MTA Chief Lee Sander Talks Congestion Pricing in Queens

MTA CEO, Queens native and LIRR commuter Lee Sander received a warm reception then "faced some tough questions when he addressed a combined meeting of the
Saul Weprin and Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Clubs on Thursday in
Hollis Hills" last Thursday, the Queens Chronicle reports:

Although he was welcomed back by old school chum Councilman David Weprin, many rank and file club members, including the councilman, expressed grave misgivings about the mayor’s congestion pricing plans.

Robert Friedrich, president of the Glen Oaks Village Owners Inc, said that congestion pricing was on everyone’s mind. He indicated that he represents a working class community. "How do you justify pricing on grounds of congestion when you’re charging people who can’t afford it?" he asked.

Sander reiterated his support for the plan. "In an era of global warming we need resources for transit. We’re not going to find the money to respond to increase population on Queens Boulevard and the Hillside Avenue corridor without it."

When Friedrich countered that the tax will be very regressive, hitting lower income residents far harder than those earning $100,000, Sanders said he wasn’t going to argue it won’t have negative effects, but he thought it was a case of the greatest good for the largest number.

One club member, who asked not to be named commented, "It’s all crap. Bloomberg is a billionaire, he doesn’t even notice the money."

  • During the depression, Will Rogers said that America is the only place where people drive to the poor house.

    Now that we have entered the age of global warming, we should update that to say: America is the place where people claim that reducing driving is elitist.

    Haven’t these Queens residents heard that 80% of the people in the world don’t have cars at all? Have they heard that the shift to biofuels has already raised the price of corn enough to hard for people in Mexico to afford food? Have they heard that the emissions from their cars are already causing drought and starvation in east Africa?

    From a global perspective, anyone who has a car is part of a privileged elite. Anyone who works politically to keep driving as much as he always has is the worst sort of elitist – willing to sacrifice the necessities of the poor to maintain the luxuries of the middle class.

  • Not a Car Fan

    Amen!

    If you can afford insurance, parking/speeding tickets, maintenance, gas, etc., then you CAN afford the $8 fee.

    ’nuff said

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m worried about sales taxes on yachts. They are highly regressive.

    On the purchase of a $50,000 yacht, an 8.25% sales tax would cost $4,125.

    That tax is, obviously, 10% of the income of someone earning $41,250 per year, but an out-of-touch billionarie like Bloomberg would hardly notice it.

    Worse, if a struggling, middle-class household buys a $100K yacht, the hit would be twice as great!

  • Dave

    I am glad this site sees the Queens politicians for the saps they are. CP is NOT a tax it is a usage fee that charges one for the privilege of driving into Manhattan where many many low-cost options exist to enter Manhattan without a car.
    A tax is a charge applied to income or a necessary purchase….no one needs to drive into Manhattan. Hear that David Weprin…friend of the parking garage syndicate and enemy to the city of New York, He is willing to oppose CP for the beneift of a minite majority of his consituents at the cost to the greater good of the city. How do we outside his district get him unelected? How about forcing a review of his finances…that seems to do the trick for any politician.
    Frankly I am sick and tired of the support given for the down-trodden in this city and the numerous handouts givien to them. If you can’t afford the $8 CP fee take public transit or do something to make more money.
    This is American where Capitalsim rules.

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