An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Tax on Driving into DC?

A few blogs have been buzzing about the possibility of a congestion tax in DC. New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed a congestion tax as part of his Earth Day proposals to help green the city and cut down on traffic. DC's Mayor Adrian Fenty is a big fan of Bloomberg, and is reportedly thinking of something similar for DC. A similar congestion charge in London has already been successful in cutting traffic and reducing travel times.

Here are some basic arguments for and against a congestion tax:

PRO -- Reduce traffic at peak times, raise revenue for transportation needs, cut air pollutants (DC is a nonattainment area for ground-level ozone and fine particulates)

CON -- Fairness issues: The tax would hit low-income drivers the hardest, while high-income drivers would be able to enjoy the reduced traffic. And why only tax drivers in certain parts of the city? Workers don't control where their offices are located.

Arlington commuters who drive into DC for work would be hit hard by this tax. What do you think? Is it a good idea?

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Anonymous Coeus said...

Your pros and cons pretty much sum up the issue. I was ready to write it off as too discriminant to work. Then I had a thought on a compromise. What if they only taxed single drivers? Maybe even a lower tax on two people. By the time you grab your third passenger, you get a free ride within DC. It would encourage more car pooling while lessening the burden on people that must drive in. Still a bit discriminant, but a just a thought...

5:58 PM

Blogger microwave15 said...

How would they collect this tax? The NBC4 story didn't elaborate.

I live and work in Arlington, but my Doctor is downtown...would I have to pay for the 1-2 times I have to drive into DC every year? How would they distinguish my car from others? Would the just tax people with monthly parking?

This policy sounds like it will take years to write. How about toll booths at the bridges for single drivers...with free HOV lanes for poolers?

7:37 PM

Blogger Miles said...

Yeah, I was thinking it would be something like an EZPass like you use to pay tolls along the I95 corridor ... looks like they have lots of options for paying in London ...

8:26 PM

Blogger Little Blue PD said...

I think Mayor Nanny Bloomie is a very arrogant man. I also highly doubt he rides the subway that much. He's the mayor, I want someone driving him around so he can work and make calls and stuff. New Yorkers shouldn't want him wasting all that time on the subway.

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

It's true, Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg?

It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

Check out the map! Tell your friends!

Check it out!


Little Blue PD


5:31 AM


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