|The proposed congestion charge zone. Click to enlarge.|
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose Earth Day to present a package of 127 initiatives designed to achieve the sustainability goals that he had outlined in December 2006, including reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.
As a coastal city, we’re on the leading edge of one of the most dramatic effects of global warming: rising sea levels and intensifying storms. The science is there. It’s time to stop debating it and to start dealing with it. Of course, no city or country can address this issue alone. But that doesn’t mean we can walk away from the responsibility to do our part and to show others it can be done in ways that will strengthen the economy’s long-term health.—Mayor Bloomberg
Other goals of PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York include: affordable housing for an expected additional 1 million New Yorkers; increasing access to parks, playgrounds and open spaces; reclaiming brownfields; developing critical backup systems for the aging water network to ensure reliability; providing additional reliable power sources and upgrading existing power plants; and reducing water pollution.
Earlier this month, the Mayor released New York’s first-ever comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, which was the first step towards achieving major emissions reductions.
For transportation, one major set of initiatives is focused on expanding and improving mass transit.
In analyzing congestion pricing, we studied commuting patterns across the city, and we arrived at an astounding finding. Of the New Yorkers who work in Manhattan but live outside it, only five percent commute by car.—Mayor Bloomberg
PlaNYC will seek to fund five key projects that eliminate capacity constraints on some of our most clogged mass transit routes into Manhattan. These are:
The completion of the Second Avenue Subway.
The addition of a third track on the Long Island Rail Road Main Line, enabling it to run more trains, use its fleet better, and provide more service at local stations in Queens. It will especially serve reverse commuters, who live in New York City but work in Nassau County. Today, nearly 270,000 New York City workers commute to jobs outside city limits, up by 10% since 2000.
Two projects to increase capacity for commuters west of the Hudson. The first is a second trans-Hudson tunnel for new Jersey transit, doubling the number of trains it can run and enabling direct service to New York on several lines for the first time. The second is the Moynihan Station Project.
A second dedicated Express Bus Lane through the Lincoln Tunnel.
Other initiatives include:
Providing new commuter rail access to Manhattan;
Expanding transit access to underserved areas;
Improving and expanding bus service by initiating and expanding Bus Rapid Transit routes, dedicating Bus/High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on East River Bridges and exploring other bus service improvements;
Improving local commuter rail service;
Improving access to subways and bus stops citywide;
Developing congestion management plans for outer-borough growth corridors;
Expanding ferry service and better integrate that service with the city's existing mass transit system;
Promoting cycling by completing the City’s 1,800-mile bike master plan;
Piloting congestion pricing to manage traffic in the Central Business District (CBD). Passenger vehicles entering or leaving Manhattan below 86th Street during the business day (weekdays 6 am to 6 pm)—with the exception of the FDR Drive, the West Side Highway, and West Street—would pay an $8 daily fee. Trucks would pay $21. Autos that drive only within “the Zone” would pay half price. The charge would apply to all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, those with handicapped license plates, taxis, and for-hire vehicles (radio cars);
Managing roads more efficiently by expanding the use of Muni Meters and creating an integrated traffic management system;
Strengthening enforcement of traffic violations by expanding the number of Traffic Enforcement Agents (TEAs), allowing them to issue blocking-the-box tickets, and increase the use of traffic enforcement cameras;
Facilitating freight movement by improving access to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and exploring High Occupancy Truck Toll (HOTT) lanes; and
Establishing a new Sustainable Mobility and Regional Transportation (SMART) Financing Authority to advance new projects and achieve a state of good repair in the subway and on the roads.