The Week in Review


  • Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and consultant Brian Ketcham floated yet another set of traffic mitigation alternatives to Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal. The Ketcham plan would move the boundaries of the pricing zone to 60th Street and the East River bridges in an effort to simplify and reduce costs. The Weiner plan calls for a Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel, new ferry and transit services, and beefed up traffic enforcement in an effort to, well, kill congestion pricing. Weiner’s plan wouldn’t qualify for for the $354 million the feds have pledged for transit upgrades, so he would pay for it with increases in tolls, parking fees and the federal gas tax. Getting Congress to jack up U.S. gas taxes for new outer borough bus routes in New York City should be no problem.
  • Say, won’t all those drivers forced out of their cars by Weiner’s taxes, fees and tolls need transit as well? And won’t they need it before the increases go into effect, just like the poor schlumps who would be affected by congestion pricing? Just wondering…
  • In other congestion pricing news, 30 firms responded to the city’s call for pricing tech proposals. Also, congestion pricing will make you happy, unless you’re a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Speaking of happiness, or lack thereof, Streetsblog commenters joined free-parking advocates in complaining about the green crosstown bike route going down on Prince Street. Wrote ln: "I think the DOT got that ugly colored slippery paint on sale. Now they
    can say they ‘greened’ a former street area without actually planting
    any plants." Ouch.
  • Planned bike shelters received a somewhat more positive reaction, though several wondered why the structures shouldn’t be installed in place of on-street car parking rather than on already cluttered sidewalks, where they could end up serving as another advertising-clad sight-line obstacle.
  • On the other hand, new bike lanes in Fort Greene, where the DOT is putting down roots, got high marks — as did Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, when a suggestion that former commish Iris Weinshall should be credited for the Carlton Avenue transformation brought a flurry of protest. Wrote Gary: "Come on: have you EVER seen a department do a 180 (for the better) like
    the transition from Iris to Janette? It’s like someone waved a magic
    wand over the DOT and turned lead into gold.
    " Sounds like a comment of the week to us.

Photo: Winner of the Municipal Art Society’s "Nasty Newsrack" photo contest, by Laura Dodd. Writes the MAS: "The judges selected it not just because it depicts ugly and poorly maintained newsracks, but also because of the series of serious code violations shown. The newsracks are located in a bus-stop and less than fifteen feet from a fire hydrant – forcing the bus to discharge passengers by the hydrant, all of which is illegal."


Weiner on the Environment: Big Talk, Small Stick

Where’s the beef? Under Rep. Anthony Weiner’s plan, vehicles, like the one above, would not be charged a fee to use New York City’s most heavily congested streets On Monday evening, just hours before the federal government’s announcement that it would give New York City $354.5 million to kick-start Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. […]

Weiner Imagines Paying for His Traffic Plan With a Gas Tax Raise

  Though reporters weren’t invited, Streetsblog managed to get a stringer into this morning’s On-and-Off-the-Record transportation policy talk with Congressman Anthony Weiner at Commerce Bank in Midtown. During the hour-long Q&A hosted by Edward Isaac-Dovere of City Hall News, Weiner hit on familiar themes: Something needs to be done about traffic but the mayor’s plan […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]

Weiner and Wylde Square Off in Pricing Forum

Four veterans of the congestion pricing wars went toe-to-toe at the Museum of the City of New York Wednesday night — the last showdown before the Congestion Mitigation Commission releases its draft proposals today. Taking the stump for pricing were Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for NYC and Michael O’Loughlin of the Campaign for New […]

Pricing Advocates Call for Impact Study and New Parking Policies

Congestion pricing advocate Carolyn Konheim and consulting partner Brian Ketcham are advising the Bloomberg administration to drop its resistance to a congestion pricing Environmental Impact Study. The two say a study is needed to head off "likely 11th hour litigation" aimed at stopping the three-year pilot program from taking effect, a possibility Streetsblog alluded to […]

Weiner’s Congestion Testimony: Anything But Pricing

If nothing else, gridlocked traffic is a good marketing opportunity for Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile. US Rep. Anthony Weiner was one of the first voices to speak up against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal for a three-year congestion pricing pilot project and he remains one of the loudest. In his testimony Oct. 25 before the NYC Traffic Mitigation […]