Thursday’s Headlines: Bloomberg Backtrack Edition
So much for Mike Bloomberg’s legacy.
The media company that bears the former mayor’s name issued a Twitter “QuickTake” on congestion pricing that simply took our breath away yesterday:
Do you drive into Manhattan?
Your commute is about to get more expensive. Here's why? https://t.co/VzkvlR0rRA pic.twitter.com/ZK4SVDTXh7
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) August 11, 2022
That take was awful, but it was merely a reflection of the car-centric news story to which the tweet linked, which complained of how “motorists coming from Dutchess/Putnam Counties in New York would be charged a total average of $111,” which is a preposterous spin, given that only a tiny bit of that is the toll charge and the rest is the cost of owning a car, paying for gas and upkeep and insurance.
This from an outlet that proudly bears the name of congestion pricing’s original standard-bearer. Shame. (To be
fair equally repulsed, Crain’s also took a driver’s-eye view of the situation.)
The internet reacted negatively:
Alternative (admittedly nerdy) headline:
'burbanites driving into lower Manhattan will soon pay for *some* of the costs they're now making others payhttps://t.co/e4EIFhl67u pic.twitter.com/Ws1Dkw2HXG
— Gernot Wagner (@GernotWagner) August 11, 2022
In other news:
- We certainly expected backlash to congestion pricing on the day when the full environmental assessment was released (and the Daily News finally got around to covering it), but we not only got the backlash — in the form of an incoherent and factually inaccurate tweet from 1010WINS reporter Juliet Papa — but also a backlash to her backlash. (We also got a reaction story in Gothamist.)
NYC will be a ghost town after #congestion pricing. What about seniors who can’t use mass transit to get to a dr from an outer boro, people who transport goods/gear in vehicles for their jobs, small deliveries ( not trucks)? @NYCMayor @GovKathyHochul
— Juliet Papa (@winsjuliet) August 10, 2022
“Foot traffic would increase so much around Herald Square due to an increase in straphangers that the sidewalks might need to be widened.” https://t.co/IqzrhZmbcw
— Bman (@BarmanNYC) August 10, 2022
Meanwhile, Nicole Gelinas of the NY Post had a good take linking congestion pricing to placard abuse, using the environmental assessment’s own figures:
Interesting — reducing public-employee parking permits would reduce Manhattan traffic sufficient to meet non-$ goals of congestion pricing. Illustrates how make/break it is not to have public-worker exemptions. Otherwise it’s just a tax on private sector. https://t.co/iRr9ZRT1kN pic.twitter.com/fD14uqqOE7
— Nicole Gelinas ?????? (@nicolegelinas) August 10, 2022
- New York City is a “platinum-level” walkable city. But you knew that! (DOT via Twitter)
- A driver was slashed in a road-rage incident in Queens. (NYDN)
- It was embargoed until 5 a.m. today, but Sen. Chuck Schumer let out the good news about a federal discretionary grant of $7-plus-million to plan more greenways. Kea Wilson wrote up the larger story for Streetsblog USA, which may not live yet (depending on when you’re clicking on this).
- Speaking of the feds, the MTA got another $116 million in clean energy grants to buy more electric buses to give some company to the paltry 25 e-buses that we currently have. (NYDN)
- The MTA is stepping up its efforts to catch toll dodgers. (amNY)
- Wow, the Post wrote about a rat that wasn’t even near a restaurant!
- Another motorcyclist is dead, but the preliminary report leaves lots of questions. (NYDN)
- And, finally, stars, they’re just like us (even in black-and-white and in Boston):
Every 1M spent on bike lanes creates 18 more jobs than the same amount for regular auto centric roads…lets “self-propel” our planets future….#bikelanesrock pic.twitter.com/HmW96JbE5J
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 10, 2022