Useful Idiots

lipsky.jpgI’m not sure I’ll ever understand how Richard Lipsky of the Neighborhood Retail Alliance figures he’s helping "mom and pop" business by defending the increasingly miserable, congested, automobile-dominated status quo of New York City streets but I do enjoy his Mom and Pop blog. He is an entertaining writer, an experienced political player, and a skilled propagandist (in these quarters, that’s a compliment). If Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion relief efforts are ultimately shot down in Albany, Lipsky will deserve a fair share of the credit. Remember him, future C-Town delivery truck drivers, as you inch your way through traffic.

This week the Wal-Mart killer joins the Jeffrey Dinowitz fray, and takes a poke at "The Streetsblog," a web site that "is apparently dedicated it appears to returning New York back to the 19th century" (a time when mom and pop business thrived, by the way).

In his first piece Lipsky refers to all you Streetsbloggers as — and I’ll just mash up all of the descriptors into one set of quote marks — "phony, invidious, self-righteous street corner ideologues and useful idiots." After that, Lipsky accuses congestion pricing advocates of "a level of vitriol" that is "so counterproductive" he’d almost believe it if he and Walter McCaffrey were running the traffic relief campaign themselves.

If anyone can find the vitriol in the original Streetsblog post that started all of this, let me know. 

In his second piece on the subject, Lipsky fleshes out the "useful idiots" concept and provides some pro bono strategic advice for congestion pricing advocates, otherwise known as Mayor Bloomberg’s "dimwitted amen choir."

As we have said, the critics are not doing their cause much good. Over the top statements and personal invective, so characteristic of some denizens of the netroots,
will only make the legislature that much more skeptical of a plan that
they think needs a great deal more thought. This biting the hand that
feeds you approach, which we can only hope will continue into total
self-immolation, is not a very smart lobbying strategy.

People pay good money for Lipsky’s advice, so it’s worth noting. But Albany is the-hand-that-feeds New York City? That’s a bit hard to swallow. Maybe it’s because Albany’s other hand is so firmly wrapped around our necks.

  • Jk

    The fundamental issue is that opponents of congestion pricing are bereft of ideas and alternatives and have zero track record of doing anything — or trying to do anything — to unsnarl traffic or find a way to sustain public transit. They have nothing to put on the table. So they resort to a classic political tact: accuse your opponent of doing what you yourself are doing.

    The anti-congestion pricing people may very well win, as they did in public opinion polls in London and Stockholm before pricing was introduced. Unfortunately, unlike in those places, NYC government can’t put a pricing experiment in place anyway.

  • JF

    From Lipsky’s first article:

    Dinowitz fails to see just how CBD traffic reduction will ameliorate congestion in those neighborhoods where asthma is a serious health threat.

    Fails? He didn’t even try. If he’d actually quoted the arguments people have given, that might be believable, but he keeps asking questions and ignoring the answers.

    In addition, he envisions his neighborhood being turned into a Park-and-Ride by commuters looking to hop mass transit-and avoid the tax- on their way in from the suburbs.

    Similarly, no mention of the many, many times that pricing advocates have answered that concern; he acts as though there’s been complete silence on the issue, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    That’s the most maddening thing about these people (and I’d include our comment thread friends Kma, “Congestion Pricing? No, not yet” and “NO Congestion Pricing): they repeat the same questions and concerns over and over again, and no matter how many times we answer them, it’s like we’ve said nothing. But Lipsky, Brodsky and Dinowitz are happy to manufacture “vitriol” and “personal attacks.”

    Maybe they’re actually reading some Bizarro Streetsblog, where Bizarro Aaron (a combination of all four!) ignores all their concerns and writes long posts about how their mothers wear army boots.

  • JF

    From Lipsky’s first attack on Streetsblog, “Street Sleepers”:

    What we have here is a phony zero-sum characterization of the policy dispute, one that pits the bad (read rich and white) car commuters against the good (less affluent) transit riders.

    Lipsky never gives any justification for why he thinks the zero-sum game is “phony.” In fact, it’s well-documented that in New York City there’s a finite pot of money, and the roads and bridges get much more than their fair share. Also, as Aaron has written, getting cars off the roads helps the buses go faster.

    In fact, we’d almost believe it if we were told that Lipsky and McCaffrey were orchestrating the campaign-so counterproductive is the level of vitriol.

