Road pricing inroads

The NYT’s Sewell Chan reports on a blue-chip group that has quietly been studying road pricing for Manhattan, led by a blue-chip civic group with “a working group that includes five engineering and construction firms, Parsons Brinckerhoff, STV Group, Washington Group International, Siemens and D M J M Harris; a consulting firm, Booz Allen & Hamilton; and two prominent advocacy groups, Environmental Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Great policy and great coalition building — business leaders have a stake in making sure that traffic congestion doesn’t choke the city of its already tenuous livability — but without the integrated regional governance or land use directives from above possible in Britain or Singapore, the idea of a city taxing itself in the absence of concerted regional action strikes me as something that should be studied a bit more closely. Also, the coalition will have to grow ultimately to address the equity factor: right now, it’s the enviro and the biz elites in bed.