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Charlotte Congestion Charge?

Charlotte Congestion Charge?   47 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Charlotte impose a congestion charge to encourage mass transit usage?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      22
  2. 2. Is ther e the political will here to do it?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      42

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37 posts in this topic

As head into the summer, we all know this means that Charlotte starts to choke on its own filthy air again, much of it produced by automobiles that people are driving to work. The car exhaust gasses mixed with the high air temps and our unfortunately air inversion problems casts a grey haze over the city that lasts for most of the summer. The city has said that it is serious about doing something to address the issue, but so far I have not seen them take much action. If more people used mass transit it should certainly help with the problem.

So I propose they impose a congestion charge (or air pollution charge) for any car that crosses into the inner loop during business hours. Maybe it should be $5.00 car for cars with one person, $2.50 if 2 or more are in the car, free for vehicles that qualify for certain energy conservation credits. Is this a good idea, or would it make Charlotte's pro-business community become unglued with outrage.

What do you think?

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No

This is a regional issue, why punish the people only working downtown? Sounds like it would encourage more sprawl outside the loop.

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Interesting concept. I think it depends on where the boundary is. I assume 277 would be the logical place to put it. I would be concerned with how it affects downtown residents more than anything. Would this only be applied during peak congestion times?

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Are you thinking of something modeled after London's congestion charge? Its main purpose is to encourage more people to use public transportation. Reduced emissions are a benefit.

Interesting concept, however, I don't think a charge only on those who drive in the small area of Uptown would have much impact on the pollution problem.

A solution must be levied on the entire metropolitan area. However, make it city wide, and people will move out of the city, make it county wide and people will move out of the county. Even state wide, wouldn't be very effective.

The other problem, there has to be a real alternate form of transportation. The light-rail is promising, but the entire city can't move around the south transit line. The other lines are too far off. Unfortunately, we have built a car dependent society. I am very concerned that no one is really taking on and working to counter act the small group of misguided residents trying to repeal the transit tax.

Pollution is not simply a local problem. If you really want an effective impact to reduce auto emissions I would suggest significantly increasing federal taxes on gasoline. $7.00 a gallon for gasoline would have an impact. Until it becomes painful people are not going to give up their gas guzzling big engine vehicles. Another alternative, and also a UK example is a tax on all vehicles based on engine size / emissions.

It may not have a huge impact, but a realistic approach for Charlotte might be tax advantages for low emission, or hybrid vehicles.

How about tax advantages for those who live in Uptown and walk to work? :D

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No

This is a regional issue, why punish the people only working downtown? Sounds like it would encourage more sprawl outside the loop.

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The carrot is better than the stick.

If you really want to effect change, give people a tax credit for forming car pools and using HOV lanes (need to build them on all the major roads first), and give corporations incentives to shift part of their workforce to a telecommute/off-peak shift hours.

I agree with the comments about mass transit. For us to encourage its use, it has to exist.

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So I propose they impose a congestion charge (or air pollution charge) for any car that crosses into the inner loop during business hours. Maybe it should be $5.00 car for cars with one person, $2.50 if 2 or more are in the car, free for vehicles that qualify for certain energy conservation credits. Is this a good idea, or would it make Charlotte's pro-business community become unglued with outrage.

What do you think?

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Michael Bloomberg just put this for a vote in NY. $8/day for cars driving in Manhattan. Residents of Manhattan pay half if they drive within the proposed limits, no charge for moving the car a block away to obey alternate parking rules. Cabs are not subject.

London has had this for a while,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge

Amsterdam as well. Not to mention Hilton Head.

I believe that a daily charge will contribute to better the air quality for people that live uptown.

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Does anyone think that congestion in and around Uptown Charlotte warrants such a thing? I have limited experience with Uptown during peak hours to make such a call. My initial guess would be "no."

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Does anyone think that congestion in and around Uptown Charlotte warrants such a thing? I have limited experience with Uptown during peak hours to make such a call. My initial guess would be "no."

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Hell, Uptown streets aren't even as bad as middle-ring thoroughfares during rush hour. I'd MUCH rather be on Tryon St. than on Providence Rd. at 5:30 pm.

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I think a commuter tax is a better way. You work in Mecklenburg, but live outside the county, pay up.

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^ So maybe it should be a congestion fee for everything outside of Route 4?

