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Albany Reform Would Be More Thankful If…

12:40 PM EST on November 26, 2007

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign's new Mobilizing the Region blog is really starting to come alive. If you haven't added it to your daily news feed yet, it's probably time to do it.

After giving thanks for the transportation policy advances of 2007 on Thursday, the TSTC staff, engorged with Tofurkey, went back to work on Friday and decided they'd be even more thankful if...

Congestion pricing opponents looked at the data instead of propagating myths.When asked to back up assertions that congestion pricing will hurtbusiness, or that an alternative plan would do more to reduce traffic,the best congestion pricing opponents can produce are slim,un-footnoted reports premised on bad math and faulty assumptions. Theseare, by and large, intelligent people who we happen to respectfullydisagree with. So why is it that so many of the reports backing uptheir arguments wouldn’t pass muster in the average college class?

The MTA created a transit village program. MTArepresentatives have said it’s too early for a transit village programbecause transit-oriented development in the region is “at an embryonicstage.” What we’ve seen on Long island and in the lower Hudson Valleyis plenty of smart projects completed and in planning, and a ton ofenthusiasm for smart growth. If that’s embryonic, it’s the mostprecocious embryo we’ve ever seen.

The MTA enacted variable tolling on its bridges and tunnels.Charging drivers more at peak hours has been proven to reduce peak-hourcongestion and is not a new concept. The Port Authority’s doing it. TheNJ Turnpike Authority is doing it. So, again… where’s the MTA?

The New York State Legislature stopped holding NYC back.Congestion pricing. The solid waste management plan. Bus lane cameras(and more red light cameras). All three would do wonders for New YorkCity, if only Albany would pass them.

The Sheridan Expressway was torn down and replaced with residences and parkland. Hopefulythe long delay in the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange environmentalreview process is because NYSDOT has been giving hard thought to theunconventional wisdom, as proven in Milwaukee and San Francisco, thattearing down a highway can be a way to improve a community’s quality oflife — and won’t exacerbate traffic.

NYC got its parking policy straight. To its credit,NYC replaced car parking with bike parking for the first time in itshistory. But it also allowed the Yankees to build a stadium with moreparking than the old one (despite having less seats and a newMetro-North station), and then tried to get NYSDEP to allow up to40,000 more parking spaces in the far West Side. And the city wouldgain a ton of street cred with advocates and the public if it wouldonly reform parking placard abuse.

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