Queens Legislator Offers Congestion Pricing Torpedo

Assembly Member Rory Lancman from Fresh Meadows, Queens has sent a three-page letter to his fellow legislators soliciting their support for a legislative alternate to Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal and long-term planning ominbus bill, Sewell Chan reports

"Instead of threatening to beat New Yorkers over the head with a $2,000 a year stick if they drive into Manhattan," Lancman writes, "this bill proposes a set of incentives — carrots — to encourage New Yorkers to reduce congestion in Manhattan." 

Lancman, of course, fails to point out that the $2,000 fee would apply only to the 4.6 percent of New York City residents who commute to work into Manhattan every day. And that these car commuters earn significantly more income than those who commute by transit.

To solve the congestion problem Lancman proposes new tax credits to encourage more telecommuting, car pooling, and non-rush hour truck deliveries. He proposes authorizing $500 million to expand bus service, increasing enforcement of existing traffic regs, and the creation of a "commission to study congestion issues in New York City."

Lancman’s proposal is, essentially, impossible to take seriously since it offers no ideas for how to pay for the new tax credits and transit improvements.

Congestion pricing opponents can now say that they’ve put an alternative on the table, however un-serious it may be.

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