    It’s nice that Lipsky is capable of some level of self-deprecation, but honestly, I’ve never seen any vitriol from McCaffrey. Lipsky, on the other hand, is so gratuitously nasty that I can’t read his blog for more than five minutes. The only “vitriol” I can see is that Aaron pointed out that Dinowitz is much more wealthy and privileged than the vast majority of his constituents. Don’t you know that you’re never supposed to mention that?

  • Neighbor

    I don’t believe Dinowitz is wealthier and more privileged than the vast majority of his constituents. He is an assemblyman who lives in an apartment in the Bronx. Don’t confuse him with Councilman Oliver Koppell, a lawyer who lives in a fancy spread in Fieldston.

  • JF

    He may not be super-wealthy, but an apartment in Riverdale doesn’t come cheap. A few days ago I posted a link to a map of Dinowitz’s district, including the valley of Riverdale, Norwood, Woodlawn and Wakefield. The average assemblymember’s salary is $92,000. Even if before he was elected he only earned the median Riverdale household income of $62,532, that’s still much higher than the median Wakefield income of $41,253, or the median Norwood income of $28,724.

    This is not in itself a problem, but when he advocates the interests of wealthy motorists like himself over low-income transit riders it’s relevant.

  • Asking a grassroots movement to tone it down, stop being noticed, and stop forcing politicians to respond–isn’t that the highest complement you could pay to it? Certain city pols may decide they don’t like Streetsblog and liveable streets policy by association, though I would like to think they are not so petty. Ideas, in any case, have no such prejudice. They’ll travel regardless of medium, all the way to the voting booth.

    (And as an accused member of Bloomberg’s “amen choir,” I’d like to point out I’ve been supporting pricing much longer than he has, I’m one of the five New Yorkers that voted against him in the last election, and I’m still not happy about him needing two Suburbans to get to the subway. But anyone that supports pricing has my support.)

  • Eric

    Richard Lipsky is a mercenary piece of garbage, nothing more, nothing less. If the Mayor offers him more money than the anti-congestion pricing gnomes do, he’ll gladly switch sides.

    Here’s an Atlantic Yards Report post which explains Lipsky’s duplicitousness when it comes to eminent domain abuse in New York. Bad when Columbia U. wants to use it; great when Bruce Ratner does. Guess which one is his client?

    Hint: the client’s Atlantic Terminal Mall is home to Target, which I guess is a “mom ‘n’ pop” store when Ratner is signing your paycheck.

  • JF

    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard accusations like to the “useful idiots” one. There’s been a lot of this on Queens Crap too: anyone posting in favor of congestion pricing is accused of sucking up to Bloomberg in hopes of political or financial success. The idea that someone could believe that congestion pricing is a good idea without some indirect incentive is unthinkable for them.

    Lipsky seems to acknowledge that T.A. and Streetsblog writers aren’t in it for money or reputation. But he still suggests that they’re just knee-jerk in favor of anything labeled “green,” taken in by Bloomberg’s rhetoric. He argues that it won’t accomplish our goals. He doesn’t explain which goals it won’t fulfill, but we’ve heard that before from McCaffrey and friends.

    He doesn’t seem to realize that pricing will achieve one goal: removing cars from the streets. If it doesn’t do that at the proposed fee level, it will at a higher level. This will cut down on injuries and deaths, and speed up bus service. Lipsky doesn’t think of these as environmental goals, so he doesn’t acknowledge that we may have a good reason for going along with Bloomberg’s glory-and-favors plan.

  • Eddie N.

    Lipsky may be wrong about the tone of Streetsblog _articles_, but he has a point about comments. There’s a pretty strong party line, and a high-level of contempt towards expressions of contraty opinon. To the extent that people posting comments to a blog are taken to be part of the blog (which is the way they are in fact taken by a great many people), one can reasonably read this blog as vitriolic etc. And that’s from someone who agrees with most of the agenda the blog tries to advance.

    Also, his point about the pro-congestion-pricing rhetoric overselling the health benefits is well taken, shared by many people who support congestion pricing, and so far, pretty much un-rebutted by the Bloomberg administration. CP will probably not reduce particulate emissions in poor neighborhoods, and may in fact increase them by creating incentives for trucks to stay on certain highway corridors that are adjacent to poor neighborhoods.

