New York City is poised to charge residents and visitors up to a $23 “congestion charge” each time they drive a vehicle into Lower Manhattan. This is a scheme that the Biden administration is on board with, of course.
The program is the first of its kind in the U.S., though it is somewhat modeled on toll roads and bridges.
However, it charges drivers who want to enter Manhattan below 60th Street, creating in effect a toll zone that has not been implemented in the nation.
The plan has been on the drawing board for years but just in May got the go-ahead. That was when the Federal Highway Administration agreed to allow it to proceed, and the public period to review and comment on the report ends Monday.
Expected to roll out next spring, the plan will charge from $9 to $23 for each vehicle entering New York’s Central Business District Tolling Program. The range will consider what type of vehicle you are driving and how congested traffic is at the time.
There are expected to be discounts and exemptions for certain drivers.
NYC will charge drivers going downtown. Other cities may follow. They want you to stay in your 15 min communities forever pic.twitter.com/5gzrECwL9z
— Marinochka🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺 (@joiedevivre789) June 13, 2023
But the charge is for each trip, not for the day. Proponents such as New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul termed the program “critical” for the long-term success of the city.
The effort to get more cars out of Lower Manhattan has been ongoing for at least half a century, but it met with sharp resistance from those who live elsewhere. Critics from other boroughs and the areas surrounding the city were repeatedly successful in killing its chances.
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo came around to the idea several years ago when he declared a “subway state of emergency.” He called it a program “whose time has come.”
Two years ago, the state gave the go-ahead for design of the congestion pricing program to commence.
According to left-wing CNN, the idea is one that supporters expect to spread to other U.S. cities. Critics charge, however, that it is merely another step towards authoritarian attempts to end private car ownership.
Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote that New York City’s program is just the beginning. “After the Democrat-run cities make it unaffordable to own a car, the federal interstates will set up toll booths with the same goal.”
He called the automobile “the ultimate expression of individualism.” This is an idea that runs counter to everything the collectivist far-left despises, particularly individual freedom and the ability to escape cities for a better life away from Democratic control.