Friday, July 01, 2011

Congestion Pricing: Whether we like it or not?

Interesting to read this on an urbanist blog:

New York city has twice thrown out plans for a congestion charge, and San Francisco is waiting until 2015 to begin its trial period. When the most enthusiastic response involves waiting four years, you know it’s not good news.

That's good news for everyone but the folks in the anti-car movement, which is led by the bike people. He apparently got the 2015 reference on the city's Congestion Pricing site, which you find via the SFCTA site. That is, Prop. K transportation sales tax revenue isn't paying to pave our streets but instead is paying for studies on Congestion Pricing---a system that will charge us for driving downtown in our own city. The anti-car bike people of course think that's a great idea. Anything that punishes people who drive motor vehicles is a good thing---and it will make money, too!

The 2015 date might be the next time the anti-car movement makes another attempt to sell San Francisco voters on the unpopular idea, but it's not a serious deadline. Not only is the idea unpopular in the city, but there's the little matter of Prop. 26, passed last year by California voters, that requires a two-thirds vote of the people to raise taxes and/or fees. Since a 2009 Chamber of Commerce poll of city voters showed 61% opposed to Congestion Pricing, getting a 2/3 vote seems very unlikely.

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