Support for Pricing From Nassau Dem Michelle Schimel

016.jpgWhile many of her colleagues are hoping to avoid taking a stand on congestion pricing by urging Speaker Sheldon Silver to kill the plan without a vote, Nassau County Assembly Democrat Michelle Schimel has come out strongly in favor with an editorial in the Great Neck Record:

For more than 300,000 Long Island residents, the daily commute to New York City is often a difficult one — either because their mass transit experience is unpleasant and slow or because they sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic from their home to their office. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse. Our region can expect more and more drivers on our streets, and riders in our buses and trains. But, as of now, we don’t and won’t have the funds to make real improvements to handle the overflow.

[Congestion pricing] would reduce traffic by 8 percent in Long Island and across the region while earning $500 million a year that would go directly to mass transit projects such as modernization of the Long Island Rail Road and East Side Access — projects that could cut commuters’ trips by as much as 44 minutes a day, according to the Regional Plan Association. The reduced congestion will also help drivers who aren’t commuting daily to Manhattan, freeing up roadways to save everyone time.

More important than the cost to a small percentage of commuters is the cost of maintaining the status quo and not implementing a congestion pricing plan. Millions more people will clog our roads over the next few decades without viable alternative mass transportation options, making daily commutes far more unbearable.

  • Felix

    She probably realizes that among the tiny percentage of her constituents that will pay the fee, most would be glad to pay $8 for a quicker commute.

    I wonder why Lew doesn’t see it this way. His constituents are currently faced with the choices of a long trip on mass transit or a long drive stuck in traffic. CP would give them a quick option that doesn’t currently exist. And even though the drive wouldn’t be free any longer, it would be comparable to an express bus or LIRR trip or even to what transit riders were paying in the old two-fare zones.

    I used to work with a guy from Marine Park who would wake up at some ungodly hour to drive into Midtown before the traffic got bad. I bet he wouldn’t mind paying $8 to sleep an extra hour.

  • da

    She gets it!! Why don’t the others?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Little Movement on Pricing Bill This Weekend (NYT, News, NY1, Post, AMNY, Sun) How Pricing Bill Might Change (Crain’s) Some City Vehicles Would Pay Congestion Fee (Sun) The Post Profiles Car Commuters Against Pricing; Calls Bill ‘Unworkably Complex‘ Pricing Foes Put on One Last Rally (NY1) Nassau Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is Pro-Pricing (Great Neck Record) […]

Profiles in Discouragement: Pols Defend Traffic Status Quo

|
Council member Lew Fidler delivers his Tax & Tunnel plan to the Commission. Spencer Wilking reports: The city’s traveling road show of community advocates, local politicians and concerned residents, otherwise known as New York City’s Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, stopped in Brooklyn Thursday night as part of its whirlwind seven county tour. At the hearing […]

Congestion Pricing Supporters Speak Up in Queens

|
Meghan Goth reports: With city buses slogging their way past double-parked cars on Archer Avenue just outside, Queens community members and elected officials testified on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for a three-year congestion pricing pilot program at York College Performing Arts Center last night. The Traffic Congestion Mitigation hearing, one of seven being held around […]

Pricing Alternatives Fail the “Reality Test”

|
A side-by-side comparison of PlaNYC congestion pricing and alternatives offered by pricing opponents shows that the Bloomberg proposal is the only one that would have an immediate impact on auto traffic while improving transit. Further, the report concludes that plans put forth by Congressman Anthony Weiner, Council Member Lew Fidler, and Keep NYC Congestion Tax […]