Chicago Sun-Times

Congestion pricing in Chicago?

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USA Today had a piece on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to make people driving into Manhattan pay an $8 congestion fee. Think a similar plan could or should be implemented in Chicago?

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The theory of congestion pricing is more than just reducing the number of vehicles. It acts to set a price for the use of the road system equal to the cost - that includes the physical costs as well as the social, things like time spent in congestion and environmental impact. If traffic is not reduced, the charge is thus not sufficiently high to reduce demand. It's all economic principles. And with the revenue stream from the charge, improvements can be made in transit. Thus, the social benefit is a reduction in congestion and improved mass transit for both the people already taking transit as well as those displaced by the congestion fee. It is definitely something to look into as it's continued success around the globe makes Americans consider the need for change.

The Mayors in chicago and surrounding suburbs should get with the Governor and get the federal government to subsides the Pace/CTA because it reduces greenhouse emissions. Don't you think?

This idea is a joke. Other cities have usable public transport. I took the el for 12 years, but with a job on a trading desk that requires me to be in on time and work 12-14 hours a day and my 8 mile el ride often taking over an hour, taking the el or a bus eventually became not an option, so I coughed up for a small car and daily parking - now you want to charge me more? This is a terrible idea and will make Chicago a less attractive place to work. The only people that won't be hurt by this are people along train lines in the suburbs.

This isn't about congestion, not anymore. This is about global warming and getting control of the Green House Gases (GHG). 40 percent of the Green House Gases produced in the US come from the transportation industry (EPA, 2005)

Still, according to all projections, Americans are driving more in terms of miles and time behind the wheel today than even 10 years ago (FHWA, 2007). This is especially disturbing considering that a new report just released in May 2007 has already revised the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Report released just last April 6, 2007. The new report says that the ocean ice is melting faster than the IPCC study reported in April, which was already predicting a more dire view of Global Warming than previous reports. The IPCC April 6th report projected the artic ice gone by 2050. The new reports are now saying by 2040.

Arctic Ice Melting Much Faster Than Predicted
Richard A. Lovett
for National Geographic News
May 1, 2007

Support congestion pricing. This is not about losing a few polar bears. Global warming will have negative effects on humans as well since we still rely on the ecology for water, food, medicine, and infrastructure sources.

Forget the loop. Let's have a congestion fee for Lakeview. Anything east of Ashland, north of Fullerton, south of Irving Park.

People will pay the fee, but congestion will be exactly the same. You can't solve a problem without actually solving it.

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This page contains a single entry by Monifa Thomas published on April 27, 2007 12:31 PM.

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