Thursday’s Headlines: Yes, The Mayor Rode The Subway Edition

Wow, what a day. We got to watch the mayor get chauffeured from the Upper East Side to his Park Slope gym, then watch him walk two blocks to the subway (while someone else drove his car to City Hall), then watch him pitch his congestion pricing-MTA restructuring plan to straphangers, then be asked a softball question that only ended up revealing how rarely the mayor rides the subway, and then receive kudos from Streetsblog for finally getting on board with tolling drivers. Good times!

Here’s how that story played out, plus the other news:

  • First, regarding that softball. (Streetsblog and @2AvSagas via Twitter)
  • The Daily News’s Jillian Jorgensen hammered the mayor for not riding the subway enough.
  • The Post’s Julia Marsh also mocked the mayor. (Point of fact: Streetsblog was standing next to Marsh when she told a bystander that the mayor was about to ride the subway — and the guy’s face immediately contorted into a gesture of surprise typically reserved for discovering a winning Powerball ticket in your pocket.)
  • De Blasio wrote an op-ed in the Daily News under the headline, “My congestion pricing conversion.” (It’s well argued. Good for him.) Riders Alliance Executive Director John Raskin also lent support in the same paper. And the Daily News editorial board also cheered Hizzoner.
  • The Post played up the Senate Democrats from Long Island who oppose congestion pricing.
  • Oh, and lost in the confusion: the subway fare is going up. (NY Times, WSJ, amNY)
  • And, in case you missed it, Friend of Streetsblog Charlie Komanoff made another righteous yawp in support of congestion pricing. (NYDN)

In other news:

  • Mourners gathered in Queens to remember Sherena Hundalani, who was killed by a hit-and-run cabbie on Sunday. Dan Rivoli and Molly Crane-Newman’s story reminded all that the driver has not been charged yet. (NYDN)
  • Justice is weird sometimes. The guy who drove on the sidewalk in Borough Park and didn’t hit anyone got arrested (NY Post), yet the drivers who killed Chaim Joseph, Sherena Hundalani, a pedestrian in the Bronx, and so many others remain free.
  • Why do drivers get more lanes on the Van Wyck? How about a bike lane? (Patch)
  • And unlicensed driver nearly killed a kid in Sunset Park. But the mayor is still worried about scooters. (NYDN)
  • Um, did Chirlane McCray just say it’s not the right time for a President de Blasio? (NY Post)
  • Sassojr

    “We’re taking out at least one of every 10 vehicles — maybe more, if it’s a more ambitious plan.” -Komanoff

    How about taking 2 of 10 off the roads by convincing another 10% of traffic to switch to smaller, more nimble modes of transportation like motorcycles. That definitely won’t happen by charging them full price. We just continue to ignore all the successful models that exempt motorcycles for their ability to reduce congestion.

    “This will mostly affect out of state drivers” -Cuomo

    If I drive in from NJ now, I’m certainly going to be more inclined to drive after congestion pricing. Emptier streets without NJ drivers having to pay a dime on congestion pricing, sounds like a great deal for New Yorkers!

  • Larry Littlefield

    While generally more favorable to other modes of transport, I don’t agree that the only highway project is a dead highway project. There are a few places in central portions of metro NYC where more capacity is justifyable, for freight reasons if nothing else, and the Van Wyck is one of them.

    If I were doing it, however, instead of adding an HOV lane, I’d be adding a truck-only lane, and perhaps converting an existing lane to an HOV lane.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    If we were to get rid of the BQE in Brooklyn Heights, could Whitestone to Van Wyck to the Belt to the Verrazano be a through route for freight? Not sure how much work would be needed on the Belt to accommodate trucks.

  • kevd

    many of the bridges would have to be raised on the belt.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The Culver Line is probably the lowest of them all. You wonder how passenger cars get under.

  • kevd

    1/4 or 1/3 price seems fair.
    the PA tunnels should be bidirectionally tolled.
    then the congestion charge discount for NJ would only cover half of the congestion fee.

  • Anon resident

    Let’s not forget about Comptroller Scott Stringer talking about train & bus travel yet we have never seen him on either mode of transportation.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Most NYCT workers don’t use the transit system, even though for them it’s free. Due to the location of their outer borough worksite and suburban home.

  • running_bond

    Now that Ydanis Rodriguez did not win Public Advocate, how will he rip out more bike lanes for the poor small businesses that depend on, er, double-parking?

    Dyckman Street remains bike-lane-less.

  • Sassojr

    My bike weighs 331 lbs (a modern full-size comes in btw 3000-3500 lbs), takes up 1/10th the space, has the ability to skip by traffic (thus not be traffic) if it were legal to lanesplit (not trying to start that debate). So let’s start at 1/10 price (which wouldn’t even be worth the cost of plate tolling). There’s a reason they are EXEMPT in well planned systems.

    Raise your hand if you honestly think the 456 line can take 10% more passengers during rush hour without any capacity increase via CBTC (because that will come “later”). We need to diversify transportation usage, not just punish everyone but NJ (I’m sorry, your tolls fund PANYNJ, complain to them if you feel you’re being double charged).

  • kevd

    all good and fair arguments. not sure if free is quite right since in traffic it takes up much more that 1/10th the space of a car.
    but maybe.
    all for legal lane-splitting.
    definitely should be insentivized over cars.

  • Rider

    Would you stop referring to yourself in the third person? It makes you sound like a pretentious ass.