Today’s Headlines

  • 19″ of Snow in Central Park; MTA, NJT Buses, Trains Grounded (NYT, City Room, News, NY1, WNYC)
  • State Takes Over Nassau County Finances (NYT)
  • Payroll Tax Doesn’t Play in Poughkeepsie; Bridge Tolls and Congestion Pricing Preferred (Journal)
  • Skelos Calls Pricing “Just Another Tax,” Not Interested in PMT Trade-Off (Cap Tonight)
  • New Push for Pricing Is Still in the Formative Stages (Transpo Nation)
  • News Bureau Chief Adam Lisberg Lends Credence to “No Community Backing” for Bike Lanes Crapola
  • Set the Record Straight: Speak Up for Safer Biking and Walking in NYC (MTR)
  • SI Trucking Company Exec Blames Bike Lanes for Tickets, Likens Parking Enforcement to Mob (News)
  • Regional Plan Association Report Maps Expansions for JFK, Newark Airports (NYT)
  • Cyclist Killed on BQE Identified as 45-Year-Old Dominik Perez (Gothamist)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • eveostay

    Since a common complaint about congestion pricing is that it’s “just another tax” perhaps the name should reflect that it’s a user fee (even more strongly than “congestion pricing”).

    I thought of Street Fare, but that’s sort of taken by food cart.

  • eveostay

    Silly biases. Despite having heard the story already, I parsed the “Inwood Hit-and-Run” headline as having “led cops to beat the victim”.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Pols are still talking about “if I have to pay this, what do I get for it?”

    That kind of hostage taking worked in the past, because the future could always be held hostage. Well guess what — it is the future!

    I’d rather have most of the MTA save for the part that can cover its operating costs — the subway — shut down than put up with more of this. Tired of being blackmailed by those I subsidize.

  • Marco

    eveostay – I think it might even be better off starting fresh and not using “tax,” or “pricing,” or “toll” or anything that has to do with being charged. Could be “Congestion Limiting Efficient Auto Network” (CLEAN!) or something like that 🙂

  • dirtycrumbs

    I do think it’s unfortunate so many delivery trucks get socked with tickets but it’s lazy (and all too predictable…) to be blaming bike lanes. The problem is not bicycles. Bicycles are an essential componet in the push to alleviate congestion in a city choking on traffic.

    The problem is not bicyles. The problem begins and ends with the lack of market rate pricing for curbside parking. Parking is “too damn cheap” and is the primary culprit for the lack of curbside space for deliveries. To blame bicycles for this problem is perverse and despicable. The trucking companies in NYC should be advocating for constructive solutions to the parking problem, not offering cheap scapegoats.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It doesn’t matter what it’s called. Polls show that people who answer polls using traditional land line phones (who might that be) are against any tax or fee increases, and against any spending or benefit cuts. And the country is now bankrupt across all levels of government and beyond.

    “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!”

    Freddie Mercury born 1946, and a man with self knowledge.

    Most of those born a decade either side of him believe they NEED it all.

  • JK

    How about a meeting with the DN editorial board to explain the community process that goes into every bike lane? Explain that it ironically means that DOT is building a different future for different neighborhoods, and that what is really happening is some community boards are voting against proven street safety engineering. And, DOT is heeding their wishes, and as a result, some community districts are being made less safe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. People say community boards have no power, but by refusing traffic calming engineering like separated bike-ways and pedestrian medians, the boards are acting in a way that ensures that more people are killed and injured. That’s pretty powerful.

  • Danny

    Re: airport improvements

    I did a little digging with Google Maps investigating runway lengths:
    JFK: 2.7 miles, 2 miles, 1.8 miles, 1.5 miles
    EWR: 1.3 miles, 2 miles, 2 miles
    LGA: 1.3 miles, 1.3 miles

    Teterboro: 1.3 miles, 1.1 miles (easily expandable to 1.3 miles)

    Teterboro is incredibly conveniently located to interstates:
    * less than 1 mile from an existing I-80 exit – along the Route 17 highway
    * less than 2.5 miles from an existing I-95 exit – along the Route 46 highway

    If Teterboro were to have the same 2 runways and lengths as LGA, why couldn’t they be reinforced to handle large planes – and then alleviate EWR congestion by becoming the domestic airport, a la EWR and JFK.

    It might not solve all the planning issues, but definitely seems worth the (relatively) small cost of reinforcing 2 existing runways, upgrading short stretches of highways, and building a terminal.

  • eveostay

    The payroll-tax trade-off idea is great because it pits lots of upstaters/LI-ites plus everyone else who doesn’t car commute into Manhattan against less than 300,000 people who do drive into Manhattan every day.

    . . .

