Did you hear the big news on congestion pricing? Huge news if you’re from New Jersey and have to drive into midtown Manhattan on a daily basis.

The plan to reduce congestion by penalizing those causing it just got shelved. Only weeks before it was to go into effect New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday indefinitely delayed the implementation of the scheme to charge motorists hefty tolls to enter the center of Manhattan.

Hochul said she came to the “difficult decision that implementing the planned congestion pricing system risks too many unintended consequences at this time.”

Wow. Hallelujah. Can I get an amen?

Now if you really want to stop something by making it cost too much, may I suggest an entirely different plan for us here in New Jersey?

I call it annoyance pricing.

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Just like congestion pricing, annoyance pricing hits you where it hurts financially but covers things that aren’t technically illegal so we’ll call it a “fee” instead of a “fine.”

My annoyance pricing program, which would charge a $30 fee, will include the following egregious behavior.

Leaving your car at the gas pump while you go inside to shop at the attached convenience mart. We all want to punch these people but we won’t. Let’s just charge them. $30.

The clown who stops dead on a busy road and waives his right-of-way to let someone out of a driveway and nearly causes an accident. $30.

That guy who’s NOT driving a tractor-trailer, yet when making a right turn feels the need to swing out towards the left first to get that oh-so-lengthy Kia Soul around the corner. $30.

The person who leaves a 15-foot gap between them and the car in front of them in a drive-thru so that you can’t reach the speaker to order. $30.

The winner who takes up four parking spaces so no one door dings their new BMW. $30.

The other winner who in an otherwise completely empty parking lot chooses to park directly next to your car. And too close. $30.

Annoyance pricing. Its time has come.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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