Campaign for New York’s Future: Congestion Pricing
This StreetFilm for The Campaign for New York's Future explains the health and transportation benefits of congestition pricing, one of the 127 proposals included in Mayor Bloomberg's ambitious PlaNYC2030.
The Campaign for New York's Future is a coalition of over 80 civic, business, environmental, labor, religious, public health and community organizations partnering to make every neighborhood in NYC a great place to live and work.
Michael R Bloomberg: [00:20] We have to begin to manage the growth that we can see coming. If we don’t act now that growth will be paralysing, straining our infrastructure and endangering an already embattled environment. Conditions are bad enough now but if we don’t act, just think what they’re going to be like by 2030. Morning and evening rush hours may well consume half of each working day. Business deliveries will grind to a halt. Automobile exhaust, which today counts for more than 50% of air pollution, will only get dramatically worse. This is a slow motion public health and environmental disaster, and on the face of it how in good conscience can anyone maintain that doing nothing is an option?
Dr. John Balbus: [01:09] Traffic pollution’s really the second hand smoke of the streets. People are getting exposed to this kind of air pollution, it’s putting their health at risk and they may not even know about it.
Peggy Shepard: [01:19] It’s no surprise that we lead the country, this nation, in asthma rates, that in Northern Manhattan communities, hospitalisation rates for asthma are three to five times other neighbourhoods in this city.
Marta Rodriguez: [01:32] People think well, you know, you can move out. It’s not that easy just to move out if you can’t afford to move out. And I feel like why should I? Why can’t I stay and fight for where I live and make it better. I have the right to breathe clean air just as any other neighbourhood.
Bob Yaro: [01:48] New York is not the first city to adopt a congestion pricing system or to develop a sustainability strategy. Cities like London, Singapore and Stockholm and others are ahead of us. We have a lot to learn from them and I think in part we’re moving ahead with this system and the Mayor decided to move ahead because London’s congestion pricing system has been so successful.
Dr. John Balbus: [02:10] We know from places like London and Stockholm that establishing these zones in major urban centres and charging people a fee to get in can reduce traffic and also reduce peoples’ exposure to air pollution at the same time.
Peggy Shepard: [02:23] But the other thing that we understand is that there will be transportation enhancements. Mass transit will be improved before congestion pricing is instituted.
Bob Kiley: [02:33] Anyone who drives knows that traffic congestion can be nightmarish in London, as it can be in New York City. So I think people are interested in solutions, but change is always a problem.
Michael R Bloomberg: [02:48] There are certain facts that we’ve just got to all face up to, facts about congestion’s impact on our environment, our economy, our health and our future, on our lives and on the lives of our children.
Peggy Shepard: [03:02] London just didn’t start it and got it right the first time. They’ve had a number of years to make adjustments, and so this is a demonstration project and lets see how it works and lets take the time to get it right.
Bob Kiley: [03:16] Since this was really the first time that anything like this, at least in this part of the world, had been tried, we didn’t have a lot of models to follow, so we were pretty much on our own. It worked and now we can be a model for other cities. So if New York’s focusing on this, paying any attention at all, they got a good model in London flow.
Speaker: [03:36] Well it’s a success story and it’s about managing success and that’s really what the Mayor’s plan is about, is how to continue to manage success and make sure that we continue to be an even more economically viable place and even a better place to live as New York continues to grow.
Speaker: [03:48] Under the skin most of us don’t like change. We’ll put up even with bad circumstances because we fear the consequences of a change, maybe it could be worse than it already is kind of thing.
[03:58] We’re at a crossroads in this city. We have an opportunity
to plan for our future, for the future of this city and for our families,
and we have to do that now.