Congestion Pricing Opponents Reveal They Are Completely Out of Ideas — And Easily Flustered, Too!

Assembly Members David Weprin and Rodneyse Bichotte tried to rally opposition to Gov. Cuomo's toll plan, but ended up getting shouted down by scores of supporters of congestion pricing.

Assembly Member David Weprin had trouble sticking to his anti-congestion pricing talking points as congestion pricing and street safety advocates counter-protested his rally on Sunday. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Assembly Member David Weprin had trouble sticking to his anti-congestion pricing talking points as congestion pricing and street safety advocates counter-protested his rally on Sunday. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

About a half-dozen drivers who oppose congestion pricing — including two state legislators — revealed at a wild Midtown press conference on Sunday that they have no plan for raising enough money to save the subway system, as scores of supporters of the transit-rescue plan screamed, “Working people take the subway!” and “Vote them out!”

Assembly Members David Weprin of Queens and Rodneyse Bichotte of Brooklyn were the lone Albany pols who showed up to oppose Gov. Cuomo’s plan to charge drivers to enter Manhattan below 61st Street and use the money for $40 billion in overdue transit repairs. The plan is facing a vote in Albany by April 1.

Weprin and Bichotte called congestion pricing an attack on the poor — facts show that it is anything but that — but declined to offer alternatives that could generate enough revenue to fix the subway without the $15 billion in bonds that can be floated from congestion pricing. (Charles Komanoff has prepared many fact sheets on this topic. Here’s one.)

“We want to fix our transit also, but we just don’t want to fix it with a congestion tax that will disproportionately affect drivers,” said Weprin, as protesters kept interrupting him with shouts of “Transit traitor!” and “10 years of inaction ends now!”

Weprin struggled through his opening remarks as protesters screamed at him. He did say he supports many other revenue streams — including a tax on recreational marijuana and a new internet sales tax — to fund New York City Transit President Andy Byford’s $40-billion “Fast Forward” plan. One problem: The governor has already set aside those taxes for transit. He also called for a restoration of the commuter tax, a reliable funding stream that was nonetheless killed in 1999 amid a revolt by suburban legislators, whose unlikely support would be needed to restore it.

“The entire MTA problem should not be on the backs of drivers in Manhattan,” Weprin said.

He then turned it over to Bichotte, who said some stuff that simply needs to be published in full. It echoed comments she made last week that were equally fact-free:

Let’s talk about what congestion pricing really is. Congestion pricing was a phenomenon to address the environmental issues. Not to tax the working class. As many of you know, we have been having a moving disparity across New York City, which has caused the congestion in terms of alternate ways of getting from one end of New York City to the other end of New York City. But let me tell you, unfortunately, a group of wealthy interests got together to put a $10-million study to say, “This is the way we need to increase revenue to fix the subway.” It has nothing to do with that. When the mayor and many of our other progressive advocates have proposed a millionaire’s tax, they said no. The governor said no. This study came out saying, “We’re not going to tax the millionaires. Instead, we’re going to tax working-class people.”

When she said that, a protester inches from Bichotte yelled, “Working class people take the subway!” Bichotte continued:

You know what? I know how it is. I live in the outer boroughs. I know how it is when it’s difficult to move. I know how it is when my community, my subways are molded [Editor’s note: She meant “moldy.”] We don’t have enough transit workers. Meanwhile, fares are always increasing, but transit workers don’t get their fair share. The people trying to get to work don’t get their fair share. Mold, delays, which is one of the reason why our community had to start and create alternative ways of transportation. As you know, we have dollar vans. We have dollar cabs. And now we have ride-sharing. And let me tell you, because there was disparity in New York City for very long time, where TLC picked and chose who they were going to move — they didn’t want to move black people. They didn’t want to move Latinos. They didn’t want to go to the outer boroughs, which caused [residents] to create new ways of getting around New York City. And now the people who will be affected [by congestion pricing] are people in my community. The immigrant workers. The people who need alternate ways to get into work. Why? Because our subways need fixing. And we’ve been screaming and shouting about it. No one has done anything about it until now. Gov. Cuomo is using congestion pricing as a ploy. … It’s the wealthiest folks who can get to transit on a black car, who is not even paying for anything out of their own pockets. The corporations are paying. They will not feel it. Our constituents in the outer boroughs, immigrants, families, they are going to feel it. And let me tell you, I’m here for the Manhattaners [sic] also. The people who live in those districts — 14th Street to 96th Street — they, too, are going to get hurt. It’s not only rich people who live in Manhattan. We have hard-core working class families who live in Manhattan who should not be subjugated to this punitive tax for no reason. Just because a wealthy group decided to put a study together to say we should be making billions of dollars on the working class. And let me tell you, if we do get the revenue, guess what, it’s not going to go to MTA. I want to leave you with this. I was reading the New York Times, and one person said this and I would like to read it: “Throwing more money at the MTA to solve traffic problems is trying to put out a fire with firewater.”