    Off the record, I have heard some Bloomberg admin bigwigs agree with this critique of the sales pitch for CP (if not the configuration of the program itself). You may have noticed that health benefits seem to have less prominence in press-releases, etc., than they did a while back.

    To continue playing the role of devil’s advocate, the (admittedlty somewhat caricatured) arguments that have been advanced by Bloomberg in favor of congestion pricing are:

    1. It will work because it worked in London
    2. It will solve the asthma problem in NYC
    3. It will raise oodles of money for transit
    4. It won’t negatively affect any but the super rich, who can afford it anyway.

    There are big holes in all of these.

    The real story is that if you look at the possibilities for affecting traffic congestion through the prism of what can be funded, implemented and controlled by a mayor (with State consent, of course), you’re not left with very much. Essentially, East River bridge tolls and congestion pricing.

    Bloomberg made the (possibly faulty) judgement that CP would be an easier political lift than ERB tolls because it comes with Federal money, and that’s why we have it on the table. All of the rest of the rhetoric is lily-gilding, or turd-polishing, depending on your perspective.

    Now, here’s an assignment based on the above for you intrepid advocates. Rebut the foregoing without resorting to “idiot, have you actually read the plan? No? Well maybe you should” or the equivalent.

    Talk amongst yourselves

  • Spud Spudly

    I find it odd that people take as an article of faith that CP will definitely decrease the number of cars using the roads. As has been stated by some posters on this site before, congestion itself is ultimately the main inhibitor of much of the potential traffic in the tri-state region — in other words, many people choose not to use their cars because there’s too much traffic, not because of money concerns.

    Any cars removed from the roads by CP are likely to be replaced by cars from people who would welcome the opportunity to pay some money to drive on less crowded roads. Money is no object for many people around NYC. Even the Mayor’s CP plan projects only a modest 6.3% decrease in traffic (I’m sure someone will correct me if my memory fails on that). And when was the last time you saw a government program be as successful as predicted by the people who created it? (Hint: it doesn’t happen often.)

    Face it, there are a lot of rich people around here who take public transit only because traffic sucks. And they’re already driving their Acuras and Lexuses to the nearest train station anyway. Some of them will choose to drive if there’s less traffic, regardless of the CP fee.

  • JK

    Spud,

    The economists and traffic modelers who scrutinize congestion pricing agree that there will be a “rebound” effect and some people will decide to start driving on the streets made less crowded by pricing. But based on the experience in London, Stockholm and Singapore, congestion pricing will still result in a substantial overall reduction in traffic. We have seen pricing work in the real world in a number of different cities with different geographies and demographics. So, pricing supporters have evidence that it works. What evidence do pricing opponents have? Let’s see it.

    Lastly, the proposed congestion pricing zone is much fairer and more effective than tolling the East River Bridges, which also requires tolling Harlem River Bridges and would demand coordinated pricing between the Port Authority, MTA and City. Whether there are holes in the mayor’s arguement for pricing is a seperate political question than whether congestion pricing is the better transportation policy. It clearly is.

  • Gossip

    Did Naparstek paid Lipsky to post the anti-Streetsblog rant? He should.

  • Eddie N.

    JK,

    Nice try, but you’re still just saying “it’ll work here because it worked in London”. A useful response (one I have not seen from the Bloomberg camp) would explain how they arrived at the projection of a 6% reduction in CBD congestion. Shifting the burden of proof to opponents and then citing their lack of facts is not much of an argument. What are the “facts” (i.e., the actual model/analytics used for the 6% projetion) underlying the argument that CP will work here? I’ve not seen them, other than the assertion that it worked in other places that are geographically, demographically, and commuter-graphically very different from NYC.

    Also, how do you arrive at the conclusion that CP is “fairer and more effective” than tolling the ER (and HR) bridges? This strikes me (and just about everyone I’ve spoken to) as counter intuitive.

    Finally, the point about how ER/HR bridge tolling would require coordination with other tolling authorities is a complete red herring. CP requires at least as much coordination (e.g., in order to deduct tolls from the CP charge), and a huge amount of financial coordination beteen the city and the authorities.

