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Car Culture

Meet the Cloggers

12:58 PM EDT on April 30, 2007

The Daily News reports that most drivers to be affected by Bloomberg's congestion pricing are from the Upper East Side and Queens:

If Mayor Bloomberg wants to discourage New Yorkers from driving to work, he could start with his own neighbors. The upper East Side has thousands of residents who drive to jobs in Manhattan each day, according to an analysis by the Daily News. The only area with more workers taking their cars to Manhattan is a remote swath of Queens that includes Whitestone and College Point, census data show.

Al Cafaro, 58, who lives on E. 88th St. and Third Ave. and drives to his entertainment company, Metropolitan Talent, near Union Square, said the tolls could lead him to leave his car at home. "I think the congestion is out of hand and something needs to be done," he said. "Congestion pricing will cause people to ask themselves things like: Do we absolutely need our car?"

For residents of other neighborhoods that send large numbers of motorists into Manhattan, the answer to that question is a resounding, "Yes." Unlike the upper East Side, where several residents described their cars as more of a convenience than a necessity, many workers in the outer boroughs feel they have no choice but to drive.

The area with the smallest number of commuters driving to Manhattan was Bronx Community Board 2, which is comprised of Hunts Point and Morrisania. Only 300 workers said they take their car to work in Manhattan.

Still, Yvonne Perez, 17, who takes the No. 6 from Hunts Point to school in Manhattan, was worried that congestion pricing will make her trip less pleasant by forcing motorists to buy MetroCards. "The subway is already too crowded," she complained. "If [Bloomberg] wants to improve the environment, he should take other measures."

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