Today’s Headlines

  • Legislation Would Bring $703 Million to MTA (AMNY)
  • Brodsky Calls Fare Hike a "Choice" (Metro)
  • Brodsky Revels in Populist Role; Also Likes Handicap Spaces (Observer)
  • More on Dinowitz Pricing Forum (Riverdale Press)
  • Pricing Plan Short on Alternatives to Driving (Riverdale Press)
  • Anger and Frustration Over $35B TIP Delay (Wonkster)
  • John Liu Proposes New Idling Law (Sun)
  • Times Square Pedestrian Case Goes to Court of Appeals (NYT)
  • Gap to Be Closed in Riverside Park Path (City Room)
  • L and 7 Lines to Get Additional Trains (Post)
  • French Transit Workers on Strike (NYT)
  • Which Is Better/Worse: Driving or Flying? (Gristmill)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Not $703 billion per year. $2.5 billion, plus money to avoid the fare hike if that’s what they want.

  • Slick

    Congestion pricing helps poor people!

    One of the places where I think the congestion pricing foes have won in the branding game is to call congestion pricing regressive.

    —- ““When it comes time to ask
    questions,” he explains, “they tend to make
    speeches. ‘As you know, I have been deeply
    concerned about congestion pricing and the
    economic impact on poor people’”

    Has there been push back on this that I’ve missed?

    With the current system, too many low income people do not have a choice but to drive. Cars are very expensive ($5-7000 a year from what I hear). That’s a large portion of their income that is non-discretionary.

    As effective choices to ride transit or a bicycle come on line, it provides more discretion in transportation choices. Many low income people that are now forced to drive could opt for lower cost solutions that reduce the impact on their personal budget.

    At the same time, higher income travelers who choose to drive will see an increase in the cost of driving. So, the proportion of their transportation budget will grow against their income.

    Congestion pricing is progressive in taxing terms.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I agree, Slick. Here’s what I wrote when Brodsky’s “study” came out:

    http://www.grieve-smith.com/neighborhood/BrodskyShellGame.html

    Here’s the Drum Major Institute’s take on it:

    http://www.dmiblog.com/archives/2007/06/congestion_pricing_good_policy.html

    Despite this, the media generally seems to let these comments from Brodsky go unchallenged. I’m glad that Scheuerman didn’t let it slide in the Observer piece.

    One thing that would help is if other organizations that have a history of fighting for the poor and lower-middle class could make this point.

  • gecko

    “Congestion pricing isn’t a plan” makes the argument that it’s about time that city hall, starting with the West Side bike path, ferries, transit, puts in place serious options for those who normally have good reason to use cars to get downtown.

    It’s definitely time to put in place a serious cycle track network. Anything less will muck up the process of reinventing transportation in this city.

  • JF

    Another thing about Riverdale: I think it’s a lost cause. I briefly considered living there until I discovered how difficult it was to get in and out by public transportation. Congestion pricing and increased bus service would make it a bit easier, but short of a funicular or an extension of the subway, it’s going to remain pretty inaccessible. Ferries have the same problem as the train: you have to get down the hill. Riverdale is “grotesquely overbuilt” for its sustainable transportation infrastructure.

    I think that just about everyone who’s moved to Riverdale in the past fifty years has figured that out pretty quick, which means that most of them moved there with cars, intending to use them. Nice of the Riverdale Press to let us know that it only takes half an hour to drive to Midtown. Guess who’s been paying taxes for the past seventy years to maintain that parkway and bridge, and all the other roads they drive on? The money hasn’t all come from the tolls. They’ve had a pretty sweet deal for years, and now that they’re being asked to pay for a little more of their share they’re going to fight it with everything they’ve got.

    I think there are some great ideas in that article. Of course, Hillary’s idea for restoring the Henry Hudson to a true parkway, plus ferries and increased express bus service. I’m just not convinced that if you gave them all that they wouldn’t just turn around and whine about it being a “tax on the poor.”

    When the Mayor first proposed congestion pricing, Congressman Crowley asked for transit improvements in his district, and got a promise of four new commuter rail stations (one of which would also be in Senator Diaz’s district) and increased express bus service. On that condition, he decided to support the plan. I don’t see any such negotiation coming from Dinowitz. There’s a difference between fighting for the improvements you need and making demands aimed at delaying or derailing the process.