Degree Year

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Politics

Advisor(s)

Eve Sandberg

Committee Member(s)

Chris Howell
Emer Sinéad O'Dwyer

Keywords

Political science, Public policy, Transportation, Transportation planning, Urban planning

Abstract

Elected officials in the United States currently face a difficult and growing challenge: how to finance the estimated $4.5 trillion needed to bring the United States’ public infrastructure back to a state of good repair. Amidst the uncertainty of financing public services through tax revenues, policymakers in several cities around the world have been advocating for and implementing an urban policy solution called congestion pricing. In this study, against the background of theories of political decision making, I analyze two cases in New York (2007-2008 and 2017-2019) to demonstrate why congestion pricing became the policy of choice by elected leaders in New York City for resolving the transportation financing crisis. I argue that the most important independent causal variable that affected the dependent outcome of policy implementation is the way in which congestion pricing’s backers framed and rationalized the policy to elected officials and to the general public.

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