I just read the article “Car traffic in Manhattan moving at slowest pace in decades: report” in the New York Daily News, after hearing it reported on WINS radio. I admit to some confusion because the fifth paragraph reads “While traffic is moving slower, the report also shows that fewer vehicles are entering Manhattan’s central business district,” the eighth says “More cars in city may also have something to do with the slower speeds — DOT data shows that the number of cars registered across the five boroughs has increased by 8.8% since 2010.” A seeming contradiction.
But my main point is that DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg’s attempt to make us think that congestion pricing will solve the problems. The article tells us that “the average speed of vehicles in the borough below 60th St. was a paltry 7 mph last year,” which was “23% slower than cars moved throughout the area in 2010.” But it fails to tell us how many miles of travel-lanes we’ve lost during that time.
Mayor de Blasio, and Mayor Bloomberg before him, have urged a purposeful, relentless campaign to make driving more difficult. Under their direction, we’ve lost travel lanes to the “pedestrian malls” on what used to be Broadway. We’ve lost travel lanes to the new lane of parking in the middle of many streets, away from the curb. In Brooklyn, what used to be one of our main thoroughfares, Kings Highway, was cut from two lanes in each direction to one simply by painting the outer lanes red and labeling them “bus only”.
Yes, the number of vehicles may be up, but even if that number had decreased, travel speeds would be down because there is less roadway per car available. All, apparently, part of the campaign to make us think “congestion pricing” is necessary. But how necessary would it be if they hadn’t set out to cause increased congestion in the first place?
#congestionpricing #NYC #traffic