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No, an employment tax on everyone who works in Mecklenburg County, but lives outside its borders. As an example, I work in the City of Philadelphia and pay the city $1.00 per pay period to have a job there. I use Philly streets, mass transit, and am protected by its police/fire/rescue; I am expected to foot some of the bill because although I don't pay property taxes there, I use its services.

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Hell, Uptown streets aren't even as bad as middle-ring thoroughfares during rush hour. I'd MUCH rather be on Tryon St. than on Providence Rd. at 5:30 pm.

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The state of NC would find some way to take the money and build roads down east some where. So all we would have is another way for the tax payers in Mecklenburg to pay more taxes and get nothing for there taxes.

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I think a commuter tax is a better way. You work in Mecklenburg, but live outside the county, pay up.

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The state of NC would find some way to take the money and build roads down east some where. So all we would have is another way for the tax payers in Mecklenburg to pay more taxes and get nothing for there taxes.

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Exactly. I think this would apply to a lot of major cities. I find morning and evening rush hour on Peachtree in Atlanta, for example, to be much more bearable than to be on one of the suburban thoroughfares.

That sounds pretty fair to me.

Should other counties in the metro area that have significant suburban employment bases (at least for those counties) implement this as well?

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Hell, Uptown streets aren't even as bad as middle-ring thoroughfares during rush hour. I'd MUCH rather be on Tryon St. than on Providence Rd. at 5:30 pm.

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As head into the summer, we all know this means that Charlotte starts to choke on its own filthy air again, much of it produced by automobiles that people are driving to work. The car exhaust gasses mixed with the high air temps and our unfortunately air inversion problems casts a grey haze over the city that lasts for most of the summer. The city has said that it is serious about doing something to address the issue, but so far I have not seen them take much action. If more people used mass transit it should certainly help with the problem.

So I propose they impose a congestion charge (or air pollution charge) for any car that crosses into the inner loop during business hours. Maybe it should be $5.00 car for cars with one person, $2.50 if 2 or more are in the car, free for vehicles that qualify for certain energy conservation credits. Is this a good idea, or would it make Charlotte's pro-business community become unglued with outrage.

What do you think?

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The issue here is reducing air pollution. Some people estimate that 70,000 people work in the center city and with only about 9,000 residents, that is a lot of vehicles creating pollution. In addition, almost all of CATS transit services go there so people have an option to use mass transit. Finally it would be easy to do logistically since is a small area and would not require a huge amount of metering cameras.

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I went to a presentation about a year ago where a CDOT speaker said that of the top 20 most congested intersections in the city only 1 (Queens and Providence) were within Route 4. Even though their might be a higher concentration of vehicles in the center city, the overall output of gases is what leads to poor airquality, and a majority of that pollution is caused by idleing at several major intersections (Providence and Fairview, and Providence & 485 probably being the worst)

Of course, the whole concept of the city collecting fees would really just be an attempt to increase revenue under the guise of a nobeler agenda. Just like how the Red Light Cameras were supposedly installed to save lives, but as soon as the courts ruled that instead of profiting from them, that the city would instead have to pay CMS per ticket issued, the power button on those cameras got pushed so fast that McCrory probably still has a bruised index finger.

I support commuter "taxes", and along with what Mallguy said, if the difference in additional revenue from the commuter tax can be used to decrease the tax burden within Meck Co, then its a win-win.

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I am for this. I think it could be implemented in a 21st Century way, though. I would prefer it not to be based on a simply map boundary, as, frankly, our traffic congestion is not so simple. Instead, I would like it to be issued in the form of a GPS unit, where a formula determines the congestion level of a roadway. You are then charged for using the congested roadway, which adds to both the pollution and the congestion. It would be a way to reduce congestion, as people would find alternate routes.

In Singapore, they have a zone called the CBD, where during rush hour, entering the CBD zone creates a charge on an EZ-Pass-style device. I'd even be for a zone district if it were implemented with a device like that, and if residents were given a discount.

The real problem, however, isn't really the gridded downtown streets, despite popular myth. The problems are in the freeways in the areas whereever the steorotypical commuter is. In the morning, it is on the freeways going from the suburbs to downtown and vice versa in the evenings. In evenings and weekends, the problems are in the suburbs.

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So a tax on traveling in a congested area- whether in the suburbs or uptown?

I'd be in favor of that as long as other taxes (such as property taxes on uptown or other pedestrian-friendly developments) were reduced, making the overall effect revenue-neutral.

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