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City drivers loathe pay-to-drive idea

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A Quinnipiac University survey said 55 percent of New York City voters polled said traffic congestion is what they termed "very serious" and 34 percent said it was "somewhat serious."From Jan. 9-15 Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,013 registered voters in New York City.By a 62-31 percent margin, New Yorkers oppose congestion pricing, which involves the city charging motorists a fee to drive into Manhattan below 60th Street, the poll reported."Proponents are going to have a hard sell on congestion pricing," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute."But if Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighs in with his 75-16 percent approval rating, he does have political capital to spend in tough issues," Carroll said.Those polled indicated by a margin of 57 to 37 they felt that congestion pricing would amount to an unfair tax.London charges motorists the equivalent of $14 to drive into the inner core of the city and supporters say traffic congestion has been reduced from 20 to 30 percent. Cameras are used to determine who has paid and drivers who do not are fined.In London, the fee is applicable between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.The poll also found that those polled opposed - by a percentage of 78-17 - the idea of putting tolls on now free East River bridges. Even Manhattan residents said it was a bad idea.Among Queens residents polled, 28 percent said they travel to Manhattan five to seven days a week; 19 percent visited Manhattan several times a week; 19 percent several times a month and 33 percent less frequently than that.Only 24 percent of those polled said they usually go to Manhattan by car while 67 percent said they use mass transit.Reach reporter Phil Newman by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 136.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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