The City Council Vote in Two Dimensions

This map depicting Monday’s City Council vote comes to us courtesy of Justin Kray at the Pratt Center for Community Development. You can use the City Council website to identify who represents which district. And here’s some good data to go along with the map: car commute rates for every district.

Bill de Blasio’s Brooklyn district, number 39, sticks out like a sore thumb, as does Mathieu Eugene’s, number 40. Sandwiched between representatives who did vote for pricing, de Blasio speaks for a district where 3.7 percent of workers commute by car to the congestion zone, according to the 2000 Census. In Eugene’s district, the figure is just 2.4 percent.

Other "No" districts that immediately stand out include 22 in Astoria (Peter Vallone, Jr.) and 34 in Williamsburg (Diana Reyna). Both districts are slated to get significant transit enhancements, and Astoria car commuters already pay to drive over the Triboro Bridge or go out of their way to get to a free bridge.

Another interesting companion piece is today’s Juan Gonzalez column in the Daily News. Though his anti-pricing stance comes across loud and clear, Gonzalez provides some good insight into the horse trading that went on prior to the vote.

UPDATE: Liz Benjamin at the Daily Politics interprets the map with an eye towards 2009 elections.

  • Mark

    How do the green states correspond to the city’s population? I see all of Manhattan, all of the Bronx, maybe half of Brooklyn, smaller bits of Queens and SI … do pro-pricing districts represent a majority of city residents?

  • d

    According to that list, there isn’t a single district where more than 10% of the residents commute by car into Manhattan. Those council members who voted against congestion pricing are clearly willing to sacrifice 90% of their constituents on the altar of automobile dependency.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    The brightest-throbbing sore thumbs there are the districts of Vallone, Sears and Katz. Sears even took the subway to vote No. I don’t know what was going on with Reyna and Foster.

    Still, I think it’s pretty clear that this is not the “Manhattan vs. the outer boroughs” fight that the opponents claimed it was. I sent Gioia a little thank-you yesterday.

  • Sid

    Few commute by car to the CBD. But 75% of the non-commuting constituents in the “no” council districts drive to the CBD everyday to see their doctors. Another 20% drive to soup kitchens in the CBD, and another 10% drive to the CBD to offer religious counsel and guidance. The remaining 5% would drive into the CBD, but are busy getting their car serviced at the local garage or driving around dropping care packages off for local elderly and infirm people.

  • “Another 20% drive to soup kitchens in the CBD”

    What the transit riding elite do not understand is that most soup kitchens operate as dive-thrus only. This regressive tax is going to raise the cost of soup by $8 for the homeless, who have no choice but to drive SUVs large enough to accommodate their grocery carts.

  • Josh

    The link to the car commute rates post is broken.

  • Ben Fried

    Josh, that might have been a temporary hiccup. The link is correct and should function if you try again.

  • bureaucrat

    thanks, doc, for making me laugh out loud a few times in the past couple days..

  • jmc

    Congestion pricing is so unfair to Foster’s district especially. So many people drive daily into the CBD from their homes in the South Bronx and park for free in Midtown, they’re going to be harmed terribly by this proposal. Unfortunately she had important business to attend to in Vegas and so she wasn’t able to protect the people of Melrose, all of whom drive to work.

  • glue

    Just got off the phone with Council Member Reyna’s office. Her staffer in charge of congestion pricing – Antonio Reynoso – gave me the full and surprisingly nuanced story behind her decision to vote “no”. I expected to just express my displeasure and be shooed away!
    Basically she was on the fence until the last minute. The environmental issue is obvious but she didn’t feel her constituents were getting anything in the deal.
    The biggest supposed perk is the express bus from Middle Village to Downtown, but this would go down Metropolitan which is a) already congested so the bus would take 2 hours to make the trip and b) already a polluted truck route with schools along it with no air conditioning.
    The MTA shot down any chance of further increased capacity on the L, extending the G, or creating a transfer from the J to the V and/or the G.
    Apparently she was also peeved that nobody even tried to offer her anything for Williamsburg/Bushwick until it became clear she was undecided.
    And, the big unknown is still how bad will the park & ride phenomenon be? Nobody can say with certainty and no amelioration was offered for her district (i.e. resident permits).
    So all this doesn’t affect my opinion of the congestion plan, but i am no longer annoyed at her vote and can understand how she came to her decision.
    That’s my sharing for the day.

  • fdr

    With the exception of southern Queens, it looks like most of the opposition came from districts that have the poorest mass transit. Which would indicate that those council members didn’t buy the promise of transit improvements, or thought that their constituents didn’t.

  • Spud Spudly

    Wouldn’t Vallone have a legitimate gripe about increased usage of the Triboro Bridge, Astoria Boulevard and the GCP if CP credits people for the toll they pay on the bridge? I mean, if one of the goals is to eliminate toll shopping then won’t that cause a net increase of traffic over the expensive bridge and through his district?

  • Josh

    Thanks for that info, Glue. I’m confused about one thing, though, aren’t all neighborhoods going to get the opportunity to institute residential parking permits in order to guard against the potential park-and-ride effect?

  • glue

    Don’t take my comment as gospel, i had Mr. Reynoso on the phone for about half an hour and was not taking notes.
    If anything i wrote is at odds with facts you are familiar with, it’s possible my memory is distorted.
    I’d check with Diana Reyna’s office if it’s important.

  • Wouldn’t Vallone have a legitimate gripe about increased usage of the Triboro Bridge, Astoria Boulevard and the GCP if CP credits people for the toll they pay on the bridge? I mean, if one of the goals is to eliminate toll shopping then won’t that cause a net increase of traffic over the expensive bridge and through his district?

    I seriously doubt it would cause a net increase in traffic. Most of the potential toll shoppers east of, say, Junction Boulevard would probably switch to the Whitestone or Throgs Neck bridges before the Triboro.

    Those west of Junction Boulevard – and close enough to GCP to make it worth switching – probably already drive through Vallone’s district, whether on the BQE, Northern Boulevard, Vernon Boulevad or any number of smaller north-south streets to get to the Queensborough Bridge.

  • DJ

    I cannot believe we basically gave New Jersey a free ride again. We had a chance to get some revenue from untaxed users of New York taxpayer provided services and we let it go. I just don’t understand taxing the borough residents more and the nontaxpaying neighbors less.

    And did resident parking make it in the end?

  • Spud Spudly

    Pardon???? People are going to drive north into the Bronx and deal with that mess and then over another bridge into Manhattan? Are you serious?

  • Seamus

    I’m sorry but if you buy the rational for congestion pricing you’re drinking Bloomberg’s kool aid. It is simply a reframing of putting tolls on the east river bridges as a revenue generator from four years ago. Congestion, environment, children’s asthma, all part of the reframe. The money will not add to mass transit infrastructure other than adding a few busses and will magically disappear into the bowels of the MTA. And the convoluted side effects – millions of dollars of cameras, civil liberties abuses, resident parking, rerouting of traffic will cause more problems than it solves.

    Raise taxes, build good mass transit, people will use it.

  • Why would money from congestion pricing magically disappear into bowels and money from tax increases “build good mass transit”? Is there a separate digestive system for funding you approve of?


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