Are you willing to pay more to drive in less traffic? We're talking about paying a premium on top of those hefty tolls already charged by many highways, tunnels and bridges. Transportation officials are meeting at the White House to talk about this very kind of traffic tax. They say it would unclog city streets and fight global warming. Are they right? Would it transform the roads into a dream for drivers, or would it make motoring a nightmare?
Imagine driving along and suddenly encountering the “Lexus Lanes;” a chunk of road reserved for those willing to pay a premium. That’s pretty much the concept behind something called “Congestion Pricing.” Essentially it’s an added tariff for driving in the city center during the busiest times of day.
Kathryn Wylde is President of the Partnership for New York City, a group that favors congestion pricing in the New York City. “What we have to understand is we’re all paying a traffic tax already because of the cost of traffic delays,” she said. The cost is substantial. “We quantify this in the New York City Metro area at $13 billion a year...we have to do something about it.”