Between the Lines of the Congestion Pricing Poll

Supporters of the Mayor’s congestion pricing plan reacted quickly to this morning’s Qunnipiac University poll showing that New York City voters opposed it 56 to 37 percent. 
Kathryn Wylde, president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, suggested in a statement that pricing opponents “want to put their head in the sand and deny the severity of our traffic problem.” Another press release, from the Campaign for New York’s Future, a coalition of pro-pricing groups, “disputed” the findings because the questions did not ask about health and transit benefits associated with the plan.         

Actually, advocates should find more comfort in the results than they have--and maybe they are, but just not letting on. About half (45 to 46 percent) of respondents said that the scheme would be good for the economy. And, while only a minority like the idea, support rose from 31 percent in January to 37 percent in May—an increase that is actually greater than the margin of error. The later poll even hypothesized a larger congestion-pricing zone than the earlier one: Manhattan up to 86th Street instead of just 60th Street.

And this trend is accompanied by an increase in awareness of the plan, which means that as the more people learn, the more they like it.