News

Poll Finds New Yorkers Think Congestion Is ‘Serious’ Problem

But Respondents Don't Like Idea Of Adding Tolls To Bridges Where There Are None
Traffic on the FDR Drive after a tractor-trailer got stuck under an overpass on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 (credit: CBS 2)

Traffic on the FDR Drive after a tractor-trailer got stuck under an overpass on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A total of 86 percent of participants of a new Quinnipiac University study said traffic congestion in New York City is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem.

The figure included 89 percent of those who drive to work and 85 percent of mass transit users.

But despite that figure, participants were not thrilled by proposals that could help ease the congestion.

The findings were released Monday.

Seventy-one percent of those polled say placing tolls on free East River bridges would be a bad idea.

The opposition would drop to 49 percent if tolls were reduced at the same time on other bridges linking Manhattan to outer boroughs.

Former city traffic commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz and Move NY last year proposed the idea to add tolls to the bridges.

Currently, the four city-owned large-span bridges between Manhattan and the outer boroughs – the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges to and from Brooklyn and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge to and from Queens, are all free.

But the two tunnels alongside the bridges – the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel — are owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and cost $15 round trip.

The proposal by Schwartz and Move NY would add the $15 round trip to the four East River bridges, but cut the current $15 toll on the Throgs Neck, Whitestone, Robert F. Kennedy Triborough and Verrazano Narrows bridges, to $10.

Alex Mattiessen of Move NY said in March that the plan could generate more than $1 billion in infrastructure revenue.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,033 New York City voters from June 5 to 9.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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