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NLC encourages US cities to explore congestion charging

National League of Cities wants to show local leaders how such charging systems could sustainably improve conditions on and around America’s roads.

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Congestion charging could help to fund infrastructure projects
Congestion charging could help to fund infrastructure projects

The National League of Cities (NLC) has released a new guide to encourage cities to consider congestion charging systems as a potentially economical solution to build thriving communities, calm traffic and improve quality of life for residents.

 

Making Space: Congestion Charging in Cities explores how congestion charging systems can become a practical funding alternative to keep up with the nation’s transportation mobility projects and features case studies of London, Stockholm, Singapore and New York City.

 

It explains how congestion charging works, reviews the different pilot programmes, and shows the potential advantages and barriers to implementing pilots in the US.

 

Emerging framework

 

In US cities with populations of 50,000 or more, 91 per cent of residents commute by car. In mid-sized cities it hovers between 86 and 87 per cent, and in large cities, that number drops to 78 per cent. Even among the 15 largest cities, only five have comprehensive transportation systems.

 

Congestion pricing is a new and emerging framework that doesn’t yet exist in the US, although New York City is about to launch a congestion charge.

 

Meanwhile, the NLC highlights that it could cost almost $5 trillion to “fully fix and upgrade” American infrastructure and said congestion charging systems could potentially raise billions of dollars per year.

 

“It’s no secret that America’s physical infrastructure and natural environment are under threat,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC). “The people in our communities deserve better. By piloting new technologies like congestion charging systems, local leaders have the opportunity to find ways to sustainably improve conditions on and around America’s roads.”

“We all deserve safe roads and bridges, clean air and access to transit. Ultimately, city leaders will be the ones to usher in the innovative, forward-looking systems to get us there”

NLC’s top legislative priority in 2019 is rebuilding and reimagining America’s infrastructure. The Rebuild With Us campaign has prioritised ways Congress and the administration can work with local leaders in key areas, including transforming our transportation systems, broadband and water infrastructure.

 

NLC is calling on Congress to develop and pass a comprehensive bill that rebuilds and reimagines America’s infrastructure in partnership with local governments, because America’s cities, towns and villages can’t afford to wait.

 

“The mobility landscape is changing: driverless cars, electric vehicles, e-scooters and even robots are coming to our streets. But we still haven’t fixed our nation’s infrastructure,” said Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director for NLC’s Centre for City Solutions.

 

“We all deserve safe roads and bridges, clean air and access to transit. Ultimately, city leaders will be the ones to usher in the innovative, forward-looking systems to get us there.”

 

Read the full report Making Space: Congestion Charging in Cities

 

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