Thank Goodness for Dear, Glorious Leader Sheldon Silver

Almost exactly one year ago, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser wrote a great little essay for the New York Sun’s op/ed page that asked the question, Does New York Suffer From A Soviet Traffic System?:

The Soviet approach to markets
set prices at some controlled price, and then let shortages ensue.
Under this system, millions wasted hours queuing and goods went to
consumers with the time to stand on line rather than to consumers who
valued the goods most. Today, you don’t need to go through the messy
process of getting a visa to Cuba or North Korea to see the social
costs of under-pricing. Right here in New York, we don’t charge
anything for using a particularly valuable resource: car access to
Manhattan streets.

Today, on the very same op/ed page, the Sun’s Jacob Gershman praises the New York State Assembly’s Soviet-style political apparatus for throwing a wrench into Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plans:

Thank goodness for Sheldon Silver. Mr. Silver, the obstructionist, the political merchant, the dour face of Albany’s status quo, is one of the few voices of caution in the intensifying battle over congestion pricing. Whatever the motive, Mr. Silver and one of his colleagues in the Assembly, Richard Brodsky, have been asking the right questions in a debate that could use a dose of reality.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Daily News to Congestion Pricing Opponents: “Your Fault”

|
With higher gas prices pushing drivers onto the city’s trains and buses, the Daily News today blasted Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Dems for passing up the billions of dollars that congestion pricing would have brought to MTA coffers.  The trends prove that the theory of congestion pricing was valid: When the cost of driving […]

What’s the Secret to World-Class Transit Systems? Congestion Pricing

|
Top transportation officials from three global cities — London, Singapore and Stockholm — shared their experiences in expanding the use of transit at a panel at the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference last Friday. Eyeing those cities, it’s easy for New Yorkers to get jealous. “I was, in many ways, salivating,” said MTA chief Joe […]

Odds and Ends

|
New York and six other cities have their federal grant application presentations online here at the Transportation Research Board. Contrary to congestion pricing opponents who claim the July 16 federal deadline is a ruse. Patrick Decorla-Souza at the FHWA confirms that all of the "other applicants either already have statutory authority, or the granting of […]

Pin it on Shelly!

|
Plot the Pork. What would you like to add to Sheldon Silver’s Google map? With New York City’s mostly uncontested primary elections less than a week away, attention turns to the 64th State Assembly district in Lower Manhattan, where New York Times-endorsed insurgent Paul Newell is running a long-shot campaign against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. […]

Paul Newell on Congestion Pricing and Reforming Albany

|
This is the second installment of Streetsblog’s interview with Paul Newell, candidate for State Assembly in the 64th District, who’s challenging Speaker Sheldon Silver in the Democratic primary this September. In this segment, Newell addresses some of the issues that are fresh in the minds of everyone who followed the death of congestion pricing in […]