It's a pretty damn safe bet that the poor are already priced out anyway, so nobody's bleeding hearts can really be offended by increasing costs more in that regard. Even the lower- and middle-middle clbutt is by and large priced out. If you're making $60k-year, you probably don't work in the city if you live in the suburbs, and if you do live in the city, you probably use the train.
I know that there are parts of the city where you really need a car, but why is it that the right to drive everywhere is such a guarded right? In Manhattan, and probably the better parts of The Bronx and Brooklyn (maybe even Queens), most people don't drive.
Vehicles on streets in Manhattan are made up of:
* transit buses, that are slow as hell because cars get in the way * tourist buses, who must feel ashamed of themselves sometimes for giving their patrons such miserably slow rides * long-distance buses * taxis, which are obnoxious as hell to other drivers, further made up of: * yellow cabs, who are generally just buttholes who think they own the streets * car services, who have got to be the most unqualified drivers I've ever seen * delivery trucks that are probably spending much of the day nearly idle moving slow from destination to destination - they obviously perform a highly necessary service * city employees' private automobiles * private commuter automobiles * the odd tourist dumb enough to drive into NYC * livery vehicles, which probably perform some useful function sometimes * emergency vehicles * dollar vans
(Am I missing anything?)
The way things go now, each of the above is now getting in each other's way. Streets are jammed, pedestrians have very little space, parking is so abysmal that you're really not going to get a convenient space if you try, air is being polluted, and gasoline is just being flat out wasted. I don't really see any way around those facts given the status quo.
I know some percentage of each of the above is necessary, but I don't see why there aren't cases where something can't be subsbreastuted. Private commuters are people who mostly don't live in the city, only work in it, and should not be catered to directly. Yeah, try to retain their jobs, but if they decide to quit and do something else, great. The city should be trying to find ways to retain send workers in their fields anyway. It's a safe bet most of them are going to be willing to swallow any congestion charges leveled at them.
Why 'Pardon Dust
What baffles me is the (political) equal fanaticism in using asbestos then and the fanaticism in blaming asbestos now. Asbestos was known...
Now, we need deliveries. Maybe some can be shuffled around, but for the most part, there's no way to stop the fact that you need round the clock deliveries. I don't see a way around that either.
Street cars are gone, so you're kind of stuck with transit buses. They're clearly necessary in neighborhoods not accessible to the subway, and they're clearly necessary for many cross-town routes, and probably necessary for handicapped people (if you want to stay humanitarian).
I think city employees definitely get away with too much. If they need a permit to park free, they should have to show why if it's not obvious. Are they handicapped? Okay. Are they living in a really remote area of the city? Fine, maybe.
I really don't see getting rid of taxis of any sort as being convenient, though maybe subjecting them to congestion charges too wouldn't hurt.
And then there are supply-demand tricks to play. You can manipulate the supply of space to drive to find a more optimal supply-demand equilibrium. This just discourages driving outright.
And I know that someone, somewhere, gets screwed any time you shuffle a large transportation system around, but it doesn't seem to me that it's conceivable to solve the problem merely through adding supply of road space. There's no place left to put it.