Traffic Congestion: Sponsored by Your Local Media


Going through my morning headline round-up I clicked on ABC Channel 7’s story, Should There be Tolls in Manhattan? While my eye was being drawn to the giant, red "Lukoil: We Love Cars" ad banner (What genius came up with, "Traffic: Sponsored by Lukoil?"), an animated little Gen Y hipster wearing a t-shirt jumped out in front of the text urging me to click him to hear more about Toyota’s gargantuan new FJ Cruiser. The automobile and oil industry ad assault was so aggressive, I never even got around to reading the news story about how New York City is losing billions of dollars every year due to overwhelming gridlock. Is anyone still wondering why traffic reduction is a tough sell?  

  • mike

    As I listen to an ambulance struggling to get through motor vehicle traffic, I can only shake my head at these ignoramuses who think we can continue with “business as usual”. Tell me, CM Liu, etc., what then is *your* solution? Oh, wait, you don’t have any.

  • someguy

    Liu’s approach, as usual, is to knock other people’s ideas without proposing any realistic solutions. Or, to put it another way, his criticisms and “solutions” are populist applause lines disconnected from actual implementation.

    He has proposed “increased” and “improved” transit service before considering congestion pricing, but, of course, he has not explained how these investments would be funded.

  • Frank

    Yep. I’m increasingly convinced that Liu, head of City Council’s Transpo Committee, is one of the most craven politicians we’ve got here in NYC and a genuine, top notch idiot. I think this guy has got a big future in the business of NYC politics.

  • JK

    “I think this guy has got a big future in the business of NYC politics.”

    John Liu would agree with you on that.

    Since he’s term limited, next step is either Queens BP or Comptroller; BP is the safer bet, followed by eventual mayoral run.

    The really scary thing… City Council is generally more effective than the State Assembly.

  • Sean

    How ’bout a new slogan: Honk if you love congestion!

  • Toyota’s FJ Cruiser is not even its biggest SUV. Take a look at the Land Cruiser and Sequoia – they are both 7 passenger SUVs designed for the single rider.

  • I don’t know what John Liu has to do with this article, but I don’t have much respect for him. He seems to have a vendetta against pedicabs, as I’ve seen him interrogate pedicab owners with scorn and agression, without ever considering the value of what they have to say. If he has such antipathy towards a bicycle that carries passengers short distances, how can he be serious about alternative solutions to our traffic problems?


Traffic’s Human Toll

Transportation Alternatives’ new study, Traffic’s Human Toll, is getting picked up all over the place (CBS, NBC, Post). The report is an update on the famous Appleyard Study and it found that New Yorkers who live on high traffic streets have a measurably lower quality of life. Not exactly a huge surprise, and yet this […]

Is New York City the Car Culture Capital of America?

When you hear the words "car culture," what — or where — do you think of? The freeways of Los Angeles? The factories of Detroit? With its new show, "Cars, Culture and the City," the Museum of the City of New York attempts to retell the history of the automobile with New York City at […]

Tell Us About Your “Commuter Idyll”

Before I became your editor here at Streetsblog Capitol Hill, I was a reporter for WTOP, the DC area’s “most-listened-to” radio station. Its traffic reports “on the 8s” helped feed my ire toward auto-centrism – they wasted one out of every 10 minutes of airtime on an unintelligible litany of route numbers and exits. Meanwhile, […]

Brooklyn to City Hall: Give us Planning Not Traffic Engineering

Last night the transportation committee of Community Board 6 fully and unequivocally rejected the Department of Transportation’s proposal to transform Park Slope, Brooklyn’s Sixth and Seventh Avenues into one-way arterials. I am a member of the commitee and typically we have about 15 people in the room. A big meeting will be 35. Last night, […]

NYPD Emerges as New Focus for NYC’s Livable Streets Movement

Arrest Her! T.A. membership coordinator Abby King tears up the streets on a "sport utility bicycle." With their rampant illegal parking, refusal to enforce basic traffic laws and unwillingness to treat pedestrian injuries and fatalities with any level of seriousness, the Police Department is establishing itself as the New York City government agency most in […]