Best View Yet of Potential Transit Improvements


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Together at last: Pre-congestion pricing short-term transit enhancements and MTA capital projects in one map! The graphic comes courtesy of the Regional Plan Association, which made the map for an insert touting pricing [PDF] placed in the Legislative Gazette this Monday by Environmental Defense, TWU Local 100, and the Straphangers Campaign. This is what’s at stake in Monday’s City Council vote.

  • Update

    Daily Politics reports police and fire unions have taken position against congestion pricing.

    URL is too long to post.

  • Dave H.

    I wonder if they have a position on placard abuse too.

  • Mark

    As I’ve followed the CP controversy over the past several months — as a CP supporter — I’ve slowly become conscious that my attitude toward electeds and city employees and their unions is changing. I no longer see them as neutral or benign or irrelevant; they are either good or bad. This is a longterm attitude change. It will affect the way I vote and the way I engage with local political issues long into the future, for the rest of my life. An elephant never forgets.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Mark, don’t lose your compassion. Some of these people are probably very nice, and others are probably not – just like the population in general.

    Obviously I also think that they’re wrong and we’re right, but I think a lot of that is due to misinformation and failures of perspective – as illustrated by the shock and disbelief that many Queens politicians express when they discover that there are Queens residents who support congestion pricing. Some are cynical and calculating, but it seems clear to me that many really believe that they are fighting for the underdog, for the beleaguered middle class.

    Feel free to fault them for their lack of vision, for their inability to empathize with transit riders, for their unwillingness to question their colleagues or take a stand. Especially, feel free to fault those who fight for their donors and friends over the interests of their constituents at large, or for their own generation over the generations to come. But don’t lose sight of the fact that they’re humans just like all of us. They made mistakes and bad choices. I have too, and I’m guessing you have as well.

    Even the worst enemy can be on the right side of an issue. As was mentioned recently, Pataki vetoed right-on-red for Staten Island. Bruno supports congestion pricing. Silver vetoed the West Side stadium.

    In the words of Mr. Spock, “There is the old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China.” Maybe it will take Mayor Weiner to pass congestion pricing.

  • Angus
    I appreciate your empathy because I take the same “failure of perspective” approach in not painting every congestion tax supporter with a broad brush that everyone is an “evil doer” or worse.
    And now that the tax got raised to $9 for those without an E-ZPass, you should hear the outrage among people in certain communities.
    All the best.
    -Corey

  • Ray

    Great map. Looks like most improvements are in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx. So again, tell me why NJ drivers need to have “fee equity” in this?

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Mark, don’t lose your compassion. Some of these people are probably very nice, and others are probably not – just like the population in general.)

    No Mark, keep your understanding. It doesn’t matter if some or even most of those people are nice individually. As a group, they seek the lowest common denominator of the most selfish interests of their most selfish members. For an explanation of this by someone smarter than I am, read the excerpts from R. Niebuhr’s “Moral Man and Immoral Society” I posted here:

    http://www.r8ny.com/blog/larry_littlefield/spitzer_suozzi_and_reinhold_niebuhr.html

    Between indivual niceness and the interest of unearned privilege lies a powerful capacity for rationalization, or simply for not considering the effect of oneself on others rather than vice versa. And a general lack of compassion.

  • jmc

    Corey: Who in New York doesn’t have an EZPass? What community is this? I was thinking possibly of Tony Soprano, since he doesn’t want his movements to be traced. Other than that, it’s hard for me to imagine a community where there are a significant number of non-ez-pass holders. What is the outrage? Can you be more specific?

    EZPass saves you money on all bridge and tunnel crossings… I don’t know if any regular car commuters could afford NOT to have one.

  • Hilary

    “Who in New York doesn’t have an EZ Pass?”
    I’m rolling on the floor! It reminds me of my grandmother, who used to say to my grandfather, “There’s not a SOUL in Brooklyn in the summer!” (Everyone who was anyone was in the Vineyard..)