    Larry: “New York City voters support the [congestion pricing] plan, if the money is used for mass transit improvements, 67 – 27 percent, while suburban voters support it 51 – 43 percent. Upstate voters support it 59 – 26 percent.”

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1318.xml?ReleaseID=1162

    . . .

    Marco: I paid $2.25 to ride the subway today — that’s just another tax and I want it back!

    -eveostay (formerly J. Mork)

  • While I’ve heard that there’s not much substance or support behind this latest congestion/traffic pricing idea, I’m also worried that those who are supporting it are aiming too high. The articles yesterday talked about congestion pricing as a way to avoid a fare hike, restore services lost to the cuts and help close the MTA’s $10 billion capital gap. The money generated simply won’t be enough to accomplish three of those goals and may not even be enough to accomplish two at a time. Supporters should focus on keeping services robust and expanding the system with traffic pricing dollars.

  • fdr

    Looks like Janette Sadik-Khan is also “lending credence to the no community backing for bike lanes crapola”:

    “Mayor Bloomberg is right – we can do more community outreach,” Sadik-Khan said. “We will redouble our community outreach while further improving street safety.”

  • fdr: What else is she supposed to say?

    “My supervisor, Mayor Bloomberg, is wrong—we spend exactly the right amount of time reaching out to the community.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    I agree with Ben.

    And it’s a good thing congestion pricing didn’t pass when last proposed. It was sold as a panecea, with those making deals in exchange for passage demanding benefits at a level triple the expected revenues.

    The benefits were in the past, not the future, and the hole is too deep.

  • I think that by spring Bloomberg and JSK will have plenty of evidence that communities really want the bike lane. This is just a story meme that’s flowing around right now in the middle of winter. It’s all very easy for editorial boards to find people who hate them right now while they’re covered with snow and slush.

    Look at the picture accompanying the Daily News article, taken in nice weather. A farmer’s market, an woman in a red dress walking next to the bike lane, a guy carrying groceries on his bike – what an urban nightmare!

  • Marco

    Danny – I think there are a couple of issues with expanding TEB. First, the whole thing is scaled for small jets. Anything 737-size or bigger won’t safely be able to use the taxiways. And, sure, they could reconfigure the layout for larger planes and for a terminal that could park big jets (and lots of cars), but they’d need to take over some of the surrounding land where there’s legit businesses and residences.

    The other thing is that TEB has noise abatement and curfew restrictions that are more stringent than the PANYNJ airports. I’m sure the community would (rightly) go bonkers if changing that was on the table.

  • IsaacB

    The only way for congestion pricing to succeed is to frame it as improving life/reducing cost for the people who live/work/drive in the scoped areas.

    The public is leery of bailing out the MTA, especially with new, circuitous approaches.

    People are leery of anything that increases the “cost” of driving and can can be easiy mobilized to act against proposed changes, even if it ultimately improves their overall quality of life.

  • @Danny: a fourth airport would reduce some congestion, but there are diminishing returns to additional airports. Since the airports are quite close to each other, their landing and takeoff paths overlap, so the capacity per airport is reduced. If LGA were closed, and somehow all of its traffic disappeared, then JFK would be able to have higher capacity (obviously, not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of LGA).

    If I had to add a fourth major airport to New York, it would be Islip, with upgraded LIRR service to Manhattan. But I still think the best way to reduce air congestion in New York is to pressure airlines to fly larger planes on busy routes like NY-Chicago, NY-LA, and NY-Miami.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I predict a large increase in the cost of air travel, and a subsequent decline in its volume.

    I think I’ve given the reasons, but here it is again for those who missed it.

    Prior to deregulation, everyone in the airline industry was overpaid, but after deregulation wages fell for 30 years. After 1985, jet fuel was cheap. And thanks to the glamour of the industry, people were prepared to invest in it despite serial bankruptcies. There is your three major costs — labor, energy, airplanes — all falling.

    Now wages are so low I begin to doubt the quality of the workforce, especially in the regional partner carriers, and it can’t go lower. Energy prices are going nowhere but up. And investors may have had enough, meaning airplanes will have to be financed by something other than suckers losing money in bankruptcy.

    Air travel is becoming more difficult and expensive, and this will continue until demand falls taking air traffic with it.

  • tom

    Michael O’Leary of Ireland’s Ryanair, the world’s fastest growing discounter, has threatened a new discount airline crossing the Atlantic. He would use MacArthur out at Ronconcoma. He always uses out-of-the-way airports. This is easily accessed via LIRR. There’s your 4th airport. Bounce into Dublin and connect anywhere in Europe–cheap!
    Of course, he has to decide if he’ll have pay-toilets, or not. Pack a lunch, and not much else.