After Bichotte spoke, Weprin introduced former Assembly Member Richard Brodsky, a longtime opponent of congestion pricing, who was, at least, concise: “Congestion pricing is a tax on average New Yorkers…”

David Weprin talks to reporters Clayton Guse and Vin Barone as a protester makes his point.
David Weprin talks to reporters Clayton Guse and Vin Barone as a protester makes his point.

“BULLSHIT!” yelled several protesters at once. Brodsky continued, championing the so-called “pied-a-terre” tax as a way of getting more revenue. The problem? Like the pot tax and the internet sales tax, it’s already won the support of Albany legislators and the governor — so it’s hardly a new idea.

City Council Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens) also spoke and showed that he carries a MetroCard. (In a Streetsblog piece last year, national congestion pricing expert Charles Komanoff criticized Grodenchik for siding with Brodsky.)

Finally, Weprin took questions. (Fun fact: I was sitting inches from both Weprin and Bichotte, so I got to ask a series of questions while none of the other reporters could be heard over the din — the audio is posted below). I started with a simple question about how Weprin can get to the MTA’s $40-billion repair need without congestion pricing:

“Our plan is the pied-a-terre tax, the marijuana tax, the internet sales tax, we can dedicate a revenue stream on taxes that there is broad agreement on,” he said. “And there are billions of inefficiency at the MTA.” Then he called up other speakers, none of whom was an elected official.

The reporters largely ignored those others. Finally, I asked Bichotte why she considers congestion pricing a tax on the working poor when Census figures, crunched by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, show that only 1.9 percent of residents of her district commute into the congestion zone versus 92 percent who take transit. And the drivers earn, on average, $10,000 more per year than those who take transit.

“No one knows my community,” she said. “We have outsiders speaking for my community. My community is knocking down my door saying they don’t want to be taxed.”

Three looks from Rodneyse Bichotte: Combative, confused, convulsed. Photos: Gersh Kuntzman
Three looks from Rodneyse Bichotte: Combative, confused, convulsed. Photos: Gersh Kuntzman

Weprin started mentioning taxes he could support, and Bichotte jumped in with her own list: “Alcohol tax! Tobacco tax! Casino tax!” she added, screaming. “We care about our people in our community, we care about the drivers. We care about the people who have to get to work. The subway is overcrowded.”

Again, I reminded Bichotte how few people from her community actually drive into the central business district.

“It doesn’t matter! They take Uber. They take Lyft. They take dollar vans,” she said. “Basically you want to limit people to have options to go to Manhattan because you’ve done a study that their behavior shows they don’t go into Manhattan? That’s a disparity already. And that’s wrong. I want them to have the ability to freely go to New York City without being charge.”

How many? I asked.

“It’s a large percentage!” Bichotte said.

How do you get around your district?

“I drive,” she said.

So you see this as a tax on you?

“Yes, it’s a tax on me. I would be a tax on everybody. I have to drive everywhere. I even drive upstate,” she said.

I reminded her of the Census data.

“You have to understand, the Census is not accurate,” she said.

The Census is not accurate? OK, so what are you basing your position on?

“I see the people. I drive in the cars. I see drivers,” she said.

True or false, Assemblywoman, the vast majority of your constituents take the subway.

“Yes, but they also take ride-share and dollar vans,” she said.

Not into the central business district, I reminded.

And with that, she moved on to other reporters. But here’s a final thought: Assembly Member Bichotte has positioned herself as a leader of the fight against congestion pricing. She should get the facts right.

Oh, and by the way, here’s her driving record, thanks to Second Avenue Sagas:

[Final note: Genuine transportation nerds should definitely listen to the tape of today’s event, which was recorded in two segments by this reporter, crouched in the middle of the fray. (Fun fact: My voice can be heard frequently urging the politicians to stop making speeches and just take reporters’ questions, so we could all go home.)]

Segment one: The first part of the press conference.

Segment two: The second part, plus interviews (the full back-and-forth with Bichotte, which is incredible, is from 1:20 to 9:43, when other reporters started asking questions:

  • Larry Littlefield

    “My community is knocking down my door saying they don’t want to be taxed.”

