Today’s Headlines

  • Little Movement on Pricing Bill This Weekend (NYT, News, NY1, Post, AMNY, Sun)
  • How Pricing Bill Might Change (Crain’s)
  • Some City Vehicles Would Pay Congestion Fee (Sun)
  • The Post Profiles Car Commuters Against Pricing; Calls Bill ‘Unworkably Complex
  • Pricing Foes Put on One Last Rally (NY1)
  • Nassau Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is Pro-Pricing (Great Neck Record)
  • NYT City Section Catches Livable Streets Fever
  • Looking Ahead to New Hudson River Rail Tunnels (NYT)
  • Newark Takes Step Towards True BRT (MTR)
  • Columbia Student Killed by Car After Escaping Assault (News, NYT)
  • More Traffic Circles in DC Suburbs (WaPo)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Bike sharing — coming to cities worldwide that are not controlled by the New York State Legislature.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23869261/

  • rhubarbpie

    From the NY Times via Daily News blog:

    “Bloomberg has sent surrogates to Albany to lobby for congestion pricing because, as The Times’ Danny Hakim puts it: ‘his reputation among Democratic lawmakers is almost as bad – almost – as that of his recently humbled Upper East Side neighbor, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.'”

    If congestion pricing passes, it will be despite Mayor Bloomberg; if it fails, it will be in spite of Bloomberg. What’s even more stunning is that some folks think this guy should be governor! That’s when you’ll really get gridlock.

  • JF

    Here’s some right-wing editorial nuttiness from the Sun:

    http://www.nysun.com/editorials/traffic-tax
    http://www.nysun.com/editorials/history-speaker

  • Larry Littlefield

    (If congestion pricing passes, it will be despite Mayor Bloomberg; if it fails, it will be in spite of Bloomberg.)

    You’re an apologist for those people up in Albany? Blame Bloomberg because there is no CP? Come on! Whose Ministry of Truth do you work for?

    I blame Bloomberg for things the state legislature was all too happy to go along with, and times he went along with the state legislature.

  • I saw the immediate aftermath of the Columbia student getting hit. I was heading south on B’way from Dinosaur BBQ and the street was blocked off by Columbia students with a few safety officers as well. It was a grewsome scene with blood running downhill and the body slumped in a very strange way.

    The news reports focused on the precipitating event, the assault, but not much on the decisive event – the auto hitting him. I did read one account in Newsday that mentions that the driver not only stayed at the scene, but called for help. It also mentioned that the vehicle was a Jeep/SUV moving fast (did not say speeding).

    In none of the news reports was there any mention of the driver being distracted, whether the driver tried to brake before they hit the victim, or if they might have been going over the speed limit. It just said – no charges were filed.

    What happens in a case like this? Does the driver get any points on their insurance? or are there no consequences (other than possibly enormous guilt).

  • Josh

    A Nassau County legislator who’s in favor of CP? Color me surprised.

  • BTW- I took great comfort last night in reading a portion of the Power Broker. History does tend to repeat itself and this situation might have echos from the earlier tolls for transit battles. Right after Mayor Lindsey lost the pitched battle over merging Triborough with the transit authority to Moses in the state legislature, Governor Rockefeller came in with his own plan and swept Moses aside.

    If we lose CP this round, it will be a major loss, but I don’t think this is the end if we lose.

  • Felix

    Would the student have died if the driver were in a Mini or a Prius rather than an SUV?

  • Spud Spudly

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say probably, Felix. Moving steel is going to hurt living flesh whether it’s 2500 lbs or 3500 lbs. If the car was moving fast, as you say, then it wouldn’t make much difference.

    Sounds like a gruesome scene Glenn and I’m glad I didn’t see it. Nothing will happen to the driver. Do you think something should? I’d guess his insurance company would pay something to the victim’s family and, depending on his driving record, not even raise his premium.

    I remember back in the 80s Al Sharpton tried to get the driver who killed Michael Griffith in Howard Beach prosecuted for murder (for those who don’t remember, Griffith ran onto the Belt Parkway to escape a pack of white thugs who wanted to bash his brains in because he was black). That didn’t fly, nor should it have.

  • Spud Spudly

    As Glenn says. Excuse me Felix.

  • Jan

    Thank you NY Sun for allowing history to color this important decision regarding the MTA’s past of squandering funds.

    Has anyone thought about the fact that every newspaper (except the Sun) has come out in favor of CP yet every newspaper stands to gain in ad revenue due to an increase in sales due to an increase in mass transit ridership? There is a basic connection there – more riders equal more papers sold equal charging more for ads. I therefore doubt every newspaper’s claim in favor of CP. They are acting in their own self-interest except the Sun.

