State Senators: Let’s Get More Cars on the Road

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The bad ideas from Albany show no sign of letting up. Just when you thought the push for a state gas tax holiday had died down, State Senators Jeff Klein and Eric Adams — of the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively — roll out their own version of summertime "relief" for drivers, and it’s a doozy. They want to suspend tolls on bridges and tunnels in the New York City area on major holidays and, yes, give drivers a gas tax rebate of up to $200.

The money quote comes from Klein, as cited by NY1 on Saturday:

"Unfortunately, according to AAA, there’ll be 360,000 fewer drivers
this Memorial Day weekend, because of high tolls and our very high gas.
This is something we need to address immediately," said Klein.

I know, I know — vowing to put more traffic on city streets is beyond backwards. But please reserve judgment until you read Klein’s full justification, from his office’s press release:

"Suspending bridge and tunnel tolls will help improve traffic flow, reduce air pollution, and reduce fuel consumption," said Senator Klein standing today at the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. "In addition, a gas tax rebate will ensure that the savings are transmitted directly to the consumer rather than the oil companies, and make travel all together more cost effective."

See? It’s worse than you thought. Pandering to drivers just crossed the threshold between cheap populism and Orwellian doublespeak.

Adams, already on record as a bike lane obstructionist, gets in on the faux-green act by releasing a list of ways drivers can conserve gas. Don’t forget to tighten up those gas caps, folks.

Photo: Web site of State Senator Jeff Klein

  • Louis

    Oh, and then there’s the obvious problem that the lack of tolls will increase congestion, thus increasing the price to drive the car, and the amount of gas needed to be purchased. What a sad joke.

  • I did not see bloggers attacking Schumer or Hillary the way these personal attacks are on Senator Adams.

    You haven’t looked very hard. This blog has attacked Schumer and Clinton, and also McCain and Bruno, and praised Obama. How racist!

    It is strange that because of his position on gas rebate, you want people to vote him out of office.

    I’d just like to see transit riders in his district have a choice when their representative wants to give millions of dollars to middle-class drivers while they pay higher transit fares and get less service. You seem to have a hard time understanding how someone could be so offended by a plan to give money to people better off than them who’ve been wasting resources for years.

  • David Cohen

    Cap’n Transit..I noticed that you answered the questions you wanted to. You are worst than a pandering elected official. You did not address if you were a Police Captain and if you know Senator Adams.

    Maybe you should just walk around to his office on Flatbush Avenue and get all this anger off your chest. :-). Like it or not the guy is a good elected official and many people in the district like him. Get over it.

    One of the few elected officials in Brooklyn that was strong enough to endorse Obama for president, the guy this site praised :-).

    No matter what you say Capt’n Transit there seems to be something personal here. You have a lot of attention on Senator Adams. You are almost like a stalker.

    And Louis there are many guys with Master Degrees that stated pollution has nothing to do with the hole in the Ozone Layer.

    Degrees mean nothing without the ability to communicate with someone when they are willing to talk. Make the Senator’s meeting on Saturday and share your “city planning” insight.

  • Cap’n Transit..I noticed that you answered the questions you wanted to. You are worst than a pandering elected official. You did not address if you were a Police Captain and if you know Senator Adams.

    No, I didn’t answer those questions because they’re crazy. Much as it would help my Secret Identity to be thought of as a captain in the Transit Police, nothing could be further from the truth.

    No matter what you say Capt’n Transit there seems to be something personal here. You have a lot of attention on Senator Adams. You are almost like a stalker.

    Well, if you’re going to come to your own conclusions no matter what I say, there’s not much point in arguing with you, is there?

    I’m paying a lot of attention to Senator Adams because he’s the topic of this particular post. If you read my own blog, or my comments here over time, you’ll notice that I mention other people a lot more often. “Almost” like a stalker. Well, you’re “almost” like a nut.

    Do you really think it’s helping your cause at all to insult the people who disagree with you, and accuse us of racism and stalking?

  • Working Stiff

    Eric Adams,

    I think you’re a good guy and I appreciate your comments on this blog. But when offering subsidies to any group of people, you should do so as a matter of social justice or because you want to encourage certain types of behavior.

    Giving this money back to motorists means taking it, in part, from those who can’t afford cars. That’s not fair. Making it cheaper to drive means more people will do so. We shouldn’t encourage that.

    While I sympathize with those who are finding it more expensive to drive to the country, I’d rather see you advocate for faster bus service to Riis Park.

  • mike

    David Cohen,

    Please read comments more carefully before you respond. I stated, “The problem is not that Senator Adams is not doing anything.” You missed a “not” there. That means I think he IS doing something — I just happen to think that what he’s proposed is not going to work, and essentially amounts to mass transit riders subsidizing car drivers even more than we already do.

