck into Lower Manhattan south of 60th Street is going to have to pay somewhere between $9 and $23 per day starting next spring. And all of that money will go toward supporting and improving New York’s transit system. There are still lots of details to iron out and we should never underestimate New York’s ability to blow it when it comes to transportation policy. But Diana Lind of the Penn Institute for Urban Research thinks congestion pricing is a big deal that will fundamentally reshape the relationship between the car and the city, not just in New York but all across North America. “The next 20 years,” Lind writes, “will be the beginning of the end of the private car in cities.”
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