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Old 04-04-2008, 03:46 PM   #21
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

Yes but of course Albany is probably going to shoot this down. It is times like this I wish the city was it's own thing, like DC only with actual representation. This is where having the capitol in the major city is helpful.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #22
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

Quote:
He added: ?What?s next? We?re going to charge a user fee to come into Central Park because it?s crowded??
^Yeah... that's probably what they'll do.

This would be a smart move for Boston as well. London has one of these and the two people from the London area I've discussed it with are very supportive (though, they are on the progressive thinking end when it comes to city planning/ mass transit). I think it's only logical that Manhattan would be the first adopt this type of policy in the U.S. and Boston would have to do some upgrading to the mass transit system, but it's not unreasonable at all.

My biggest question would be how do they go about enforce it? I'm not so sure the people on the Upper East Side would particularly receptive to toll booths stretched across the avenues, but how else to do it? The ensuing back ups would be terrible (albeit probably no worse than they already are). Does anyone have any clue on how Manhattan proposes to to go about setting this up? it should be easy to do on the bridges and the tunnels, but I'm really curious to how they go about doing this on the avenues.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #23
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

Same as london, no physical barriers, just cameras that take pictures of license plates.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:02 PM   #24
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

If you thought nepotism and graft was bad in the city, wait until all the cash from congestion charge gets poured into the trough. I see such a fee as a big incentive for people to stay in the suburbs and other places which aren't regulated. London is large enough and critical enough to get away with such robbery, but fat chance of it working as planned here.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:49 PM   #25
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

^But if you only block off the central parts of the city, people will drive as far as the nearest accessible commuter rail or rapid transit stop much like many already do today. I think you would see those suburbanites driving to stations like Wellington, Quincy Adams, Quincy Center with more frequency (which would mean larger/updated parking at the suburban stops), etc instead of all the way in. Of course, the ones who don't mind paying the fee and can afford itwill continue to drive in; but it will encourage more carpooling ($8 split 4 ways = $2 a head) and reduce the vehicular traffic in the core of the city.

I just can't see a fee on cars affecting a city like Boston (despite its relative size to NYC or London) negatively considering its relatively vast mass transit system. You really think charging drivers to enter the city center would keep people out? Most of those people rely on the city for work, healthcare, etc. and would continue to do so, even if it meant altering their method of commute. If anything, a congestion toll could help increase support for mass transit improvements. Also, for the shoppers and suburban families, lift the tolls on the weekends, traffic isn't nearly as heavy on a normal Sat. or Sun (or holiday) as it is during the week. Hell, maybe it could only be in effect from 6am-7 or 8pm Mon-Fri. I doubt it would deter people from going into town though.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #26
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

http://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_elias...ffic_jams.html

Very nice short presentation on Stockholm's experience. After the [equivalent of] 1-2 Euro charge was instituted, 20% of traffic just disappeared overnight, and this improvement has persisted. When they did take away the congestion charge, the traffic congestion re-appeared almost immediately. So it was re-voted back into place, and since then the popularity of the idea went from 70% against to 70% in favor of the tolls.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:30 PM   #27
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

There's already a pretty heavy congestion charge in the form of time for anyone traveling on I-93 at peak times, and it could be argued that the cost of parking serves as a congestion charge.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #28
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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There's already a pretty heavy congestion charge in the form of time for anyone traveling on I-93 at peak times, and it could be argued that the cost of parking serves as a congestion charge.
People flood the road causing that traffic because the cost of parking is low enough for it to be worth it.

The idea of congestion pricing is to remove enough cars from the road so that the ones that are left get a nice, easy ride to and from the city. I don't understand why more people who prefer to drive aren't willing to pay to have their ride be that much nicer.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #29
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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There's already a pretty heavy congestion charge in the form of time for anyone traveling on I-93 at peak times, and it could be argued that the cost of parking serves as a congestion charge.
One could argue that... but then again, another would argue that clearly neither time nor parking is valued high enough to reach an equilibrium. Traffic in Boston is still atrocious even with long travel times and high parking rates.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:13 PM   #30
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

Congestion pricing would serve more to disincentive people from coming into Boston than it would function as a viable revenue stream. It might be a deterrent for cars, but it would also be a deterrent for people who would visit the city to conduct business/shop/dine/etc. Boston is not London or Singapore. It's not that hot of a commodity that you can get away with taxing people to the hilt and they'll keep coming back for more.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #31
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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Congestion pricing would serve more to disincentive people from coming into Boston than it would function as a viable revenue stream. It might be a deterrent for cars, but it would also be a deterrent for people who would visit the city to conduct business/shop/dine/etc. Boston is not London or Singapore. It's not that hot of a commodity that you can get away with taxing people to the hilt and they'll keep coming back for more.
Yes, these people will just go to the theaters, world renowned museums, famous shopping street and 5 star restaurants in worcester.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #32
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

Stockholm is London?

