Summer 2003, p.18

New "Hours" Report: E. River Bridge Tolls Cut Traffic, Save Time

The Bridge Tolls Advocacy Project's new report reveals that East River bridge tolls would be cost effective and would reduce traffic and save time, especially for residents of Brooklyn and Queens.
The Bridge Tolls Advocacy Project's new report reveals that East River bridge tolls would be cost effective and would reduce traffic and save time, especially for residents of Brooklyn and Queens.
"The hours," a new report from the Bridge Tolls Advocacy Project has found that tolls on New York City's East River bridges would reduce traffic on and around the bridges and reduce travel times by an average of five minutes.

The report also reveals that tolling the bridges will reduce traffic on neighborhood streets near the bridges because motorists will stay on the Long Island Expressway and continue through the tolled Midtown Tunnel instead of detouring on Long Island City streets to the currently free Queensboro Bridge. Likewise, motorists will stop detouring from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridges.

This reduction in traffic through downtown Brooklyn is crucial to the success of the massive new development planned in that area. Without tolls on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, downtown Brooklyn will choke on massive traffic jams.
Time saved from the tolls would be worth an estimated $650 million a year to drivers. This savings translates to more than 90% of the expected $700 million annual out-of-pocket costs of tolls.

Finally, the report shows that 80% of the reduction of traffic congestion will be in Brooklyn and Queens or on the bridges themselves, which means that tolls will primarily benefit Brooklyn and Queens residents. Another Bridge Tolls Advocacy Project paper earlier this year found that only 2% of Brooklyn and Queens residents would pay more than $50 a year on tolls. This is most likely the same 2% that can afford to pay for parking and all the other expenses associated with driving a car daily in NYC.

Read the latest news on this subject.