Today’s Headlines

  • Texas Spending $181M in Stimulus Cash on 15-Mile Highway Outside Houston (NYT)
  • Most Transit Riders Support Bridge Tolls, But This Story Is All About the Ones Who Don’t (NYT)
  • Nation’s Transit Systems Still in Crisis (WSJ)
  • MTA Finance Board Votes Today on Doomsday Fare Hikes (Newsday)
  • Paterson Expects State Leg to Blow Deadline on MTA Plan (Newsday)
  • News Castigates Smith and Skelos for State Senate’s Hold-Up of Transit Rescue
  • Drunk Driver Crashes Into Queens Laundromat, Injuring Elderly Man (News)
  • BID Wants to Give Flatbush Ave a Main Street Makeover (Bklyn Paper)
  • Working Families Party Asks for "Consultation" on City’s Land Use Decisions (Post)
  • Status Report on Lower Manhattan Bike Lanes (Cyclosity)
  • Virginia Takes Aim at Cul-de-Sacs (WaPo via Beyond DC via Streetsblog.net)
  • NYT: Sweden Says No to Saving Saab. Enterprise minister: “The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories.”

  • fdr

    The most important point in the Times article on bridge tolls is that almost no one knows who their state senator is, let alone his or her position on bridge tolls or anything else. So there is no accountability.

  • This is the sad part of it (not knowing who your electeds are) which was in evidence on Thursday during NY1’s excellent “The Call” show which has been regularly featuring the MTA crisis. John Schumo frequently will interrupt callers who are angry about the current crisis and ask them if they have contacted their local representatives to complain. Sadly the answer is usually something about not knowing who that is, or not knowing how to, or amazingly as one woman put it on Thursday said, “I don’t get involved in that stuff.”

  • Shemp

    Why doesn’t Willie Neuman just write an op-ed stating his personal opposition to bridge tolls instead of hunting out a few subway riders with contrarian and illogical positions on the matter?

  • Veritas

    I grew up in Houston (and still vote there) and I feel like the people interviewed in the bridge tolls article. I, along with most people know in Houston, are 100% against the construction of the Grand Parkway and are completely opposed to using stimulus funds for it. However, we have no idea who to contact to express our opposition.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The most important point in the Times article on bridge tolls is that almost no one knows who their state senator is, let alone his or her position on bridge tolls or anything else. So there is no accountability.”

    And, it is almost impossible to get on the ballot to run against an incumbent and even if you do, the media ignores you. That’s why Newell and Henry deserve so much credit, although they would have been ignored as well if they were running against someone other than the legislative leader.

    Are people getting what they deserve? Well, I don’t deserve it.

  • Ashcan Sam

    Shemp — because he’s a “reporter”.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Someone should ask some of these people why tolls are OK on the existing bridges and tunnels.

  • Glenn

    I think we need a little reverse psychology. I think Bloomberg should come out in favor of the Fare Hike Four proposal because he wants to help wealthy drivers from Westchester & Long Island get into the city by car for free. he should announce that starting on March 25th when the doomsday budget is signed, he’s just driving himself alone to City hall from now on in his sports car. He should just park in Weprin’s spot.

    Billionaires for Bush could have a rally at all the Harlem & East River crossings. “Screw Mass Transit: Keep Bridges Free”

  • Before congestion pricing, I didn’t know the names of my state legislators either. I know ’em now.

  • Well, if the MTA goes ahead with their fare hike instead of using the subway when I can’t ride my bike, I think I’ll just drive in. If I circle around enough in midtown or the UES (depending on which office I’m heading to), I’m sure I’ll be able to find some free parking. I’d offer to carpool, but really, my schedule just wouldn’t allow for it. Plus I really like my own space. That personal space is a huge bonus when you’re stuck in traffic.

  • fdr

    “Before congestion pricing, I didn’t know the names of my state legislators either.” But did you vote in elections? Did you know who you were voting for? I’d bet that most voters go to the polls to vote for the people they hear about in the media – President, Governor, Mayor, Senator – and then just vote the rest of the ticket without the slightest idea who they’re voting for or what they stand for. Then they blame “the politicians” – who wouldn’t be in power unless the voters voted them in.

  • I just called Velmanette Montgomery’s office (my senator) to urge action to prevent MTA meltdown. The person who answered could not tell me where the senator stands on the Ravitch plan.

    Ditto with my assemblyman’s office (it’s Joseph Lentol). However, they said that someone would call me back as to what the assemblyman thinks about the Ravitch plan.

  • fdr: “But did you vote in elections? Did you know who you were voting for?”

    Yes. In the last election I even cast my first protest vote by not voting for my state assembly member because he failed to support congestion pricing. Unfortunately there was no one else on the ballot to vote for, so I just didn’t pull the lever for anyone.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “In the last election I even cast my first protest vote by not voting for my state assembly member because he failed to support congestion pricing. Unfortunately there was no one else on the ballot to vote for, so I just didn’t pull the lever for anyone.”

    Perhaps you then understand how I became so pissed off that I quit my job and ran against my state assemblymember in 2004. I lost a lot of income, but at least I could cast a meaningful vote that year. it took me 20 years to get to that point of outrage.

    Without help, though, I would have lost my job and not even gotten on the ballot. Although I met all the legal requirements, it’s a miracle that didn’t happen.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Which raises an important point. Who are the constituents of the state legislators in reality? Who are they accountable to?

    Those who provide the money (to hire professional canvassers and lawywers) to get them on the ballot, and to keep potential opponents off. And no one else. No one. And it shows.

    That’s what left of democracy. But at least I can say I tried to do something about it.