It's not intended as a revenue source. It's 1-2 euro, so maybe $1 here.

The funny thing is that 20% of the traffic suddenly disappeared, and if you watched the presentation, you'd know that it's a complete mystery as to where it went.

People in surveys swore that they did not change their habits. Yet the traffic was gone. And when the toll was removed, the traffic returned almost instantly.

Watch the video, it's only 6 minutes.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:40 AM   #33
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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theaters
Not many people go more than once a year.

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world renowned museums
There's only one of those.


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famous shopping street
Everything worthwhile can be had in Natick.


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5 star restaurants
I don't think Boston has any.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:45 AM   #34
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

And yet people will still spend millions of dollars to live here.

Weirdos.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #35
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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Everything worthwhile can be had in Natick.
Intentional or not, I nominate this for "High Comedy Post of the Year."
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:40 AM   #36
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

I just did a research paper on Vickrey, the father of congestion pricing and about the system implemented in London. Here's an article that explains it very neatly

http://www.vtpi.org/london.pdf

If the extra fee can go into public transportation improvement like London, then this is definitely something Boston should consider. According to the article, many businesses saw an uptick in activity after the implementation, proving that it would not provide a disincentive to travel to the city center (not surprisingly as tourists are more likely to take public transportation than to drive around the city, thus they are relatively unaffected by the fee and, since the fee goes into public transportation, they get to enjoy the new improvements. Don't let other people try mislead you by saying it will scare people away.)
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:09 PM   #37
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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Originally Posted by kmp1284 View Post
Congestion pricing would serve more to disincentive people from coming into Boston than it would function as a viable revenue stream. It might be a deterrent for cars, but it would also be a deterrent for people who would visit the city to conduct business/shop/dine/etc. Boston is not London or Singapore. It's not that hot of a commodity that you can get away with taxing people to the hilt and they'll keep coming back for more.
Most of the people that come into the city to shop or dine are not driving in at 8:30AM and leaving at 5:00PM. They, presumably, aren't the targets of the Congestion Toll. And if they were planning to travel during those times, they may change their behavior for these non-essential trips (Voila! The toll worked!!).
People coming into the city for business don't really have a choice. They can either change their behavior (commuter rail, MBTA, rearrange meetings, etc.) or pay the toll for the luxury of spending less time in traffic (again, the toll worked!!).
And spare me the, "Businesses will all move to Waltham" routine. Office vacancies in Boston don't spike every time the Pike toll increases.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #38
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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Originally Posted by AmericanFolkLegend View Post
Most of the people that come into the city to shop or dine are not driving in at 8:30AM and leaving at 5:00PM. They, presumably, aren't the targets of the Congestion Toll. And if they were planning to travel during those times, they may change their behavior for these non-essential trips (Voila! The toll worked!!).
People coming into the city for business don't really have a choice. They can either change their behavior (commuter rail, MBTA, rearrange meetings, etc.) or pay the toll for the luxury of spending less time in traffic (again, the toll worked!!).
And spare me the, "Businesses will all move to Waltham" routine. Office vacancies in Boston don't spike every time the Pike toll increases.
Well said.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:21 PM   #39
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

I agree, it's "congestion" pricing - so, only when there's congestion.

I was waiting for the "if we raise the price of going to Boston, people will stop going there" argument.

We don't live in 1970. The city today has a vibrant class of people who live and work here. It can exist / succeed without all the suburbanites.

People will go elsewhere for the cultural activities? I'll believe it when they open the Museum of Fine Arts, Billerica.

I remember John Sununu when governor of NH said something like hosted a bunch of people from around the country and took them out to a great restaurant and a show ... in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:45 PM   #40
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Re: Congestion toll in Boston?

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We don't live in 1970. The city today has a vibrant class of people who live and work here. It can exist / succeed without all the suburbanites.
No, it really can't. A few hundred formerly wealthy old wasps and Jews, Hipster pricks, uppity gays and probably two hundred thousand on the dole is not a sustainable population model.
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