Today’s Headlines

  • Silver Punts on Bridge Tolls, Says Assembly Approves of Payroll Tax (NY1)
  • MTA Board to Hold Public Hearing on Austerity Budget Tonight (Post)
  • Post Sneers at ‘Brodsky’s Baloney’ Nine Months Too Late
  • Yankee Stadium Deals Now Campaign Leverage Against Bloomberg (NYT)
  • Camera Enforcement Needed for SBS to Build on Initial Popularity (MTR)
  • Congestion Pricing: Great for Drivers, Part 2 (Freakonomics)
  • MTR Digs Into MTA Sustainability Report
  • Obama Close to Naming ‘Car Czar’ (NYT)
  • Red Hook Ikea Cuts Free Bus and Ferry Service Again (Bklyn Paper)
  • Will the Stimulus Package Fund Light Rail in Fort Worth? (Fort Worthology via
  • Lee Watkins

    This is for any cyclists who live near DC:

    The “green zone” square area bounded by 23rd St., R St., 11th St., and K St. NW will be open only to bicycles,
    pre-registered buses, and only motorists who have driver’s licenses showing that they actually live in the restricted zone
    and have appropriate permits. (The green zone area extends to some other areas, you can see on the map I liked to at the bottom)

    So the Green Zone is pretty much going to be a bicyle free-for-all which is very exciting…
    Normally almost all of the cars are from outside of DC, and if they are from DC they are from outside the downtown area.

    Bike around downtown DC without all those cars!!!!

    Valet on the North end is at 16th and K St., and there’s another one on the South end.

    Just watch out for those coach buses on the larger streets. (they have huge blind spots).

    You can walk your bicycle, but not actually ride it, in the area around GW University, between 23rd St, K St, 18th St., and Constitution Ave.
    This would be a great location to lock a bike up once the bike valet fills up (it holds only 1000 bikes, for 3 million people).

    You can not bring any bicycles into the hard security zone, or anything else whatsoever.

    WABA put out this great map!,-77.004547&spn=0.241602,0.341949&z=11

  • Rhywun

    “Car czar”? Are you joking? I predict that eventually, we’ll see even stranger things while trying to prop up the collapsing “American Dream”. But we are about to nationalize the American automobile industry and hardly anyone is batting an eyelash.

  • Sean

    IKEA Ferry: Why not offer a pay-to-ride ferry service during the lower-use times? Plenty of Manhattanites use the ferry simply because they want to get to IKEA quickly and easily… not because it’s free.

    IKEA is quick to tout the subway+bus option, but it is cumbersome & slow due to the modal change and the 6-story transfer at Smith & 9th.

    Especially on weekends when most people desire a trip to IKEA to prep their weekend projects, cutting Saturday AM ferry service rewards those filling the parking lot.

  • t

    I’m sure they’ve done the math on both the free and pay-per-ride alternatives. If it was worth it, they’d do it.

  • MrManhattan

    We can only hope that the “Car Czar” is more successful at reducing car use than the “Drug Czar” has been at reducing drug use.

  • Re: Silver punting on the bridge tolls. That’s what I had said originally on SAS, but when I went back to look at the issue, I came to a difference conclusion. I don’t think the state Assembly can act on the East River tolls. It’s up to the City Council to approve the sale of the bridge and the state legislature can’t do anything about it. This one’s all home rule.

  • Rhywun

    We can only hope that the “Car Czar” is more successful at reducing car use
    than the “Drug Czar” has been at reducing drug use.

    Ha ha. Well, since the stated goal of the “Car Czar” is to prop up the American automobile industry (i.e. increase usage of cars), it’s entirely possible that it WILL have exactly the opposite effect after all, like many government programs, much like the “Drug War” has massively increase crime in the inner city and done nothing to stop people from taking drugs.

  • I loooove Freakonomics! This is exactly the way we should be thinking about policy. While the Freakonomics article doesn’t mention much more than using tolls to get an efficient outcome in traffic, you could easily apply the same arguments and use it to accurately capture all externalities thrown off by drivers.

    There are a few more dimensions of inequity however that they don’t really get into (one of which I am SOOO glad opponenets to Congestion Pricing don’t truly understand). First, if you bring public transit into the mix, congestion pricing becomes a transfer payment from those who drive to those who take mass transit, which ends up in aggregate being an equitable transfer.

    However, you also have spacial inequity. Eric is talking more about a “turnpike style” toll rather than a bridge “one time” toll. This will further raise land prices closer to the center of the city, making it more unaffordable for people who would choose to move there given the new toll.

    Which is why I would say you counter that with having a bias towards expanding public transit further away from the city center, rather than closer in. The net result becomes a transfer payment from all car drivers to the poorest and least served mass transit users.

    This sort of thinking was completely different when we were dealing with poorer inner cities surrounded by wealthy suburbs, but this is changing, and we have to adapt!

  • *Opponents. And *Spatial now that I double checked. I posted too soon!