Kossacks Welcome Demise of Congestion Pricing
You’d think readers of the most popular "progressive" political blog in the country would be in favor of charging drivers to help fund public transportation in the nation’s most transit-rich city. But you’d be wrong.
When longtime Daily Kos environmental contributor "greendem" posted on the failure of Albany legislators to approve congestion pricing, the fissure between the livable streets movement and those who should be its natural political allies was revealed to be as wide as a crack in a crumbling subway platform.
Here’s a typical comment from a Queens car owner who, by his/her account, would not have been subject to the congestion fee:
I’m all for protecting the environment [but] this doesn’t do it…it doesn’t stop congestion, traffic and pollution, it just moves it to another part of the city.
We can do a lot more for the environment pushing for alternative fuels, better emissions, because the truth is people aren’t going to give up their cars, because most people just can’t.
I live in New York City and I can’t give up my car…that said, I don’t use it when I’m traveling to Manhattan or Downtown Brooklyn, because I’m lucky enough to have the A train down the block, but I do if I’m going across Queens, to The Bronx or to work on Long Island.
Not that this should come as a surprise to pricing
advocates, who spent a year countering specious faux-populist
criticisms from Richard Brodsky and Anthony Weiner before the plan was
ultimately rubbed out in a back room by Assembly Democrats.
Still, the disconnect between the Kossacks’ opposition to war in Iraq and the litany of reasons offered for why New Yorkers
need their cars, for instance, is startling.
With elections coming up and the new federal transportation bill on tap next year, we have a lot of work to do.