Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo: Congestion Pricing Won’t Put a Price on Congested East River Bridges (Politico, News)
  • No Sign Yet That Cuomo’s Subway Action Plan Is Improving Service (Post)
  • Today’s the First Day on the Job for New NYC Transit Prez Andy Byford (News)
  • Will the MTA Reopen All of Williamsburg’s Shuttered Subway Entrances Before the L-Pocalypse? (AMNY)
  • DOT Defends Woodhaven Boulevard Bus Improvements From the Queens Motorhead Brigade (QChron)
  • Let’s Get Speeding Traffic Out of Flushing Meadows Corona Park (QChron)
  • Psychopath in a Mercedes Drags Cop, Blasts Through Times Square (Post)
  • Motivate Hit Its Targets to Trigger Bike-Share Contract Renewal With the City Through 2029 (Crain’s)
  • Bus Lane Cameras Go Live on the Bx6 (NY1)
  • Damned Bike Lanes (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The variables are infinite,” the governor continued. “You can pick times, you can do discounts — you can do whatever you want with the technology we now have.”

    Free for placard holders?

    All cynicism aside, this is encouraging. You don’t want to force everyone onto a crowded BQE, used by trucks, instead of an empty FDR in the middle of the day. You want to charge more at rush hour, and for travel to and from the most congested areas otherwise. That might also include Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, where high rises are replacing parking lots.

    And a second, lower-cost cordon could be added at the city line to pay for commuter rail improvements, perhaps with discounts for carpoolers.

  • stairbob

    I like agree with everything you say, Larry, except that carpooling is its own discount, since the passengers can chip in their share.

  • kevd

    A car with 4 people in it causes the same congestion and pollution as a car with 1 person in it.
    Those 4 people only create, per capita, 1/4 the congestion and pollution so it is entirely reasonable that they pay 1/4 the fee each. AKA, the whole car pays the same fee!

  • Larry Littlefield

    The Governor’s budget cuts transportation, spends one-shots, increases school aid more than inflation at 3 percent, presumably resulting in cuts to school services.

  • walks bikes drives

    I’m not so concerned with the lack of toll for the bridge. The toll is for entering the CBD and Brooklynites would have to travel way out of their way to avoid a toll to leave Brooklyn headed west. If they are not adding to congestion, let them be outside it. The plan still eliminates toll shopping because a vehicle would be less likely to travel downtown, out of its way, to avoid the toll on the Triborough, since the other bridges are on the toll corridor. And this of course is hoping that you still have to pay the toll even if you are just crossing to 59th st to get on the Queensboro.

  • AnoNYC

    Why would they be out of the way? If you are headed to the UWS/UES just take the BQE. I would rather keep that extra traffic off the FDR around the CBD.

  • AnoNYC

    Is the FDR empty during the day? Hasn’t been my experience. It’s really crowded when I take it during the evening rush or the few times I take it earlier. I work later in the day.

    Would love to see a city limits toll too.

  • AnoNYC

    Very true.

    I would give a discount only to electric vehicles until they hit a certain percentage of incoming vehicles, and also a discount for scooters/motorcycles.

  • AnoNYC

    Just drove some of the BX 6 route this evening. Bus lanes need to extend between Tiffany St and Westchester Ave. Still a good amount of traffic there. Additionally, drivers still influtrating the bus lanes today. That includes the new bus only eastbound tunnel under the Grand Concourse.

    Does the DOT still plan for fixed cameras along bus routes?

  • Vooch

    We need to do everything possible to protect our hero in blue from terrorist cars.

    The Times Square incident shows that car free is best solution for the area,

  • kevd

    Well, it would be a whole lot emptier if it were within a congestion cordon. Perhaps that’s Larry’s point.

  • walks bikes drives

    Because the BQE is not always an alternative. First, it is a crumbling mess. Second, there is way too much traffic on it. Third, the BB leads directly into a highway without clogging surface streets. There is no direct connection from the QBB to the FDR. The FDR, under any congestion pricing plan, will have less traffic, but the BQE will be unaffected unless Downtown Brooklyn has a congestion plan as well. So the FDR will move more smoothly than without and will take people off thr surface streets. Brooklynites are at a perennial disadvantage because to get anywhere outside of the borough, they have to travel across the city. Something tells me most vehicles exiting the BB are not headed outside the CBD anyway, so any toll cordon there will reduce bridge users. Simply put, there is no horror to it. Just get congestion pricing in place!

  • walks bikes drives

    A small discount for carpooling can bring the idea to forward consciousness and have an outside effect. Say, if it is an 8 dollar toll, make it 6 for a carpool for the first couple years, 7 for the next couple years, then done.

  • kevd

    “I would rather keep that extra traffic off the FDR around the CBD.”
    Exactly the sort of argument that will lose this debate.
    Basically this boils down to, stick the outer boroughs with extra traffic for the benefit of Manhattan. Now I know that that extra traffic will be much smaller than what is reduced from within Manhattan, but it is still a net loss for people traveling on or living near the BQE.
    Which is why I think direct connections from bridges to the highways around Manhattan should not be part of the congestion zone. Heck, if there were a way to allow commercial traffic on the FDR that would help things too.

  • AnoNYC

    If the city pushes hard for off peak deliveries citywide we could probably reduce traffic that much more on the BQE. Most deliveries do not need to take place during peak hours.

    I’m also wondering how much traffic on the BQE exists because of people driving into the potential cordon. CP will have an impact citywide if the entire Manhattan CBD is tolled.

  • AnoNYC

    Who is driving on the BQE?

    Are most trips local or through? How many of these trips terminating in the potential cordon zone? How many of these trips could be switched over to the G train?

    What percentage are trucks, what impact would pushing most deliveries off peak have?

    These are important questions to ask.

  • Andrew

    Electric vehicles don’t take up any less space than gasoline-powered vehicles. Congestion is about space, not pollution.

    Let’s find a different means of disincentivizing vehicles that pollute.

  • kevd

    london’s experience showed a slight increase in traffic volumes just outside the cordon. which much of the BQE is. I think a similar experience could be expected in NYC. And I think it would be beneficial to spread that small uptick between multiple highways, rather than stick one group with it.

  • kevd

    reasonable gas tax?

  • Andrew

    But the discount is already there, on a per-person basis: if it costs $8 for one person in a car, it costs only $4 for each of two people in a car, or $2.67 for each of three people in a car, or $2 for each of four people in a car.

    There is certainly no basis for charging any less on a per-vehicle basis, since the vehicle consumes the same space regardless of how many people are inside it.

  • kevd

    the argument (which I disagree with) is giving extra special credit to those who behave better or more morally. I prefer to deal in hard economics.

  • walks bikes drives

    I agree with you, which is why I would phase it out. But sometimes, or rather often, people need incentive to use their common sense. Rather than just bitching and moaning about people still not using common sense, set them up for it and make it happen.

  • Andrew

    But there already is an incentive!

  • walks bikes drives

    Right. It’s the common sense that is lacking. Remember the old joke: common sense isn’t so common?

  • AnoNYC

    Com’ty leaders, Crowley discuss Bruckner Exp. decking proposal

    The idea would be to cover over part of the expressway to create more parking for the shopping area that is part of the newly forming Throggs Neck Business Improvement District (along the East Tremont Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard), said John Marano, former CB 10 chairman and current board member.

    https://www.bxtimes.com/stories/2018/1/52-decking-2017-12-29-bx.html