    As for myself doing “something”, I’m afraid I can’t reveal what that is. You’ll just have to accept my word that I AM doing something every day, all day — it’s my job, and then some.

  • Dave H.

    #56 – is your last name ‘Bloomberg?’

  • mike

    Haha, no.

  • Senator Eric Adams

    Someone emailed me and stated that I should read the direction that the blog was going. After reading some of the comments after my post, I want to quickly respond.

    1. I do not believe any of the posts on this site were racist in nature. From what I read several posts disagreed with my position on the gas rebate and they articulated their disagreement. Although I want to thank the two posts for their positive comments about my work, I strongly disagree with their beliefs that others posted racist comments.

    2. I must say that I am a bit surprise that some posts don’t feel that I am committed to the average worker. If you were to research my career you will find that I have a long history of addressing those issues that impact the average worker (housing issues, health care, public safety, affordable education, and transportation.) I believe one of the articles sent to this site indicated that I was one of the few state elected officials that fought against the transit fare increase.

    3. No matter how much we disagree, we should never reach the point where we cannot communicate. It is fine to speak via blogging, but human beings are made to have face to face interaction. It is in this spirit that I am opening my office on Saturday. I will never reach the point where I will lose my ability to communicate. As the State Senator for one of the most diverse districts in the entire state, I am well aware that all ethnic and religious groups voted for me in order for me to become the Senator.

    Lastly, I encourage all of you to use your knowledge on this topic to join my “Transportation Task Force.” Ideas don’t have to come from me or any elected official. They could come from you. Just as there are requirements to being a good public servant, there are also requirements to being a progressive citizen. It does not end with blog postings.

    Write me off after you have had dialogue with me and we could not reach an understanding on the issues that are important to you. I don’t believe we have reached that point. If any elected official is not where you are on a topic, you should use your knowledge and energy to bring them where they ought to be.

    In order to reach the environmental goals that we are attempting to obtain, we must have allies not foes.

    I look forward to meeting with as many people as possible at the Saturday meeting and all follow up meetings.

    Best

    Eric
    NYS Senator

  • Mark

    I am gonna have to agree with the senator. I think he has a point!

  • David Cohen

    That is why I like this Senator.

    I am not to big to admit I was wrong. I want to give my apology to any blogger that I may have offended. When I re-read the post that I thought was racist towards the Senator, I realize that I over reacted. After reading the Senator’s comments I took the liberty of re-reading what was said. I was wrong.

    Much of my concerns were that I believe we were attacking someone that could become a great voice in our city for environmental change. One dumb or questionable legislative actions is not enough to throw a committed person away.

    I have followed this guy’s career for years. He has never been afraid to stand up for what he believe is right. I don’t know many of us who would have publicly fought against the agency that paid our salary, yet he did for many years while in was a cop.

    Can you imagine what we could do if his face becomes the voice for environmental change in our city. Mayor Bloomberg is leaving office next year and this guy has just started his political career. In many circles people are stating he is a rising political star.

    Those of us who believe in this issue should cultivate him to become a knowledgeable advocate for important environmental issues.

    Even if you cannot make his meeting, I think members of the environmental community should join his Transportation Task Force and become the designer of his environmental legislation.

    This may be the type of legislative leader that our environmental community has been looking for. Let us now cultivate him. He has reached his hand out, let us not slap it away.

  • Thank you, David.

    I think it’s important to be able to “attack” a politician – meaning to say, “your actions/proposals make me so mad I’m thinking about supporting someone else in the next election” – without throwing them away.

    Senator Adams’ proposals hurt many of us who’ve spent a long time making our lives work without cars and dealing with the prejudice against us. We have a right to be angry with him – without it being interpreted as accusing him of being worthless.

  • Matthew

    This guy Adams is a complete hack and I am making sure I tell everyone of his ridiculous ideas on transportation for this city. He is up for reelection this year and I will make a special effort to vote him out personally. I hope everyone else does the same.

    I emailed his office during the congestion pricing debacle and gave him a lengthy piece of my mind because of his lack of support for the plan. We had some heated back and forth. I also called his office when I heard about this new thing he is trying to do along with the Park Slope issue. I essentially told him that I will do everything in my power to make sure he is not reelected. Obviously he never let me know of the meeting that he planned even though I was heated in my opposition.

    I am going to call again today to give him another piece of my mind. I hope others do as well. Lets make this his own personal “Friday the 13th”.

