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Critical Transportation Reforms Sink With Pricing

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An enforcement camera in London captures a motorist in the bus lane.

Mayor Bloomberg's strategy was to bundle all of the PlanNYC transportation reforms requiring legislative approval into one bill. The sinking of the congestion pricing ship took other victims with it. Lost with congestion pricing was legislation approving bus lane enforcement cameras, residential parking permits, and reclassifying "block the box" as an easier to enforce parking violation.

The mayor's legislation can be found here by searching the text of Senate bill S6068A.

Despite the setback, nothing prevents Bloomberg from seeking approval for these initiatives in the next legislative session, through negotiation or in some sort of commission like the one proposed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Bus lane enforcement cameras are particularly important and well worth the mayor's efforts. New York City has enormous trouble enforcing bus lanes, and the cameras are a critical part of making future Bus Rapid Transit work.

Supporters of parking reform may want to take the time Sheldon Silver has given them to think about residential parking permit legislation. Permits might make sense as a mitigation for reducing the "edge effect" of a congestion pricing zone and to prevent driving to major trip-generators like the proposed Atlantic Yards arena in Brooklyn. But as a stand alone proposition, residential permits, especially the free permits proposed in the State Senate bill, will do little to address parking problems or open up scarce curb space for deliveries and service vehicles that now double park and delay traffic.

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