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Former NYC traffic commissioner: 'I have a secret solution' to fixing Amazon congestion

Adriana Belmonte
Associate Editor

After Amazon (AMZN) announced that one of its two new HQ2 locations will be in Long Island City, Queens, many people began to wonder if the city’s infrastructure can handle the influx of traffic that will come as a result.

Sam Schwartz, former NYC traffic commissioner and author of “No One at the Wheel,” said that he “has a secret solution” to fixing what is already a world-class congestion issue: Toll the Queensboro Bridge.

‘If we toll the Queensboro Bridge …’ we fix NYC traffic issue

According to the MTA, the most heavily used river crossings are the Willis Avenue Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, and the Brooklyn Bridge. None of these bridges have tolls.

“If we toll the Queensboro Bridge, if we have congestion pricing, we will remove 30,000-40,000 vehicles from Long Island City streets,” Schwartz said on Market Movers.

There were 60,000 people living in Long Island City in 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, “the Long Island City Partnership forecasts that number will top 100,000 by 2021.”

Could we fix NYC traffic by adding a few tolls? (Photo: MTA)

As the graphic above shows, there are 12 bridges and tunnels in New York City with tolls. These include the Queens Midtown Tunnel, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and the Lincoln Tunnel.

According to the MTA, the Queensboro Bridge saw up to 70,000 vehicles “per day per direction” in 2016, and up to 5,300 vehicles “per peak hour per direction.”

It’s unclear how much traffic is expected to increase as a result of the Amazon headquarters, or if the city has any plans to address the congestion issues.

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.

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