    Eric Adams
    572 Flatbush Avenue
    Brooklyn, New York 11225
    Phone: (718) 284-4700
    Fax: (718) 282-3585

    All the best,

    Matt

  • Senator Eric Adams

    Dear Matt;

    Your rendition of our email exchange is strongly different from mine. I will never engage in “heated” communications with any one in my senatorial district. I simply explained my positions and listened to you articulate yours.

    In regard to the meeting that was held last Saturday, I posted the meeting on “Streetblog” and sent out an e-blast to over 3,000 email addresses. The meeting was open to all.

    I want you and the entire community to know that you do not have to wait for a meeting to see me face to face. You can stop by my office or I will come by your home. My life is public and an open book. I don’t live on the pages of blogs.
    .
    Matt, I left my personal cell phone on your answering service. Please feel free to contact me and share your concerns. I am not afraid of human engagement.

    Anyone can remain hidden behind a blog name or phone number. If you truly have strong concerns and ideas that you will like to share, I will be in my office tomorrow Saturday, at 11:30 AM. Please stop by and have a face to face discussion. We can also arrange to meet on Sunday before I go back to Albany in the evening.

    I spent 21 years of my life as a police officer communicating with all residents of New York. I am extremely comfortable in conveying the things I know, and learning the things I don’t know.

    Matt, if your goal is to improve transportation in this city, then stop giving us “a piece of your mind” and start giving us some of your ideas and time. I have come to learn that children rant and adults communicate.

    Lastly, I want to thank those who communicated with me (email, or phone) and/or attended the meeting last weekend. It was extremely informative. Our discussions will be on going.

    Best

    Eric
    NYS Senator

  • David Cohen

    I am so glad that Senator Adams responded to Matt. I am sure Matt will not take the Senator up on his offer, because some people don’t really want to move from a place of disagreement.

    Matt you may not know it, but Senator Adams is an ex-cop. As a cop, not only did he fight bad guys but he also fought for fairness in the NYPD. If he was not afraid to go up against his bosses, then I am sure he is not afraid of you “giving him a piece of your mind.” In fact the thought seems laughable.

    You almost come across as a spoil wining brat throwing a temper tantrum.

    “Lets make this his own personal Friday the 13th”. Wow this statement seems a little over the top.

    Have you ever reached out to meet with Senator Adams, or you just send emails. Did the Senator refuse to meet with you? From what I read in his reply, he is willing to come to your home.

    Your tone appears to be like you are scolding the Senator. Senator Adams is a grown man with an impressive career. Just maybe you can get more done if you stop yelling and start talking. I think we all can learn from what he has stated.

    Those of us in the alternate transportation movement need to educate and create partnerships with progressive elected officials. I truly believe this is one area that we have fallen short. It is one thing to throw tomatoes at them and yell, but what do we do when they state “I hear you.”

    Senator Adams stated it best, if an elected official is not where we want them to be then we should educate them. Like it our not Matt, WE NEED ALLIES THAT ARE LEGISLATORS.”

    Good environmentalists are not born they are educated and developed. You can’t make any elected official a good environmentalist merely by giving them a “PIECE OF YOUR MIND.” We also will not agree on everything. Heck, I don’t agree with myself all the time, so why should I believe that I am going to agree with a politician all of the time.

    I said it before and I will continue to say I really like this Senator.

    I don’t see any other elected official out there that is as active as this Senator. Remember he is a freshman Senator. Will he make mistakes? You darn right he will. That is what freshman do. There isn’t any one of us that has started a job and did not stumble at some point in the beginning.

    And for the record Matt, while you are out doing all that you can to prevent him from being re-elected, I am going to do all that I can (and more) to make sure he is my Senator. I will meet you on the campaign trail.

  • Anonymouse

    David, you said, “I am going to do all that I can (and more) to make sure he is my Senator. I will meet you on the campaign trail”.

    Yes, we already know that you work for his political campaign, thanks.

  • Ms. Victoria Mary Stong / Humanitarian, Civil Rights & Community Activist

    The more I read about Senator Eric L. Adams the more I admire him and his work. This guy has done so much to help with such a broad array of issues it’s incredible. What’s even more incredible is the fact that he’s a Politician, yet he’s so hands on, so involved. He really ACTS as a truly very caring Politician like no other. Senator Eric L. Adams is truly a honorable man that deserves many accolades. I would really love to see him as the President of the United States some day!

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK SENATOR ERIC L. ADAMS!

    Respectfully & Sincerely, Ms. Victoria Mary Stong

  • Thisson

    This has to be the stupidest blog post ever – you are opposed to the reduction of taxes??? What planet are you from?

  • J. Mork

    Good plan, Thisson. Let’s suspend all taxes indefinitely. We can just have the road fairy come and maintain the motoring infrastructure.

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