  • Mark

    Jan, so newspapers never get car ads?

    Incidentally, I’ve been meaning to ask — what exactly is the nature of your interest in the livable-streets movement? I ask because this is a blog devoted to it.

  • da

    The debate over CP is starting to bring out the wingnuts.

    It’s actually a conspiracy to sell more newspapers. It’s a conspiracy to tax the poor and privatize the streets. It’s greenwashing. It’s actually a conspiracy to build a mass surveillance network. It’s part of the conspiracy to suppress the truth about 9-11! Janette Sadik-Khan was abducted by a UFO and has been replaced by a replicant! When will the Federal Reserve stop lying about the nazi gold they’ve hidden in antarctic bases leading to hollow earth!

  • rhubarbpie

    [I wrote] “If congestion pricing passes, it will be despite Mayor Bloomberg; if it fails, it will be in spite of Bloomberg.”

    Larry Littleton writes: “You’re an apologist for those people up in Albany? Blame Bloomberg because there is no CP? Come on! Whose Ministry of Truth do you work for?”

    My response:

    Just the facts here, actually. A lot of the legislators detest Bloomberg (for very understandable reasons, like his arrogance toward them — rarely a winning tactic, as Eliot Spitzer discovered — and his generous support of the Senate Republicans, even as he declared himself independent of party interests) and have little interest in giving him a victory on what they consider a no-win issue. (I’m not agreeing with them that it’s a no-win, but that’s what they think.)

    If congestion pricing somehow squeaks through today, it’ll because legislators know that have to fund mass transit and don’t see a way of otherwise coming up with the money congestion pricing will bring.

    My point here is that the mayor has not helped our cause, other than by (and he deserves credit for this) proposing the idea in the first place. (Unfortunately, that was done so inartfully, and I’m being polite here, that congestion pricing was almost dead on arrival.)

    After six years in office, you’d think Bloomberg would have better political skills, but I guess dealing with Giff Miller and Chris Quinn doesn’t really make you a master, does it.

    My point: there will justified anger toward the legislature if congestion pricing fails. But pure anger — without an analysis of what went wrong, which includes the mayor’s ham-handed politicking — is a mistake.

  • Dave

    I’m disappointed that the NY Times wasted an opportunity to encourage discussion on congestion by presenting instead 10 off-the-wall scenarios which have little or no chance of seeing the light of day anytime in the near future.

    They could have and should have presented 10 real solutions to easing congestion and funding mass transit. Such as:

    – Reforming placard abuse
    – Introducing residential parking programs
    – Enforcement of car registration and insurance laws
    – Market-pricing curbside parking
    – Tolling the East and Harlem River bridges
    – Eliminate toll-shopping through two-way tolling
    – Restoration of the commuter tax
    – Restoration of two-fare zones

    Here are 8 ideas that have been discussed on this site and elsewhere; start the discussion on them now. Even if CP passes these are ideas to ponder.

  • rhubarbpie

    While you don’t indicate you’ve listed these in order of possibility, Dave, it seems like you have.

    The last item is an impossibility, and the commuter-tax restoration is extremely unlikely. Tolling the bridges and changing the tolling would be heavy lifts as well; it’d really depend on leadership in Washington. Oh well.

  • Dave

    They were listed in the order they came to me; maybe in order of ease to implement.

    It will take heavy lifting to solve congestion and funding issues. Unfortunately our pathetic city and state politicians are wimps, wusses, NIMBY-ites; you name it. So we all are sc***ed.

    Now that CP seems dead the first item on the list should be to get rid of Shelly. How do we get that ball rolling?

  • rhubarbpie

    Re: Dave writes: “first item on the list should be to get rid of Shelly.”

    Dream on, I’m afraid. He is extremely secure, possibly more than any elected official in the state.

    I’m not disagreeing with you on the wimp, etc. charge, but while Silver sure didn’t show leadership, he certainly showed survivor skills: he did only what his house wanted to do.

    Even though I believe he would have liked to pass something (I realize that this is a minority opinion on this blog) — his own comments refer to that — this wasn’t even a close call for him, given the fierce opposition to congestion pricing among the assembly. He didn’t have the votes and couldn’t have found them.

    My own assembly member had a dozen weak reasons, but the bottom line is that what we need to do now is: 1) get a fully funded transit program through, working with the very same people who have defeated congestion pricing (because they aren’t going away) and 2) win support from New Yorkers and the mayor so his administration can make the kind of transportation changes that Noah describes in a different thread.

  • rhubarbpie

    …and including some that you describe above.