    I’ll tell you who doesn’t have EZ Pass: people who rent cars, people who use Zip cars, people who share cars, transients and visitors (not all of whom are rich tourists to be soaked. In other words, people who only drive when they must. Charging them more is as perverse an incentive as discounting for bulk use of energy.

    Yes we want all vehicles to make use of the technology. Let its efficiency be its own reward. No discounts.

  • jmc

    I call BS on that, Hilary, and it’s not a class issue at all.

    Only the elite have EZPasses? I see them pretty well distributed in middle class neighborhoods… People who commute by car or go around in the region use EZPass because it COSTS LESS.

    Also, an extra *$1* fee constitutes “soaking?” Really? It’s going to cost a lot more in administration to charge the non-ez-pass holders. Isn’t it fair that they should pay for this extra administration due to their Luddite views?

    Why would ANYONE rent a car and bring it into the congestion zone when you could just take a taxi for less money and not have to pay for parking? That seems like a red herring to me.

    Are we supposed to make policy decisions based on the behavior of “transients (hobos?)” and “visitors” who have enough money to park in the CBD? Is that what you’re proposing?

  • Hilary

    I wasn’t calling EZ-pass a class issue. I think that can go either way. I’m simply pointing out that EZ-pass users are the highest-frequency users of the roads, behaviour which we should not be rewarding. I think we should be making policy decisions that keep in mind the ultimate goal: weaning people from cars to transit.

  • jmc

    If you want to wean people from private cars to transit, I don’t understand then why you’re against an increased charge.

    EZPass is not really about rewarding driving more, it’s rewarding saving the city money by using an automatic transponder. Systems like London that don’t rely on an EZ-Pass end up having much higher administrative costs. Therefore there’s less money going to transit from the congestion charge in London as there will be in NY. The greater the percentage of the people who use EZPass to enter the charging zone, the more money that goes to transit.

    I would wager that the admin. costs for a non-EZPass user are MUCH higher than the EZPass user… Perhaps even more than the extra dollar that it will cost them (stamps for bills, someone to read/verify the license plates, etc). The EZpass transaction will probably cost the city a couple of cents to process.

  • Hilary

    JMC – Why did you think I am against a higher charge? You’re the one in favor of the discount. I don’t think the city needs to offer it. People will use ezpass because of the convenience. Let them contribute to CP as well as the non-users. The way it’s structured, the PA offset revenue is being captured almost entirely from the non-ez-pass users.

  • JF

    I’ll tell you who doesn’t have EZ Pass: people who rent cars, people who use Zip cars, people who share cars, transients and visitors (not all of whom are rich tourists to be soaked. In other words, people who only drive when they must.

    Hilary, rental cars and Zipcars come with EZPass:

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/03/travel_car_rentals.html
    http://www.zipcar.com/help/during#tolls

    I have no idea why people who share cars wouldn’t share an EZPass – or own one themselves. I don’t know what you mean by “transients.” Visitors? From where? I thought we were trying to encourage car-dependent visitors to park at park-and-rides and take the train in.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    I have to second Ray back in #6.

    Why should New Jerseyans pay anymore than the $8 we already pay 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with only a $2 EZ Pass discount for off-peak times?!?!

    How much additional CP money that New Jersey drivers are expected to pay would go towards the new ARC Hudson River Rail Tunnels and Penn Station?!?!

    Trust me I’m a CP supporter and my car has never seen a Manhattan street but this is still a bit of a rub.

    Andy B

    PS – My car doesn’t have EZ-Pass. Big Brother already knows enough about me but then again I very rarely ever drive on toll roads to begin with. In fact, I barely drive at all as of late!

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I appreciate your empathy because I take the same “failure of perspective” approach in not painting every congestion tax supporter with a broad brush that everyone is an “evil doer” or worse.

    Corey, I was very disappointed to hear that Eric Gioia was booed at a recent Queens Civic Congress meeting for voting to approve congestion pricing. I hope you reprimanded those who showed such contempt for Western Queens and its representatives. Eric voted the way he did because he knows what’s good for his district and what his constituents want.

    Is it the Queens Civic Congress, or the Eastern Queens Civic Congress? Is there room for people who live in a city and like it that way?

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