After last week's news about congestion pricing, I'm all fired up about Growth or Gridlock, an extensive report about New York's coming traffic disaster (and by "extensive," I mean "terrifying").

The report has been making a lot of waves in metro sections this week, probably because it's not geared to lefty tree-huggers or health-conscious types, but to business people. (The report is by the Partnership of New York City, a nonprofit organization "comprised of a select group of two hundred CEOs from New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms.")

The findings: traffic congestion in the city leads to annual losses of over $13 billion to businesses and consumers. How so? A few examples from the report:

  • Nearly all of New York's freight (about 99%) is shipped by truck, but trucks are increasingly unable to make timely deliveries

  • Worker productivity declines when employees get stuck in traffic

  • Lacking sufficient parking, UPS, Fedex, et al. doublepark and rack up fines

  • Congestion creates higher fuel costs (and more pollution), as cars sit idle

Unfortunately, at this point, Bloomberg and his cronies are unwilling to consider congestion pricing, despite its promising results in cities like London. The battle has just begun, though. And with its strong supporter base, the Partnership will hopefully meet its goal of convincing the Bloomberg administration to apply for federal funding to study the issue.

London_newyork

In a wildly successful move, London recently transformed a popular shopping area into a car-free pedestrian zone for holiday shoppers. Bloomberg's response to traffic congestion? Open up Central Park to cars.

(NYCP's Press release)