  • Chris H

    Spud, Eddie N.,

    It is simple economics. Right now people choice to drive is based on economic cost (monetary cost + opportunity cost). For many people, the fare but more importantly the opportunity cost of taking transit is higher than the costs of driving (gas, tolls, etc.) Right now it costs a SI resident $4 bucks round trip to go to Midtown taking the SI railway, ferry and subway. It costs him $4.50 to take the bridge.

    If you live far from a SIR station, however, it will take you longer to ride mass transit even counting traffic. Granted, the opportunity cost of transit per minute is less than driving, but for many people, it is still higher than driving.

    What C.P. will do is raise the economic cost of driving. Will it be enough to deter everyone? Of course not. You have to admit, however, that a $4 difference between modes is more likely to be higher than the extra opportunity cost of taking transit than 50 cents.

    I think what JK meant about being fairer is that people not destined for Manhattan will not be charged the congestion charge and will have less of an impact on through traffic or interborough travel (as long as they don’t enter Manhattan streets). The point of the C.P. charge is to keep people from driving to or through the CBD. The West Side Highway and FDR aren’t really part of the CBD.

    Also, the issue of coordination. For a long time, the PA has been held hostage by NJ from raising the bridge/tunnel tolls. As a result, the MTA operated crossing tolls have been much higher than the PA operated ones. Meanwhile, the NYCDOT operated ones charge nothing. Most of the users of those crossings, however, are all headed to use the same resource, Manhattan city streets. If they are all going to use the same resource, they should all be charged the same amount.

    If they had tried to toll the ER bridges instead, you would maintain the unequal position of the HR bridges which are subject to PA control and NJ politics.

    It is in NJ’s interest that the PA coordinate with C.P. to allow deductions because, in theory, if NJ refused to cooperate, NY could drop all the tolls on all the crossings and not have deductions at all and just charge people who enter the charge zone. $8 for NY residents, $14 dollars for someone taking the Lincoln.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Eddie N. writes:

    Lipsky may be wrong about the tone of Streetsblog _articles_, but he has a point about comments. There’s a pretty strong party line, and a high-level of contempt towards expressions of contraty opinon. To the extent that people posting comments to a blog are taken to be part of the blog (which is the way they are in fact taken by a great many people), one can reasonably read this blog as vitriolic etc.

    A few points in response to this, Eddie:

    1. Lipsky himself wrote much the same thing today.

    2. Have you seen the comments on Queens Crap, Curbed or some of the other urban/real estate blogs? There’s a lot more vitriol elsewhere. Any post on Queens Crap that features a politician is likely to have some nasty personal comments, if not racial slurs.

    3. “Party line” enforcement is actually a tricky question. I used to administer the New Mexico Green Party discussion list, and someone had invited the leaders of the state Libertarian Party. We had a few productive discussions with them, but they wasted a lot of our time and energy on pointlessly debating our core party values – which they had no intention of ever adopting.

    Of course, the Green Forum was a party-building tool, and this is not. It’s up to Aaron, Mark Gorton, etc. how much discussion of core values they want to allow. But it’s not a given that every online forum is required to tolerate any and all viewpoints.

  • Eddie N.,

    Here are 25 megabytes and 166 pages worth of background data underlying the transportation chapter of PlaNYC:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2007/05/01/planyc-team-releases-transportation-technical-report/

  • Eric

    Regarding tone, I try to take the high road at all times. And when it comes to Richard Lipsky, I feel completely justified in posting what I did above.

    Anyone who has read Lipsky’s posts regarding the “Atlantic Yards” project would know that his own personal attacks are far worse than anything ever posted in Streetsblog’s comments sections, and would know, too, that his intellectual inconsistency is driven solely by the source of the butter on his bread.

    I was in a small “mom ‘n’ pop” maternity shop in Park Slope yesterday, and an expectant mother came in looking for a birthing ball. The shopowner told her that she used to sell them, but Target had started selling them for the same price she was paying the wholesaler, so she had dropped the item. Target is located in Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Terminal Mall. Lipsky is on Ratner’s payroll. Lipsky’s principal business is representing “mom ‘n’ pop” stores.

    I imagine I’m not the only one who sees the irony here.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I agree, Eric. If that’s sophistication, I’d rather be an idiot.

  • Spud Spudly

    Chris, my point is that it’s NOT simple economics. For many people who commute into the City on mass transit from points such as Westchester and Long Island, money is not an issue. (Certainly not $8/day, or whatever the CP charge could potentially be raised to.) The real issue is the congestion itself. In a pure economic model I believe they would be called irrational actors.

