There Are Certain Facts That We’ve All Got to Face Up To

Given that it was only a few months ago that Mayor Michael Bloomberg could be heard saying, "We like traffic, it means economic activity, it means people coming here," his pitch for a whole new set of progressive transportation policies at last week’s meeting of the Regional Plan Association was all the more remarkable:

There are certain facts that we’ve just all got to face up to–facts about congestion’s impact on our environment, our economy, our health, and our future–on our lives, and the lives of our chlidren. Facts about how we’re going to pay for the transportation projects we need to keep our region from choking on its growth in the decades to come.

We’re ready to have a reality-based dialogue with anyone about any element of our transportation plan, including congestion pricing. We’ll talk about the boundaries of the congestion pricing zone, the fees that might be charged, the hours they would be applicable, and the methodology for administering the program.

But what we won’t do–what we can’t do–is postpone essential decisions any longer. We won’t ignore–if you’ll excuse the expression–the "inconvenient truths" of the difficult challenges we face.

Download the text here. And the speech itself can be viewed in the following three video clips courtesy of RPA:





ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Q & A With Charles Komanoff on Kheel Plan 2

|
Charles Komanoff in the booth at WNYC earlier this year. Photo: WNYC/Flickr Today Ted Kheel released a revised version of his plan to fund transit through a congestion pricing mechanism on motor vehicle traffic. Streetsblog spoke to one of Kheel’s lead analysts, Charles Komanoff, about the updated plan (see the major components here) and why […]

Talking Transit With City Council Transportation Chair Jimmy Vacca

|
Jimmy Vacca at last week’s City Council hearing on Intro 120. Photo: Noah Kazis The last two years have been full of dismal news for transit riders in New York City. Revenue streams for transit have nosedived during the recession, with Albany plundering dedicated MTA taxes for good measure. The payroll tax state legislators passed […]

How Green Is Our Mayor

|
Bookending his much-vaunted Earth Day speech with congratulatory video clips from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mayor Mike Bloomberg called for New Yorkers to take the initiative in the international fight against global warming, positioning himself as a leader on the issue. "Climate change is a national challenge, and meeting […]

Fred Barnes: Americans Mainly Want to Stay in Their Cars

|
After yesterday’s electoral drubbing, the Obama administration will have to deal with a starkly different Congress when they make their expected push for a multi-year transportation bill early next year. We know that some influential House Republicans, like John Mica, don’t necessarily believe that bigger highways will solve America’s transportation problems. And we know that […]