A way not to drive Manhattan mad

Cars, taxis and trucks sit morning rush hour traffic in Midtown Manhattan.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The term "in a New York second" rarely applies to driving in Midtown. So last Spring, Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a plan to reduce traffic: charge a weekday fee to drive in Manhattan below 86th Street.

Well, this quickly divided New Yorkers. Since then, a state-appointed commission has been reviewing alternatives. As Ashley Milne-Tyte reports, a final recommendation comes this week.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Many commuters and business owners were furious at the idea of paying to enter Manhattan below 86th Street.

Allison de Cerreno directs NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. She says the commission has been busy.

Allison de Cerreno: They've been looking at everything practically under the sun, from license plate rationing, to off-peak deliveries, to changes in parking pricing, to tolling the east river bridges.

She says the most likely plan will still involve drivers paying up in certain areas. But she says there's a reason for that.

de Cerreno: We have millions of dollars on the table right now from the United States Department of Transportation. And if we don't come up with a plan that meets their criteria, we're gonna lose the money.

Three hundred and fifty-four million dollars, to be exact. To receive the cash, the government says New York has to charge drivers and spend the proceeds on public transportation.

In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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