    She’s new, so I guess it wouldn’t be fair to blame her personally for the situation we are in. But she is a member of the Democratic Party, which in New York believes those working for or with connections to the government should get richer and richer relative to everyone else. So what does that leave? Higher taxes, and diminished services and benefits for the serfs. New York Democrats against taxes? Please.

    As for the Republicans, in New York they believe the rest of the state should benefit more and more at the expense of New York City. That’s the option here.

    And to top it off, we’re been ruled for decades by generations that demanded to get more and more benefits at the expense of the less well off generations to follow so they wouldn’t have to pay. Weprin epitomizes that.

    The money was taken the past. It’s gone. So what do they want to do? If they want to say something useful, advocate bankruptcy and default. We are in an pick our pain situation, and they are nothing but advocates for continued irresponsibility.

    Speaking of being out of ideas, where will transportation advocates be in five years after all the congestion pricing revenues for the next 30 years are bonded against and another tax increase/revenues source is needed for the next $15 billion?

  • Komanoff

    I was there. This is some amazing reporting by Gersh. Good framing, too, esp’ly the subhead, “Assembly Members David Weprin and Rodneyse Bichotte tried to rally opposition to Gov. Cuomo’s toll plan, but ended up getting shouted down by scores of supporters of congestion pricing.” But there’s one surprising omission: labor’s strong presence.

    From the outskirts of the crowd, I couldn’t hear the speakers. Yes, they *were* shouted down. The shouting was both raucous and joyous. A lot of the pro-c.p. crowd were union members — TWU Local 100, also ATU Local 726, ATU 1056 and a few others. Their presence was powerful both in itself and what it signified: that Cuomo is down the line for c.p., and that transit is united for c.p. with workers standing with advocates. Everyone felt good about outnumbering the anti’s by 5 to 1 or more. The chanting, which only occasionally spilled over into shouting (by my hearing), was spontaneous and spirited.

    But I felt — in the crowd and in myself — a good deal of anger too. Anger at bullshit posturing, at motorist entitlement, at political pandering, at legislator innumeracy. (Weprin’s call to restore the commuter tax checks all those boxes: in its heyday it raised only $500 million in today’s dollars; AND for all practical purposes the commuter tax was resuscitated a decade ago, as the MTA’s “Payroll Mobility Tax,” which is raising $1.5 *billion* a year — a good part of that from the ‘burbs.)

    And anger that these guys and their buds in the legislature are standing in the way of New Yorkers’ reaping $10 million *a day* worth of time savings on the roads and the rails. Cutting that rate in half and going back 11 years to Bloomberg c.p., they’ve stolen a cumulative $20 billion worth of saved time, safer streets, better health, lower stress, pocketbook savings and greater opportunity that New Yorkers could have been enjoying. The chants were right: Transit Traitors. Vote Them Out.

  • Aloyicious

    If congestion pricing means we get residential parking permits on the UWS then I’m all for it. The scourge of NJ drivers squatting in our neighborhood for 5 days at a time needs to stop.

  • r

    “I want them to have the ability to freely go to New York City without being charge[d].”

    So is Bichotte in favor of free transit? Because right now it costs a lot of money each day for the overwhelming majority of her constituents to get to work.

  • HamTech87

    Is Rodneyse Bichotte getting a primary opponent?

  • Guest

    There’s video on Twitter of Bichotte & Weprin driving off; both were illegally parked. And 2nd Ave Sagas ran Bichotte’s plates on How’s My Driving: 49 tickets! Of course she thinks she’s the victim.

    Extra points for pretty much calling the Census fake news. How very Trumpian of her, and all the other electeds claiming that data must be wrong, because they know better.

  • HamTech87

    With Bichotte’s education, she should be in command of these figures.

  • AlexWithAK

    Sounds like she’s in the same league as Kevin “Kill Yourself” Thompson.

  • Komanoff

    Agree. Windshield perspective is powerful, though. Esp’ly if @Guest’s report of Bichotte’s 49 tkts holds up, as I imagine it will.

  • Joe R.

    I find it incredible that someone with that level of education, especially in a field like engineering where facts are paramount, can be so utterly ignorant on a subject like this.

    As a trained engineer/scientist, I’ve learned to let the facts and experimental results take me wherever they will, instead of having predetermined conclusions.

    Even if she’s skeptical, her background should tell her to view this as an experiment. If it doesn’t work as expected, it can be tweaked. If it still doesn’t work after repeated tweaking, it can be abandoned. Only a fool would dismiss trying something new based on their preconceived notions.

