What Western Queens Stands to Lose Without Congestion Pricing

Queens residents crash Friday’s anti-pricing rally

We’ve received several reports that Friday’s anti-pricing rally on the Queens side of the 59th Street Bridge, spearheaded by City Council Member Tony Avella, was a bust.

According to our sources, of the council members slated to attend — Avella, Leroy Comrie, Melinda Katz, David Weprin "and other possible members of the Queens Delegation" — only Avella and Weprin showed up. Pro-pricing folks who came to either counter-protest or just express support for pricing, including those from Queens, were reportedly yelled at and accused of being "undemocratic" by Avella. Environmental Defense was on hand to measure air quality and found that "contaminants were sky high."

Notably absent from the proceedings was Councilman Eric Gioia, who represents the district where the rally took place. Here are a few possible reasons why, as enumerated in testimony to council members by DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

  • Without congestion pricing, western Queens will not see a 39% reduction in its most severe traffic jams, and a 6.1% reduction in total traffic.
  • Without congestion pricing, western Queens will not receive new bus routes from Middle Village to South Ferry in Lower Manhattan, and from Jackson Heights to Penn Station.
  • Without congestion pricing, western Queens will not get improved service on the Q60 bus route.
  • Without congestion pricing, western Queens will lose 46 new subway cars that would increase service frequency on the E and F trains.
  • Without congestion pricing, western Queens may lose state-of-the-art train control on the #7 line, that would allow trains to operate at higher speeds and run closer together, for better, more frequent service.

This is what Avella, Weprin and other hard-working council members are trying to take away from Gioia’s constituents today. Will Gioia himself be among them?

  • Dave Kulick

    We’ve been told over and over that there is no way to run more trains on the E and F lines, not that the problem is a shortage of cars.

    I’ll tell you what. Get central and eastern Queens neighborhoods better transit now, and consider CP once it’s working. That will be in about 15 – 20 years, when Queens has another 500,000 people cramming into the trains and buses.

  • Yeah!! Get Queens better transit now, and in 15-20 years, I will consider providing a funding mechanism for that transit.

  • Ed


    You are so right. You need to get better transit before you force more people on the existing lines.

  • Astoria Resident

    No, this is just what happens when you don’t have enough population density (in Eastern Queens) to support a full-time subway service. Yes, you get more yard space or whatever, but there are tradeoffs.

  • Mike

    I believe I read on this website recently that the CP will specifically fund better service on the E, F, and 7 trains in the near future. Indeed the limiting factor is not the availability of trains. It is the spacing between trains, which is limited by the signaling and control system. The signaling systems were already upgraded on the L train, which was a trial case for the new signaling technology. The plan is to invest CP revenue in upgrading the signaling systems on these lines in Queens to enable the trains to run closer together.


Queens Pols Rally to Keep Using Gioia’s District as Their Doormat

Tony Avella, Leroy Comrie, Melinda Katz, David Weprin "and other possible members of the Queens Delegation" are holding an anti-congestion pricing rally tomorrow morning at 8:00 on the Queens side of the 59th Street Bridge, according to an e-mail from the Queens Civic Congress. Notably, Eric Gioia (right), who represents the traffic-burdened district where the […]

Detractors Find Congestion Pricing Facts in Short Supply

  Add the Queens Chamber of Commerce to the list of pre-emptive congestion pricing foes. The chamber’s Legislative Advocacy Committee has prepped a report on the "harmful effects" of congestion pricing on businesses, and chamber members are also reportedly spreading the word. Writing in the chamber newsletter, Queensborough, QCC President Raymond J. Irrera espouses the […]

Bloomberg: It’s Up to Albany to Revive Congestion Pricing

If congestion pricing is going to resurface as a viable option to relieve traffic, help plug the enormous gap in the MTA capital program, and keep transit fares from ballooning in the years ahead, it won’t come from the Bloomberg administration. Testifying in Albany on Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal today, Bloomberg said he won’t get […]

Will Pro-Pricing Council Members Suffer for Their Votes?

Should City Council members who voted for congestion pricing fear for their political futures? According to a story in today’s Daily News, some do. City Council members, pressured to approve Mayor Bloomberg’s plan, are left to wonder whether their votes will come back to haunt them. In the days leading up to the vote, members […]

Queens Chamber Continues Campaign Against Congestion Pricing

Foes of congestion pricing marshalled by the Queens Chamber of Commerce held a press conference yesterday at which several politicians from the borough took a stand against the mayor’s plan. According to a press release provided by the chamber, City Council Finance Chair David Weprin called the proposal unnecessary: "I don’t think City Hall understands […]