Today’s Headlines

  • Pricing Faces ‘Uphill Struggle’ (Chelsea News)
  • Komanoff: It’s Time to Call Out Reckless Drivers (Gristmill)
  • MTA Can Move Forward With $46M in Service Enhancements (News)
  • Crumbling Subway Platform Almost Fatal, But Still Not Fixed (News, Post, AM)
  • Park Trust Postpones Decision on Pier 40 (Villager)
  • E-ZPass Toll Dodgers Cost State $13M Last Year (NYT)
  • City Helps Clean Up Underserved Main Streets (News, Norwood News)
  • DKNY: Orange Bikes Meant to Promote Cycling, Not DKNY (City Room)
  • LA Bike Writers Draft Cyclist’s Bill of Rights (Bike Blog)
  • Women-Only Buses Prove Popular in Mexico City (NYT)
  • JF

    This Chelsea News article has some zingers:

    “The key thing is, the mayor needs to sell this concept retail to individual legislators,” Gottfried said. “They are well behind the curve….People don’t like being taken for granted or ignored.”

    […]

    “The question is, will the M.T.A. be responsive enough to transit improvements that weren’t their idea,” said Kathryn Wylde

    Geez, get over yourselves, MTA and legislators! Yes, Bloomberg’s people didn’t plan this very well, but I’m going to be really pissed if the main reason this doesn’t pass is because someone’s ego got bruised.

    The most consistent criticism of the plan from the Downtowners is that commuters who drive to Lower Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel would pay no additional costs because the Port Authority next month is raising the rush hour toll price for the New Jersey crossings to $8 during rush hours.

    Okay, get this: they’ll pay no additional costs because they’re going to pay $3 more. Well, that $3 sure sounds like an additional cost to me. Who cares whose pocket it goes into?

  • Re: Calling out Reckless Drivers

    We need to start this process much earlier. I think we need regular testing of driver’s written understanding of the rules of the road and current practical skills in driving safely. It will certainly cull some of the worst drivers who once upon a time at age 17 memorized the rules for a day, passed a test and then made a left turn, a right turn and parallel parked without hitting anything.

    I would say written every 2 years with your vehicle registration and a road test every 5-6 years and maybe a test every year for seniors.

  • Hilary

    I support CP, but I also see the problem. A regionalist (like myself) may think that there’s no difference between improving transit between NJ and NYC, and improving transit between Manhattan and the other boroughs – but that’s not what most New Yorkers think. But I also see that our regionalism is Manhattan-centric.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but here’s how it is: New York City taxpayers pay for our streets and transit infrastructure. NJ taxpayers(through the PA tolls) pay a share of the cost of ACCESS to our streets (and transit). But the new CP revenue is not for access (either to Manhattan or the city). It’s for improving transit and reducing congestion within the city. The CP fee should be separate and in addition to the PA tolls. This is certainly easier to argue with the GW Bridge, where crossing the bridge and entering the CBD are independent decisions by the driver. But the principle should apply to the Holland Tunnel as well. The toll pays for using the tunnel. The CP is for using the CBD streets.

    I see this another example of the lack of clarity in presenting this project. Starting with the failure to explain to the public what the goal of “reduced congestion” is. I am sure that a survey would show that 98% of the public think reducing congestion means speeding up traffic.

  • Jonathan

    Glenn, it’s easy to pass a road test but difficult to apply those defensive-driving skills 100%, especially when tired, stressed, busy, or late.

  • Jonathan

    Hilary, your insights today are the rock upon which I originally thought the CP project would founder. Don’t forget that Rockland County (NY) commuters also pay the Hudson tolls, and that they (and their NY legislators) will advocate for parity with Long Island suburbanites as far as overall toll burden (they pay less right now).

  • Hilary

    Jonathan – Rockland motorists pay to cross the Hudson whether by Tappan Zee, Bear Mountain Bridge, GWB or Holland Tunnel. Why is the deduction of the CP charge just for those entering Manhattan via the last two? Let each crossing toll be for the crossing itself. Let the CP charge be for driving within the CBD. To reinforce the point that the CP fee is not for access to, but for use of the CBD streets during certain periods.
    I loved the analogy to national park fees on another thread.

  • Josh

    That makes sense to me, Hilary, but I think unfortunately it’s politically untenable.

  • Jonathan

    Hilary, I have no proposed solution here, but if you don’t offset the bridge tolls, then the Westchester commuters who take the Third Avenue Bridge or the Madison Avenue Bridge to the CBD will pay less than Long Islanders (via QMT or Triboro) and Rocklanders (via GWB). In addition, the MTA and PA will be hit with a loss in toll revenues, as the cost of commuting goes up and commuters switch out of single-occupancy vehicles. Furthermore, there will be more pressure to eliminate the circumferential highways from the plan, because non-CBD based drivers will be paying the CP charge to use the lower Manhattan paid crossings, like the BBT and the Holland, without actually going through lower Manhattan streets.

    Of course, if you do offset the bridge tolls, then Brooklynites and Bronxites get angry, because they are socked with the largest day-over-day increase in commuting costs, having to pay the entire CP charge out of their pocket on the first day of the new system. So you can’t please everyone.

  • Jonathan

    If a motor-vehicle crash takes place in a virtual reality devoid of human beings, is it still a horror? Interesting post from Wired mag on the indubitable attraction of destruction.