Good Stuff in This Week’s Mobilizing the Region

Finally, we get to see just how much former executive director Jon Orcutt was tamping down the high-powered talent at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The latest issue of Mobilizing the Region is jam-packed with good articles. Here are some highlights (and, yes, I’m kidding about Orcutt but serious about this week’s MTR being really good):

NYC: Rationing Won’t Do the Trick

Assemblymembers have proposed several spurious "alternatives" to congestion pricing, none of which have proven effective in reducing congestion and none of which would provide revenues for increasing transit capacity.

Assemblymember Richard Brodsky has argued for a car rationing scheme which would restrict car access to parts of Manhattan by license plate. As reported in MTR #558, a similar scheme in Mexico City increased used-car purchases, gasoline consumption, and driving, and decreased transit use.

Further investigation reveals, unsurprisingly, that Mexico City’s policy has done nothing to improve air quality. A University of Michigan study found no evidence that the policy reduced emissions of five different pollutants-in fact, the policy increased emissions on weekdays….

…The only effective way to enforce a rationing scheme would be through
the installation of license-plate cameras, which Brodsky is on the
record as opposing.

Greenhouse Gases: Getting to the Goal in New Jersey

When Governor Jon Corzine announced an executive order in February requiring New Jersey to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, environmentalists applauded. However, while the NJDEP is busy creating a plan to execute the order, the NJ Turnpike Authority is fast pursuing an agenda thatwould undermine the plan’s goals.

Newark: Linking Redevelopment and Pedestrian Safety

Newark’s push to encourage growth goes beyond the addition of new housing: the city and state are also embarking on an aggressive complimentary plan to improve its run-down and unsafe streets. TSTC, along with the Regional Plan Association and others, has long said that improving pedestrian safety and streetscapes can help attract development and assist in revitalization efforts.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Fact Check: Congestion Pricing is Not a “Regressive Tax”

|
One of the most oft-repeated slams against congestion pricing we heard at this week’s Congestion Mitigation Committee hearings is that congestion pricing would be a "regressive tax," an unfair burden to poorer New Yorkers. Is congestion pricing regressive? The data suggests otherwise. As the chart above shows, even in Brooklyn Council member Lew Fidler’s heavily […]

Jon Orcutt Appointed as DOT Senior Policy Advisor

|
File under: Totally unimaginable just a few months ago. Following the appointment of Bruce Schaller as Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Sustainability, Jon Orcutt is DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s second high profile hire since taking over the agency. Stay tuned for one or two more big appointments. Kate Slevin will be taking over as Tri-State […]

Brodsky Represents NYC’s Wealthiest Car Commuters

|
Here is a complete copy of Assembly Member Richard Brodsky’s "Interim Report and Inquiry" into New York City’s long-term planning and congestion pricing proposals. Brodsky, you may recall, is the powerful state lawmaker with the moneybag full of parking industry contributions. Brodsky’s 20-page report concludes: The Mayor deserves great credit for thinking seriously about the […]

Highlights From This Week’s Mobilizing the Region

|
The latest issue of Mobilizing the Region digs in to the arguments of congestion pricing foes. Some highlights: NYC: Debunking the Alternatives Instead of heading to Albany and working out legislation to ensure NYC receives federal aid for transit and congestion pricing, State Assemblymembers’ offered their own "alternatives" to Mayor Bloomberg’s pricing proposal. Policy groups […]

Jon Orcutt and Bruce Schaller Are Moving on From NYC DOT

|
Two key architects of change at NYC DOT are moving on after seven years with the agency. DOT Traffic and Planning Commissioner Bruce Schaller departed at the end of May, and DOT Policy Director Jon Orcutt announced on Twitter yesterday that he will be leaving next week. Orcutt and Schaller were two of former DOT chief […]

The Brodsky Alternative, Take Two: $6.50 to Enter a Cab

|
His license plate rationing scheme beloved by none, this afternoon Assemblyman Richard Brodsky offered his second congestion pricing alternative: raising the $2.50 taxi "drop charge" to $6.50, increasing fines for illegal parking and blocking the box, and further cutting the number of parking placards issued to government employees. Brodsky says the taxi fare hike alone […]