  • Joe R.

    AND for all practical purposes the commuter tax was resuscitated a decade ago, as the MTA’s “Payroll Mobility Tax,” which is raising $1.5 *billion* a year — a good part of that from the ‘burbs.

    If Larry is correct, that money is already gone because we bonded against it. Any future payroll mobility tax revenues are going to pay the interest on the bonds. And that’s exactly why bonding against congestion pricing is equally stupid. We can have a one-time cash infusion of $15 billion and that’s all folks, or we can have $1 billion per year forever. That latter makes a lot more sense.

  • motorock

    Yeah, many don’t like her but I would question the census as well. Who were questioned? I live in the district so i know several people across it. Neither me, none of the people that I know, nor anyone in their buildings or my immediate neighbors were every surveyed. So who are these people that were allegedly surveyed? This “census” needs to be questioned and believing it blindly is like believing Fox news blindly.

    What every politician or CP advocate always seems to forget is to push for reliable, practical alternatives to a Subway that doesn’t serve everyone equally. Encouraging and exempting these alternatives made the European plans successful.

  • Guest

    Do you know what the census is? Conducted every 10 years on every household so yes, you received a mailing wherever you lived in 2010 and if you didnt return it, you got multiple knocks on your door. The American Community Survey which collects additional data is completed on a large random sample of residents. You dont need to be a demographer to know this basic information. Please use the internet to educate yourself on what the census and the ACS are. Ignorance doesnt mean you get to shout fake news.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Have the MTA do serious cost analysis and cutting of both operational and capital project expenditures. Nothing should be off the table.”

    You know state law makes this impossible. What can you do about the money no longer in the pension funds due to the 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2014 pension increases.

    Yes most of those were not for people who work in transit, but some of them were. And besides, money is fungible. That ever greater demand for more school funding? What do you think it is for?

    The state is considering bi-partisan legislation to ensure even more state funds go to the private union construction pension funds as well.

  • No CP

    Guys, the fix to the MTA’s out of control spending and crushing debt is to simultaneously give it more money and more debt. ?

  • FedUp


    Reporting on out of touch, protect their own selfish interest pols followed by another Gersh ego trip.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And your solution is?

    Guess what? The same people who oppose congestion pricing are also the people who loaded the MTA with debt, and benefitted from that spending.
    Generationally, and locationally. People from the suburbs. People over 60.

    They stole our future, and now they want to dictate how we suffer. So you tell me, what is your solution? End the ripoff of the people of New York City by the rest of the state? Slash benefits for seniors?

  • No CP

    I don’t have all the answers, no one does. A half baked idea with a shocking lack of details and transparency, attempted to be molded hastily into the budget certainly doesn’t feel like it’s good policy (or optics).

    I certainly think a thorough audit into waste in the agency is necessary BEFORE giving then yet another revenue source.

    Additionally, I think it’s worth exploring home rule implementation of a congestion toll at the borders of the city with speed cameras as the precedent. Give city residents the “Staten Island treatment” (EZ Pass discount to NYC registered plates). Peg that discounted toll at the cost of a subway trip (or round trip cost). Yes this isn’t enough, yes there will be many challenges and fights, but it’s certainly more palatable to those of us who live in the city.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I don’t have all the answers.”

    Sure you do. Stop maintenance and ongoing replacement of the infrastructure, so you can cash it with whatever future will be left. The existing policy.

    “I certainly think a thorough audit into waste in the agency is necessary.”

    The data is there for all to see. There was a huge retroactive pension increase in 2000. Massive disability fraud on the LIRR. Pension costs have soared as a result, and the pensions are $billions underwater. But pensions for NYC police and fire and teachers were increased even more, and as a result that money was diverted from the MTA — for decades.

    General city and state funding for the MTA capital plan was cut off in the early 1990s, and the MTA was ordered to borrow instead. And the fares and toll revenues were slashed relative to inflation from 1995 to 2005.

    All that money is GONE. GONE. GONE. Stolen from anyone in the city today, and anyone who will be in the city in the future. New York City has the most sold out future of anyplace in the country.

    And your solution is, what, tax cuts for the rich at the federal level, and an exemption from paying to use the roads for rich and connected people who don’t live off the serfs on the subway?

  • Frank Kotter

    What would you think a fair price for such an exclusive permit?

  • AMH

    “Alcohol tax! Tobacco tax! Casino tax!” Interestingly, these taxes are also criticized for targeting the working class when expedient.

