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tamias6

Congestion Pricing

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We know how clogged DT can during the rush hours and during events and construction season. Like all bustling cities GR is on the hunt to find ever elusive solutions to increasing traffic problems. One solution to ease congestion in urban centers is what is known as congestion pricing. Proponents claim that by charging drivers a toll to enter the urban center will encourage the use of public transit and to car pool. They also claim that the profits generated could be used to fund the building and maintaining of a mass transit systems. Lastly supporters state that congestion pricing reduces pollution. However those against congestion pricing state that it will hurt urban center merchants, increase the expense of trucking goods into the city, and discourage people from entering the urban center.

After reading this...

new article

...about how the Mayor of New York is proposing congestion pricing for lower Manhattan, would it be a good idea for Grand Rapids use congestion pricing as a tool to help ease its congestion problems and fund mass transit?

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My opinion is no, it's not a good thing. We are not hurting with congestion. If we had the congestion to warrent the fee we would have mass transportation as a natural byproduct of our size demand. If the parking prices weren't enough to keep people out of our downtown this surely would.

I vote no.

Edit: I also think that for this to work you need a comprehensive mass transit system beyond buses in place to serve the needs of those trying to get downtown. Since we do not and are years away from it (even if we started today) you would make downtown less accessible.

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I agree with Grand_Rapidian-

Downtown congestion as it is right now is not a problem at all. I can get from my office to my apartment in less than 15 minutes in peak rush hour. Thats from one side of downtown to the other. Take that same distance in Chicago, NYC, LA, you could easily double or triple that time. With congestion not being a problem, something like this will only keep people out of downtown. The only people that will go there are the ones that work there. Why go to a restaurant downtown when you can get a similar meal without the extra 'toll' in the 'burbs?

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I agree. It would backfire terribly on downtown. Congestion is not downtown's problem, I think it's overinflated land prices due to extreme scarcity driven by parking demands.

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Traffic in GR can get a little sticky at times, but nowhere near as severe to warrant something like that.

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To my knowledge London does this, NYC is thinking about it for a small part of Manhattan and the rest of the world isn't doing it at all yet.

I don't think GR is on a London/Manhattan level of congestion. We're not even at the same level of congestion as Detroit or Cincinnati.

This would be suicide.

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That would kill the progress downtown has made. Grand Rapids is nowhere even near 0.001% of the congestion of Lower Manhattan or Central London.

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It would be the death of downtown. One thing to keep in mind is London and NYC already have proven and established commuter rail systems that have been in place for decades. Grand Rapids has nothing along those lines

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Until GR has a workable light rail or subway, not a chance.

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^^Yes it does, but not on the scale of New York City. Go check with some of the surface streets and you see that some are hitting 75-90 percent capacity. The problem is expected to be serious with 1000% increase in traffic by 2015 -- at least that was the prediction in 2000.

C'mon, how can anyone expect commuters entering downtown to fork over more money when there's no other means for commuters to get into the city? Catch a train from Muskegon, Rockford, Georgetown, Hudsonville, and Holland?

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Yes, seriously.

How many people even work downtown?

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