Today’s Headlines

  • M23, M1 Buses Singled Out as Pokie & Schleppie (Post, Sun, News)
  • Bronx Officials Speak Up in Favor of Congestion Pricing (News)
  • Build Roads, Tunnels, Bridges Before "Socking It to Middle Class" (News)
  • State and City Brace for Economic Downturn (NYT, Sun, News)
  • Pt. Authority Discusses Increasing Hudson River Tolls (News)
  • NY State DOT Chief Calls for $100 Billion for Roads & Transit (CapCon)
  • After Petition Drive, City Will Consider Bay Ridge Ferry (Brooklyn Paper)
  • Groundfloor Retail Planned for Dour Municipal Building (Brooklyn Paper)
  • OPEC: Pumping More Oil Won’t Bring Down Prices (Oil Drum)
  • Feds to LA: Try Congestion Pricing on Freeways (Planetizen)
  • Steve

    As Sen. Kruger pointed out at the CP hearing last week, the first thing Port Authority will do if an $8 CP charge with an offset is instituted, is to increase the toll on the Hudson River Crossings to at least $8.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    The News should be ashamed of letting their columnists retype Sam Staley’s obviously foolish road-building fantasies. I like how he talks up the A86 tunnel in the Paris suburbs but makes no mention of the other uses of “today’s technology” that are much more widely known – and popular – in the Paris region, like the RER, the tramway and Vélib’.

  • Hilary

    I was curious about the News article as well. I have the print version of the paper, and it’s part of a special section about cars with several articles by the same Josh Max. So it’s sort of one big industry advertorial.

  • hazletok

    In continuing with the News article, I was wondering what are the stats regarding the correlation btw building roads and changes in traffic. My impression was that if roads were built, traffic just increased to cram the capacity. Is there data showing this to be the case, or that building roads actually has a positive effect on traffic?

  • Moser

    The Port Authority has been needing a toll hike for 2-3 years already. It’s widely expected by those paying attention after NJ’s legislative election this fall. Story finally broke into real public view in Star-Ledger yesterday.

  • I’ve went looking for some good “The Road More Travelled” debunking.

    This blog post was the best I could find on short notice.

    Anybody know of any others?

    If you google Balaker and Staley, you’ll find a depressingly large number of positive citations in the mainstream press (George Will, among them) and next to no criticism.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Building roads depresses congestion in the short term where you build the road, but transfers the congestion to where you didn’t build the road. So if the LIE adds a lane and traffic is induced to travel in the now open space there will more traffic at the exit ramps and state roads that the LIE exists on to. Total vehicle miles travelled increases accordingly.

    The key to congestion pricing is that it is the only system that interrupts the formula of induced traffic. Any other decongestion will quickly be filled by traffic that experiences the created space.

    It is the Yogi Berra rule, “no one goes to Broadway anymore, its too crowded.”

  • Howdy.

    TSJM here. (The Same Josh Max)

    Thanks for reading my writing in the Daily News. Just wanted to clear up something…

    YOUR DRIVE is a weekly 5-article pullout section in the paper, but it’s not an advertorial. Autos, motorcycles and other vehicles are provided to me for testing by auto manufacturers, and I give my opinion, thumbs up or thumbs down. Nobody tells me what to say and I’m not in anyone’s pocket, so to speak. Not even the top guys at the paper tell me what I can and can’t write, nor the advertising department.

    That said—

    I wasn’t endorsing or not endorsing Balaker and Staley. I ran the excerpt because, to quote the spirit of another adopted New Yorker, John Lennon, “We’d all love to see the plan.”

    Feel free to suggest one of your own…one we haven’t heard.


  • anon

    Hmm. An honest mistake. In the same issue of the paper, I was shocked to see that your editor, Michael Goodwin, was writing a rave about Dubai, for which he had just taken an all-expense paid junket. What’s up over there??

    On the other hand, I give credit to the Daily News for your investigative local reporting. Far better than the Times.

  • Davis

    Josh, you are very clearly criticizing the Mayor’s traffic mitigation plan and presenting Balaker and Staley’s bizzaro concepts as the counterpoint and alternative. You’re entitled to your opinion and you clearly went ahead and expressed it, so why try to pretend otherwise? Here’s what you wrote:

    So they charge you eight bucks to come into Manhattan between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., maybe. A couple of years down the road, it’s 10, then 15, then 25. But is that a long-term solution? How does that help congested neighborhoods that aren’t in Manhattan, like the parking lot that is Flatbush Ave. during peak hours in Brooklyn or the slow-as-molasses Cross Bronx Expressway? In the book “The Road More Traveled,” traffic experts Ted Balaker and Sam Staley talk about steps nearly every city can take to reduce traffic significantly before socking it to the lower and middle class, who will be hardest hit by Mayor Bloomberg’s traffic congestion proposal.

  • TSJM —

    Here’s a plan: congestion pricing.

    Here’s an article idea: why auto enthusiasts ought to embrace any and all efforts to reduce private-automobile traffic.

    My thesis: Driving has become a numbing, dumbed-down activity. Most commuting is no more driving in the lace-back gloves sense of driving than watching a football game on television is exercising. Take cars off the road and make people pay for the privilege of driving and there will be more opportunities to really drive.

  • Man, Sean, if Josh wrote that in his Daily News section, that would really make a splash. That’d be something.

  • Hilary

    So the Daily News would accept a counter-piece in that section, amidst the auto ads?

  • You know what I’m criticizing? Taxing and charging the shit out of people whereever possible. “Just charge the working people and everything will be ok”. My family’s been in Manhattan since 1908, and once upon a time you could work in a hardware store and still afford a place to live. Not any more. Manhattan doesn’t need another step toward being a Disneyworld for the very rich.

  • Davis

    Right on, Josh. Sorry to interrupt your daily suckling of Detroit’s dying, saggy teat. I know you’ve got cars to sell and streets to fill with honking, spewing, gridlocked traffic. Keep the dream alive, baby.

  • Ian Turner


    Feel free to ignore Davis.

    But I don’t think you understand that congestion in Manhattan is already terribly expensive. As has been noted many times before, the question is not whether or not we want to pay for congestion — there is no choice on that — but rather how we want to pay. Do we want to do pay in wasted time, asthmatic children, and fatal auto accidents? Or do we want to charge the people who generate these things for the negative consequences of their actions?

    People have to pay to ride the subway. There’s no reason city streets should be any different.