  • Aloyicious

    That’s easy. DC, Chicago and Boston already have rpps and the annual fee is about $50.

  • John Smith

    The MTAs issues are well known and have been for decades. The problem is that the agency’s dysfunction benefits a number of key constituencies (MTA employees, retirees, contractors and labor unions) which together exert tremendous influence in the political system. An audit won’t add any value, let alone solve problems.

  • John Smith

    Or, hear me out here, you can simply park your car in a garage rather than a public street. Can’t afford it? Dump the car.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The total operating cost per vehicle revenue hour on the NYC subway is below the U.S. average for heavy rail, and below most systems.
    How many other public services can this be said for in New York City and State? Police? The schools? Sanitation? Medicaid? All sky high in employment per 100,000 residents, spending per child, payroll per worker and workers per 100,000 residents, and total benefit payments per recipient respectively.
    “The agency’s dysfunction benefits a number of key constituencies.”
    The agency’s function has been to benefit one key constituency. Those born before 1958, who cashed its future in. And why the MTA’s future? Blackmail. Bond buyers know they can’t just shut it down or the whole regional economy goes down with it.

  • Aloyicious

    Are you fronting for the private garage lobby?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Why does this entire debate remind me of people who already benefit from Medicare or taxpayer-funded public employee health benefits objecting to Obamacare?

    And demanding tax cuts along with reductions in old age benefits for later born generations who have “time to adjust.”

  • John Smith

    No, I just don’t see why living ins particular area entitles one to an exclusive privilege to park on a public street in that area.

  • Aloyicious

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but, just sayin…most large U.S. cities disagree with you. At least cities with parking problems.

  • DoctorMemory

    Let’s find out! Auction them. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • motorock

    Oh dear “guest’- do you know what census figures have been quoted? Please do your homework first instead of trying to be smug about your own ignorance. Also try to think logically. A “random sample” is not scientific, nor accurate and should not be accepted as such.

    Since you probably didn’t, I looked into it more closely and here is the to the report that is being referred to.

    It talks about incomes from 2011-15 ASC census while using 2006-10 figures to analyze number of people going into CBD. How are 2010 figures directly co-related or even relevant in 2018? And why are they matching it with figures from 2015? It seems like cherry-picking figures for convenience and misleading the people to serve a very selective goal. To get a more real picture of how people move and who these people are, TSTC should have done their own studies that are current and more relevant for making their case. But people like you just lap up whatever they tell you without questioning because it serves your bias.

    Maybe you are also ignorant of how neighborhoods have changed and the demographies and also the state of the subway. This district has changed in the last 2 years, let alone since 2010. Gentrifiers have made rents go up in the northern part of the district compounding that other important problem of the city. The median income of those people is much higher ( who pay $2500-3000 1BR apartments!) and they also take the subway, so I will bet that figure has also changed in 2019.

    I am going to take a guess and say you are possibly a gentrifier yourself, or just another white privileged person, willfully unaware of your own privilege and completely ignorant about this specific district. Maybe your standards for truth are pretty low or maybe you do not have the capacity to think objectively but please do the city a favor and don’t forward your agenda on the backs of lower income people.

    I am all for congestion pricing, if done right- just like it has been done successfully in the European cities- not this half-assed plan you guys are so blindly supporting without questioning the details. The parts make the whole- always remember that. People like you are going to make a total mess of a plan that could actually be very good but being corrupted by politicians and advocates with a myopic vision.

  • motorock

    Well, there has to be an audit into the MTA and the politicians to make sure we are not bleeding money because of their ineptness. No reason we cannot be as efficient as the European transport systems.

    There also needs to be a better scientific review of all transportation policies where an independent agency actually checks the accuracy of a traffic model on which an entire plan is goin to be based on. This model used here has not been peer reviewed by outside parties and now everyone is backing it without knowing if it really works.

    A congestion plan is great but it should be done right and make it socially fair. It should allow for alternatives like European cities do by exempting motorcycles, scooters and other powered two-wheeled vehicles among others. This helps people who need to make transfers or if their commutes are longer on a train. Eventually, if and when NYC gets a significant EV infrastructure, people could switch to that- but policies need to be set in now.

    Anyone who lives further from Manhattan and needs to get into Manhattan for work knows it can take very long and multiple transfers. That’s why we need alternatives. Only people who do not have the sam problem do not see it- which seems to be most of the CP advocates at the moment (on this site at least) who try to drown out the less heard voices by using their tone-deaf rhetoric.

  • Joe R.

