Today’s Headlines

  • Schumer Pushes Cuomo to Talk Tappan Zee Tolls Before TIFIA Approval (Newsday)
  • Metro-North to Penn Station Will Be Included in MTA’s Next Capital Program (Observer)
  • Goldman Sachs Ferries, Dormant for Two Years, Now Open to Public (NYT)
  • Vincent Gentile Wants Parking Meters Suspended Along With Alternate-Side Parking (Post)
  • DOT Trumpets Bridge Rebuild on Belt Parkway, Including Multi-Use Path (Advance, Gazette)
  • Cliffhanger for Too-Close-to-Call Queens Council District Seat (News)
  • NYPD’s New Tow Policy: “Motorists Have Had Enough Warning Not to Park on Sidewalks” (Gazette)
  • Struggle Over Direction of 125th Street Garage Development (DNA)
  • New MetroCard That Holds Cash and Time-Based Passes Has Flaws (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Christie Vows to Rebuild Major Shore Road; NJ DOT Says It Will Be a Complete Street (TransNatWSJ)
  • Why Are School Buses Yellow? You Can Thank a New Yorker (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Schumer is conditioning his support for a new US DOT Secretary on their support for the transit-free Tappan Zee Bridge? Ew.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “We want to make sure tolls don’t rise, and we’ve told the governor that,” Schumer said.

    “Gov. Cuomo has said on a number of occasions that it’s his priority to keep tolls on the new bridge as low as possible.”

    “Transportation economist Charles Komanoff estimated that at the current $3.9 billion price tag, tolls would be hiked to around $11 on a new bridge.”

    Looks like you’ve got their attention Mr.Komanoff.  Everyone is worried about how high the tolls will be.  But what is it you hope to achieve? 

    Have the state cease the $hundreds of millions of excess maintenance on the deteriorating bridge, and keep the tolls low until it finally has to be abandoned?  Or have money diverted from the transit system and other services to the bridge?  Let’s say all the politicking about how disastrously high the tolls on the new bridge leads to a choice of the two?  Which one will be get?

    That $11 toll would be in the future, when it may be devalued by additional inflation.  The George Washington Bridge toll is $8.25 off peak and $10.25 peak right now.  The Triboro Bridge toll is $9.60 round trip.  So an $11 toll is not a big deal.  Opposition to toll increases is not an issue that should have been pushed by transit and alternative transportation advocates.

    As for Schumer, he’s throwing his weight around and the federal government will not put up a penny for this project.  Just a loan.  While highway projects elsewhere are getting 80 percent federal funding.  In cash.  Kind of like the federal government’s relationship to the MTA capital plan — lots of bureaucracy, not much money (albeit the only money in the capital plan that has been cash and not debt.  Someone should ask him about that.
     

  • I’m ok with NJ DOT rebuilding Rt. 35 without dedicated bike lanes if the road that they build is functionally equivalent to one that does have them, and is as-safe to use. They apparently think that’s going to be the case. I doubt it. So, it’s not a complete street.

    An acceptable compromise would be to make sure there are dedicated bike lanes & routes throughout the area served by the main road, on appropriate streets that are not-as-busy. That seems to be asking for a lot, though; they’d have to pull together 100 different towns and all their NIMBYs to make that happen, NJ would sooner build a moon rocket than accomplish that.

  • Jared T Rodriguez

    @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus I think don’t think that Mr. Komenoff is against rising tolls on the TZB. I think he is just pointing out the basic financials required to make it work. 

  • Anonymous

    And who is going to tow all the cars that the NYPD parks on the sidewalk?

  • Larry Littlefield

    The problem is the initial posts on the subject here gave the impression of trying to stir opposition to replacing the bridge based on opposition to higher tolls.  And that’s what got picked up. 

    The Newsday quote didn’t say “worst case the tolls would only about the same as everyone else pays downstate, and they would probably lag behind increases elsewhere after that.” But that is the case.  If the truck tolls are proportional to the car tolls, I wouldn’t be surprised if extra trucks were using the Tappan Zee vs. the GWB to take advantage.

  • Larry Littlefield

    BTW, how about that Atlantic Yards modal split?

    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2013/02/arenas-first-five-months-relatively-problem-free/?stream=true

    “Four subway stations in the area had an average of 6,400 more riders on event nights than on other nights. The Long Island Rail Road reports that 3,300 more riders arrive and depart through Atlantic Terminal on event nights than before the arena opened.”

    That’s about 10,000 on avereage, and I don’t think everything at the 18,000 seat building has been a sellout.  That might top MSG.  Plus buses, and those walking and taking bicycles.  And I’d be the average vehicle occupancy for motor vehicles is well above one. And, over time I’d expect the transit share to rise.

  • Driver

    People are idiots.  The funny thing is that on the news radio traffic broadcasts, when they announce that alternate side is suspended, they usually also say that you still have to feed the meter.

  • Anonymous

    @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus Gee, Larry, just because I did some modeling and concluded that a $3.9 billion new TZ Bridge would require $11 tolls to pay for it, you assume I’m opposed to those tolls and want the Thruway Authority to tap other pots of money instead? What’s up with that?

    You ask, “What is it you hope to achieve?” Simple: a smaller bridge than the 15-lane twin bridge that’s in the works, which would contain the toll hikes at least somewhat. (News flash: inflation, now running at just 2%/yr, won’t do the job.)

    You could have seen this for yourself by Googling “Komanoff Tappan Zee,” which would have led you to my year-ago report, here: http://www.komanoff.net/cars_II/Bridge_Too_Big.pdf. Or you could have searched S’blog for any of the half-dozen posts, including one by me (Cost of Tappan Zee Mega-Bridge
    Could Cause Tolls to Triple, 

    ), that laid this out.

  • Larry Littlefield

    As I noted, I don’t think they got the message you intended. 

    (Cost of Tappan Zee Mega-Bridge Could Cause Tolls to Triple)

    Perhaps it should have read “Cost of Twice As Large Bridge Could Lead to the Same Tolls As Other Downstate Bridges.”  (But a simple replacement could mean Hudson Valley drivers keep their below average tolls).

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