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Times Article on Congestion Charging in NYC - Comment 4

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  • Eric Britton
    I usually try to keep my big proboscis out of the actual exchanges since my main job is just to clean up around here and get you proper classes, but here the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14, 2005

      I usually try to keep my big proboscis out of the actual exchanges since my main job is just to clean up around here and get you proper classes, but here the temptation is simply too strong.

       

      I think that Ann with her strategy of “shared taxis, eliminated on-street parking and dedicated bicycle
      lanes” has got us off to a tremendous start on this, though it is true that each of these pillars needs to be carefully developed and explained to the world.  I guess what is the greatest problem is that it is so damn simple.

       

      And while I would really like to lay into the “shared taxi” axis one of these days (quick word though: most of them won’t look like today’s taxis, and will be differentiated not only by (lots of) on board technology but also by the entrepreneurship and “regulatory” structure – what has brought me to this today is the on-street parking bit.  To which, here is my best shot:

       

      1. One of the keys is a certain amount of stealth.

      2. Another is ‘felt inevitability’ (a bit more on this in a minute)

      3. And a third is the importance of early, visible successes.

      4. In addition to following the best let us call them “European models” (such as we are seeing and feeling here in Paris), there is a steady reduction of street parking, combine with the more to more room for public transport (lanes, etc.), cycles and other forms of active transport, and better public spaces.  (Have a look at the Sneak Preview on the New Mobility Agenda top menu if you haven’t had a change yet, to get a feel for that.)

      5. To which (and now we are back to that ‘felt inevitability’ bit) it is in my view highly desirable to introduce a kind of “pricing escalator” for on street parking, in which rates are raised significantly (but somehow bearablY0 in, say, six month jumps, giving people (a the feeling that things are changing, (b that this change is not about to stop, and © time to gradually shift their habits.

      6. Of course this makes no sense unless the city is also offering improved pubic transit and that new thing that Ann likes to call “shared taxis”. A rich area of technology, policy and practice which is out there for the taking but for which the arms of most of our administrators, pubic authorities and even most of our best planners still appear to be a bit too short.

       

      But we can help them.  ;-)

       

       

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