Kossacks Welcome Demise of Congestion Pricing

kos.jpg 

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. 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Congestion Pricing: Does New York Have the Will?

|
Brad Aaron reports: Political will, holistic planning, centralized management. That’s what Malcolm Murray-Clark says it takes to implement an effective congestion pricing plan. He should know. The Director of Congestion Charging at Transport for London (TfL) oversees a program that is as ambitious as it is successful — a program that went from idea to […]

Weiner and Wylde Square Off in Pricing Forum

|
Four veterans of the congestion pricing wars went toe-to-toe at the Museum of the City of New York Wednesday night — the last showdown before the Congestion Mitigation Commission releases its draft proposals today. Taking the stump for pricing were Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for NYC and Michael O’Loughlin of the Campaign for New […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

|
Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]