The idea of congestion pricing — putting a bit of a squeeze on all drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street on weekdays —- has been around for a while. In recent weeks, however, it's suddenly begun to get traction, and, as the Sun reports today, it now seems that City Hall will apply for federal funds next year to study the idea. Who's so excited about the issue? Well, first, the Partnership for New York City, a group of 200 big-business CEOs, is about to release a report that will claim a better-than-expected response to the idea. Second, a major consulting firm is phone-polling the hell out of the citizens about the issue. (For an added dash of mystery, the firm's client is not being disclosed.) And third, the Manhattan Institute will host a panel on the issue this Thursday. Congestion pricing, as Aaron Naparstek reports in this week's magazine, was invented up at Columbia at 1951. And the best argument for reducing Manhattan traffic is that it's somehow taken 55 years for the concept to travel about 140 blocks down Broadway to City Hall.
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