    Maybe it’s time to just call CP what it really is: a revenue device. Let’s just be honest about it already.

  • Spud,

    Is someone trying to keep the revenue-raising side of the plan a secret?

    My impression is that the Mayor and congestion pricing advocates have been pretty forthcoming with the idea that congestion pricing does two things:

    It creates a disincentive for people to drive into the charging zone and it raises money for transit.

  • Eddie N.

    Aaron:

    I have read those 25 megabytes and 166 pages several times. They do not really answer the question “why do we think congestion pricing will work?” Rather, they predict that it will, and give some summary data from City modifications to the NYMTC traffic model. It’s worth noting that a) traffic planners and engineers in general don’t view the NYMTC model as problematic; b) these modifications (which presumably address some of these problems) are not explained or detailed anywhere. Most of the actual text in the aforementioned megs and pages talks about how things worked out in London. That’s my point — the attempts at rebutting critics all seem to boil down to “read the plan” (which doesn’t give enough detail for anyone interested in real analysis) and “it worked in London”. These are very simple to skewer.

    On economics, coordination, and fairness:

    1. Yes, some people drive because it’s cheaper than transit, and CP may induce them to switch modes, but a lot drive because the mass transit alternatives are unplatable at any price. Maybe the “model” assumes that these people won’t switch and that’s partly why it’s only predicting 6.xx% congestion reduction, but no one knows what the model’s assumptions are, so we’re left to wonder whether it considered these sorts of cases.

    2. Offsetting the price of tolls may be in some sense “fair” in that the price of coming into the CBD would be the same regardless of route, but that may be fairness to a fault. If you’re coming in via a PA crossing, your marginal cost is $4 instead of $8. Is that enough to change your behavior? A lot of people think not.

    3. The back-office mechanics of CP are a nightmare with respect to coordination with other tolling authorities, not with respect to aligning the rates themselves. Tolling the ER and HR bridges would be much simpler from this perspective (as would donating them to the MTA, but no Mayor has been willing to offer them up)

    In sum, regardless of whether CP is a good thing or not, the arguments being advanced for it have problems. Critics have done a much better job of identifying and exploiting these than proponents have of addressing them. Nothing in this thread changes my mind on that point.

  • Eddie N.

    oops

    I meant to say a) traffic planners and engineers in general view the NYMTC model as problematic;

  • Spud Spudly

    No, it creates a disincentive for SOME people to drive. For others it creates an incentive.

  • JK

    Eddie, the frame here is off. I, and other proponents of pricing, think there is a big congestion problem here and that congestion pricing, whatever its flaws, is the most realistic and effective solution. Opponents have not offered any alternatives that come close to pricing.

    It’s unlikely anything short of a test of congestion pricing will convince you or other opponents. That was the case with the general public in both London and Stockholm before pricing was tried. There is no traffic model that doesn’t have some flaws or arbitrary assumptions.

    But so what. Instead of worrying about the NYMTC model take a look at the evidence. There is far more real world evidence for congestion pricing than there is for most public policy initiatives. We can look at London, Stockholm and Singapore and at the effect of peak hour and dynamic pricing on parking and highways in dozens of locations. So, it’s not just London (which incidentally provides far more useful data than any NYC computer modeling.) As you well know the literature and practice of congestion/dynamic/variable/value pricing is voluminous and is the basis for how everything from electric and phone use and airline seating is priced. There isn’t much that is radical or new here. The radical part is asking motorists accustomed to paying nothing to pay something.

    What’s not fair about everyone paying the same $8 to enter the CBD? I can’t see why it matters that $5.00 might go to the Port Authority.

    As far as coordination goes, since most motorists have EZ Pass, the complicated part is not double charging cash payers. But it’s a technical problem, not a political one like agreeing to coordinate toll prices so that traffic diversions don’t happen. (See the VZ Bridge toll as an example of how hard it is to get a rationale toll.)

