This morning’s Crain’s Insider names Streetsblog one of the winners of Monday’s congestion pricing vote in City Council. While we’re honored, no one around here is spiking the ball or dancing in the end zone until New York’s famously dysfunctional state legislature is done doing whatever it is they’re going to do to the plan. Richard Brodksy is, for now, a loser who "overplayed his hand."
Crain’s also names Staten Island Councilman Mike McMahon one of the losers. They suggest that his support of congestion pricing has ruined any chance he has to win the Borough presidency. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Crain’s is wrong about that.
Only 5.8% of Staten Island’s Central Business District commuters travel by car. Most of these drivers already pay a toll. Since the toll is discounted, congestion pricing wouldn’t add all that much of a burden to all that many Staten Islanders. More significant, Staten Island is a big winner if congestion pricing passes. I’ve gotten a sneak peak at one of the new Bus Rapid Transit projects planned for the traffic-choked borough. I can’t say much about it except that it is outstanding and will be the most exemplary BRT line in New York City if it goes forward as planned. It’ll be a huge benefit in a borough where traffic congestion is the number one quality of life issue.
Thanks to his yes vote for congestion pricing, Mike McMahon is the guy who can say he brought this project home. Meanwhile, McMahon’s likely opponent Jimmy Oddo is the guy who turned his back on the best opportunity in a generation to solve Staten Island’s ever-worsening traffic problem.