Today’s Headlines

  • News: It’s Up to Sens. Smith, Kruger, and Skelos to Save NYC’s Transit System
  • Post: Smith’s Call for Another MTA Audit ‘Laughable’
  • Biz Leaders Appeal to GOP State Senators: Get on Board MTA Rescue Plan (News)
  • Paterson Taking a Hands-Off Approach With Senate Dems (Daily Politics)
  • MTA Deal Might Get Rolled Into State Budget, Drag on for Months (Post)
  • Some States Spend Stim Cash on Road Expansion, Others Fix Things First (NYT)
  • LaHood: Raising Gas Tax Is Off the Table (WSJ)
  • Marty Markowitz on an Endless Anti-Toll Crusade (Bklyn Paper)
  • DeBlasio Proposes SunlightNYC Site to Track Local Stim Spending (City Room)
  • Rego Park Preschool Zone Plagued by Parking Dysfunction (News)
  • A Graphic Illustration of the Need to Price On-Street Parking (Urban Transport via
  • Marty Barfowitz

    Meanwhile, have you heard your local Assembly member or Senator say a word about the impending MTA crisis? Here in Brownstone Brooklyn, probably the most transit-oriented Assembly district in the state outside of Manhattan and home to three East River crossings, we’ve heard absolutely nothing from our intrepid state representative Joan Millman. Zero. Nada. Zilch. It’s just a total lack of leadership.

    The MTA has already cut back on her district’s G train service and killed the much-needed new elevator at the Smith/9th Street subway stop. And yet we continue to hear nothing from Joan Millman when it comes to possible solutions. It’s incredible.

  • Car Free Nation

    I’m very disappointed in Millman, who came out in favor of Congestion Pricing after the bill had already been killed. True to form, she’ll probably come out in support of this plan just as it fails to muster enough votes in the assembly.

  • Larry Littlefield

    We pay just about the highest combined state and local taxes in the country. The only exceptions are high energy tax states like Alaska, where the residents aren’t paying, in fact they get a check.

    And here we are being held hostage for basic services. Expected to be on our knees begging for our own money, more or less.

    Before I started compiling data on, and became expert in, public finance, I might have believed that a high level of poverty and generosity was the reason — the extra we paid, and the services we had to settle for, were a result of the concentration of the cost of the poor on those who live near them. But now I know that isn’t true.

    It’s time to start thinking outside the box — and not about legislative elections, which do not exist and will not be permitted to exist. One thing for sure — no one should be grateful for the postponement of “doomsday,” however defined.

    Most city residents are renters, and can leave. New companies can start elsewhere. Most people have little wealth to worry about, and little to lose. Those who haven’t locked themselves into debt or an unaffordable lifestyle can get by on less.

    Meanwhile, those high school age and older in NYC were denied a decent education; parents of younger children can’t count on getting one here. Those under 50 can’t count on Social Security, or having health insurance if and when their health fails. We’ve just covered the vast majority of public spending, excluding debt service and retiree benefits for public employees, which are the only categories of expenditure likely to grow.

    And as of help for the needy, one year I noticed while doing our taxes that our charitible contributions were almost exactly equal to our state income tax burden. The former, I decided, was for those worse off than we are, the latter for those better off than we are, but with a greater sense of entitlement.

    We have a mafia, not a government. What I’d like to see is a subway system that covers its operating costs, and more room for walking and biking. Those too lazy to walk or bike and unwilling to pay tolls? Let’s shut the rest down, and use the dedicated MTA taxes collected outside the subway service area for what the state legislators from those areas actually care about: debt service and pensions.

  • Shemp

    Is LaHood a total douche? For years this “public private partnerships and more tolls” has been the Republican mantra for policy drift and letting the Highway Trust Fund go belly-up. Where does Obama’s “we are going to do much more for infrastructure” end up when his transportation guy is punting to smaller levels of government and the myth that the private sector has the answer?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Another point — as we continue to be held hostage, the Post’s assertion that space reallocation for pedestrians and bicycles is a luxury makes less and less sense.

    That reallocation, along with carpooling and telecommuting, cost the public sector almost nothing compared with any other form of transportation.

    Additional transit costs too much in debt (due to getting raped by contractors) and pension benefits; additional space for motor vehicles taxes too much costly land (let alone the other externalities).

    I saw on a PBS travel show that in Germany, one can dial in to a network that uses GPS to identify vehicles making the same trip, so the drivers can pick you up in exchange for a payment to share the cost of gas (very expensive there). Already available there.

  • Rhywun

    I saw on a PBS travel show that in Germany, one can dial in to a network that uses GPS to identify vehicles making the same trip, so the drivers can pick you up in exchange for a payment to share the cost of gas (very expensive there). Already available there.

    That’s pretty easy to implement. I assume it’s a private venture?

    The real comparison with Germany is the public infrastructure, roads and rails, both of which are vastly superior to what’s in the US. Partly I think that’s due to higher taxes, but also because the public demands it. As a result the government just gets it done instead of this endless partisan bickering that we have here, which results in mostly nothing getting done. Instead they spend their energy on easy targets like “drugs”. Imagine the infrastructure we could have if we didn’t spend billions of dollars on the failing “drug war”.