Perhaps the writer just wanted to use three US cities, or perhaps it's de rigueur to compare Toronto to New York. But New York's environmental policies are so weak, that the article cites Mayor Bloomberg's proposals, none of which exist yet - and many of which, knowing New York, may never exist. I wrote this.
If Toronto wants to emulate New York City's successes, it shouldn't look at proposals for programs that don't exist, and may never, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed vehicle congestion tax.
Where New York should and can be imitated is its massive public transportation infrastructure. Driving into Manhattan's business district is an unnecessary luxury. Owning a car at all in New York is a luxury, not a necessity. Can Toronto say that?
I think a vehicle congestion charge is an important and necessary idea. I'm sure you know that Ken Livingstone, the forward-thinking mayor of London, pioneered its use. Its success led Livingstone to push on, introducing a pilot program to one area of London, in which drivers pay tolls based on vehicle emissions.
I'd like to see New York City ban private vehicles from downtown and midtown Manhattan altogether. Buses and cabs only. I've been saying this for years.
But London and New York City both have an incredible amount of public transit. How can Toronto reduce vehicular use in the city without offering enough alternatives? Toronto needs more subways, and the suburbs need more trains.
And if you want to make a green city, don't look to New York as your model.