    I suspect that tolling the bridges as an alternative to pricing is a political red herring, since it is laden with tremendous historical baggage. This said, there are a bunch of reasons that a pricing zone is better than bridge tolls:
    1. Tolling the East River Bridges without the Harlem Bridges is unfair to Bklyn and Qns residents and may divert upstream truck traffic. So, you really have to toll the Harlem if you toll the East.
    2. Tolling the Harlem River Bridges makes all of Manhattan a congestion pricing zone, not just south of 86th street. It would mean tolls for motorists traveling from Brooklyn or Queens to the Bronx along the FDR. The mayor’s congestion pricing plan allows them to travel for free.
    3. Tolling the bridges puts the city at the mercy of the MTA and Port Authority. It would be politically impossible for the City to, for example, charge $8 or $6 or whatever to cross the Broadway or Willis Avenue Bridge while the MTA was charging only $1.75 to use the Henry Hudson. Likewise, the fairness issue would demand equal tolls on the Brooklyn and the Third Avenue Bridges even if they didnt make sense from a transportation perspective.
    4. Because it is uniform to motorists coming from all directions — everyone pays $8 to enter the zone — the pricing zone will end the destructive one-way toll diversion on the VZ. Staten Islanders are not going to pay $8 to enter Manhattan and $8 to go home.

  • Dave H.

    “As far as coordination goes, since most motorists have EZ Pass, the complicated part is not double charging cash payers.”

    Off-hand, I think if you pay cash, you will be double-charged, at least according to the original proposal. Who knows what will actually come out of the committee and through the legislature?

  • Chris H

    Eddie,

    Yes there are irrational actors but I think you’re overplaying their role by ignoring how opportunity costs play into this. Yes, for some people, the reduction of opportunity costs due to less congestion will induce them to drive more. For the vast majority, however, the reduction in the opportunity cost of driving is largely offset by the difference in monetary cost for each choice. In my aforementioned SI commuter example, the fare vs. toll example, the choice to drive incurs a 12.5% increase in monetary cost (not including fuel and parking).

    Now, for example, for someone who lives near the Grant City Station on the SIR, it takes 1 hour, 10 minutes to get to midtown (Grand Central specifically) by car in traffic and 38 minutes without traffic according to Google Maps. That same trip with public transportation takes 1 hour and 48 minutes according to HopStop. Now if you don’t live near the SIR, it will probably take you even longer. Here the opportunity cost for public transportation outweighs the monetary cost of driving substantially if you have a car available to you.

    Now if C.P. is implemented, the difference in monetary cost for tolls vs. fares jumps to 100%. The opportunity cost for non exclusive right-of-way transit (i.e. buses) is also decreased with less congestion and even more so if more bus lanes are implemented. It also makes the possibility of more express buses more feasible because their marginal cost is more comparable to the marginal cost of driving which makes them more attractive and increases their ridership.

  • Chris H

    I will admit that gas prices, especially recently, have raised the cost of driving. The actual cost, of course, depends on where on Staten Island you are coming from, how much congestion there is, and what your vehicle’s fuel economy is.

    Experience has shown, however, that the demand for gasoline is pretty inelastic and increases in gas prices need to be substantial and sustained to actually reduce demand. This is especially true if you live in a car centric area like SI. This may be due to the disconnect between paying for gas and the choice to make a trip.

    On the other hand, tolls are pretty good at modifying behaviour because you pay for it at each trip.

    As far as parking costs go, many people have subsidized or free parking so it has a little to no effect the behaviour of those people. In addition, park and ride fees tend to be expensive as well.

  • Chris H

    Or how about Whitestone, one of the areas identified with high car usage in PlaNYC.

    12.9 miles and 40 minutes in traffic, 25 minutes without. No tolls (using 59th street bridge).

    Using mass transit gets you there in 1 hour 15 minutes according to HopStop.

    A car getting 20 mpg city with gas at 2.70 a gallon will spend $3.48 which is roughly 4% more than mass transit (in my previous example, I forgot to take into account the discount given by buying a $10 metrocard which makes the round trip cost $1.67).

    Now this case (which unlike my last example, includes an estimate on fuel usage), gas and C.P. represent a 245% higher monetary cost over mass transit.

    Eventually there is a point where the monetary cost of driving, even with the reduction in opportunity cost of decreased congestion, exceeds the extra opportunity cost of taking transit.

    I still think that the charge should be higher, though, to make sure that the economic cost of driving is higher for enough people to avoid possibility of the effect that you talk about.

    So Eddie, does that suffice as an answer, or do I need to try harder?

  • Chris H

    Eddie,

    Is that the answer that you are looking for? I would really like to know…

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