Air Quality: November 2008 Archives

After New York City failed to pass a congestion pricing scheme last year, San Francisco is considering tomorrow a way to charge incoming traffic a fee to reduce congestion and address climate change

San Francisco was ranked the fourth most-congested US city in 2008 by the Texas Transportation Institute, after #1 Washington DC. Besides the city's concern with reducing downtown traffic congestion by trying to get more commuters into the city on public transit, congestion pricing can reduce local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Other cities that have successfully implemented congestion pricing include London, Stockholm, and Singapore.  Since London's program went into effect in 2005, downtown congestion has decreased 26% while local CO2 air pollution has decreased 16%.

It's a tough time for any US city to be considering such a measure (London visitors pay a flat eight British Pounds, or about $13, when they enter the city), but the price of congestion alone can have signficant negative impacts on local economies: estimates for NYC's congestion annual economic impacts on lost time, fuel and revenue were $13 billion.  

On top of congestion, when one considers public health costs from air pollution and compliance risks to upcoming greenhouse gas regulations, congestion pricing seems like a much better deal than business as usual. 

 

About the Author

    Warren Karlenzig
Warren
Warren Karlenzig, Common Current founder and president, has worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (lead co-author United Nations Shanghai Manual: A Guide to Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2011); United Nations Center for Regional Development (training of mayors from 13 Asian nations on city sustainable economic development and technology); provinces of Guizhou and Guangdong, China (urban sustainability master planning and green city standards); the United States White House and Environmental Protection Agency (Eco-Industrial Park planning and Industrial Ecology primer); the nation of South Korea ("New Cities Green Metrics"); The European Union ("Green and Connected Cities Initiative"); the State of California ("Comprehensive Recycling Communities" and "Sustainable Community Plans"); major cities; and the world's largest corporations developing policy, strategy, financing and critical operational capacities for 20 years.

Present and recent clients include the Guangzhou Planning Agency; the Global Forum on Human Settlements; the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bureau; the US Department of State; the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the non-governmental organization Ecocity Builders; a major mixed-use real estate development corporation; an educational sustainability non-profit; and global corporations. Read more here.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Air Quality category from November 2008.

Air Quality: October 2008 is the previous archive.

Air Quality: December 2008 is the next archive.

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