    Well, at the very least we should force the MTA to release the second set of books so we can see what’s really going on. Lots of people are finally starting to ask where all the money we’ve sent to the MTA (and also to the NYPD and Board of Education) has gone. Maybe the latter two also have another set of books.

  • motorock

    Yeah, I wonder why there isn’t a more aggressive initiative by the mayor or the governor in doing this audit of the MTA. I, like many, suspect something fishy is going on…this delay could only help them cook the books..

  • John Smith

    Well yeah, most politicians care about staying in office more than they care about good policy.

  • motorock’s new friend

    I’m not going to waste time discussing with someone who doesn’t understand what randomization means and is proud of that. You also reject data showing that NYC car owners & drivers into CBD are better off on average than others but sure, I’m the privileged gentrifier. Keep rambling about who you think strangers on the internet are, just because they point out you don’t understand basic concepts in social research and policy.

  • motorock

    Did I reject any of those things or did I just point out the specifics of the district that I live in? I also pointed out your behavior and points which are reminiscent of a privileged person who does not understand reality because you don’t live in it. Seen too many of you in real life to know one. You want to twist my words and data but you cant change some facts- one of which is that you know absolutely nothing about this district.

  • Pat Sieber

    A random sample is absolutely scientific, and in fact, how all polling and studies are done. All of them.

  • Frank Kotter

    That’s what I thought. You find it okay to charge people a market rate as long as it’s not you who has to pay it.

  • Frank Kotter

    Can you describe ‘parking problem’?

  • Frank Kotter


  • Frank Kotter

    Our UWSider beleives the fair price for 300 square feet of street-level real estate on the most valuable piece of real estate in the world is 4 bucks a month.

    I feel she may be a a bit off.

  • Frank Kotter

    Although you have a very valid point to make about the size of the private automobile, your argumentative style kills it. It’s too bad.

  • Tony

    Wow, chill on the patronizing. I live in the neighboring district (44) and get his points and frustration. These “surveys” don’t reflect the current situation. At all. The last two years have seen a mass upheavels of communities and now the Park Slopers have invaded the southern parts making it hard for us to find affordable rents in our neighborhoods we been living in for years. Whatever is near the train is off-limits for someone mid/low income like me.

  • Tony

    We saw where that got us in 2016, right? Plus, a census is different from polling, just saying. As a genetic scientist, if my experiments and data sets were based on just “random samples”, I would be worried. Scientific research relies absolutely on strict parameters and being accurate to the closest degree possible. I think what motorock wants you to do is see that there is a possibility that the census from nearly ten and five years ago is not valid anymore. I would invite y’all to come down to Brooklyn and have a look yourself. My district faces the exact same problem. I don’t think most people live in the same houses they did in 2010. Or 2015. Because they were forced to look elsewhere.

  • Frank Kotter

    Sorry, but their points (as far as I can glean) are

    1. you can’t use census data because I live here and I disagree with the data

    2. motorcycles should not be taxed because they are more efficient.

    3. Europe has ‘successful’ transportation systems because of point 2

    Again, point two may have some legs but sandwiched in between the BS of points 1 and 3 and his overall combative/salty argumentation, it gets lost. Fail to see the patronizing here.

  • Aloyicious

    Avg car is about 45 sq feet, so avg street space is about 51 sq feet assuming a 1 foot gap between cars. Also, the UWS isn’t even the most valuable real estate in NYC, never mind the world. The village, Tribeca, Chelsea, Soho are all more valuable. If you car haters get basic facts straight, you may have more credibility.

  • Frank Kotter

    Ha! 51? you aren’t even in the ballpark.

    Not the most expensive? Fine, you’re splitting hairs to defend your position that your use private use of ‘some of the world’s most expensive’ space is, oh, somewhere around 50 bucks a year. This time, not even in the same universe!

    Edit: thanks for responding. It gives me a better indication of how we got to this absurd point and the bonkers motivations of people like you.

  • Vooch

    Up until 1955 it was illegal to store private property on the street overnight on the UWS

    We should bring back this wise and sage law

  • Vooch

    300 sqft. is actually a undercount of how street space parked cars consume.


    Architect with 35 years of designing parking garages, housing tracts, and subdivisions


The Car as Underdog, and Other Mind-Benders

From the New York Times’ new City Room blog comes a post entitled "Congestion Pricing: Has David Bested Goliath?" Hint: "The answer might depend on who you think is the giant." Which coalition has been winning so far in the congestion pricing wars? So far, at least, the pro-congestion pricing forces have been on the […]