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Monday’s Headlines: Yes, We’re Still Talking About Congestion Pricing, Aren’t You Edition

12:42 AM EDT on August 15, 2022

It’s time to get congestion pricing’s nuts and bolts in order.

We still can't get enough about congestion pricing. And this weekend brought more news after last week's document dump from the MTA.

First, Dave Colon picked through the environmental assessment and found reason for concerns — if you're a Bronx resident or someone who cares about the burden Bronxites have been shouldering for years. (Rep. Ritchie Torres will have a presser about it today at 10 a.m. in the South Bronx.)

And we also published a point-counterpoint from Nicole Gelinas (pro, with reservations) and Charles Komanoff (pro).

And, of course, the Post published Republican gubernatorial wannabe Lee Zeldin's take that congestion pricing was just a tax on poor people. It's hard to take Zeldin seriously when he opens with lines like this: "Last week, the MTA released its plan to begin congestion pricing, charging up to $34.50 per day for drivers traveling south of 60th Street in Manhattan." Fact: The maximum told in the seven MTA scenarios was $23, not $34.50 — and it's not the MTA's "plan." It's merely what the agency studied. When the MTA board sets the toll, yes, then that will be the plan.

The Post also published the pro-car ranting of Staten Island Council Member Joe Borelli, which also included counter-factual assertions such as this: "Our governor, MTA leadership and legislators need to take an honest look at those vehicles flooding our central core with office workers, busboys, barbacks and builders. What’s the ratio of Maseratis to Mazdas? Range Rovers to Rav4s? Beemers to old beaters?" The ratio is not what Borelli believes, given that census figures confirm that drivers to the central business district are wealthier than their neighbors who use transit — oh, and Borelli's column didn't even use the word "transit" once — transit, as in the mode used by the vast majority of New Yorkers, and which will benefit from the congestion pricing toll.

Fortunately, Hell Gate's Christopher Robbins — who'll be joining us later this week as our editor goes on vacation — did the delicious overview of everyone's misguided attempt to say congestion pricing will be the end of New York City (which is what they said about Citi Bike, about protected bike lanes, about open streets, about pedestrian safety islands, etc. etc. etc.) And, in case you missed it, the Guardian did a proper take on congestion pricing — apparently because it takes European eyes to see that something must be done to cure "the nation’s most congested city of its incessant, noisy, polluting traffic."

In other news from a super slow weekend:

    • In case you missed it (we did because it broke late Friday and the NYPD did not put out a sheet): A hit-and-run cyclist badly injured a pedestrian on Eighth Avenue at 22nd Street in Chelsea. We reached out to the NYPD for more information but heard only crickets. We'll be following it. (NYDN)
    • Speaking of other crashes for which we didn't get information from the NYPD, two more people were killed by hit-and-run drivers. (NYDN)
    • An Upper East Side senior who had been hit by the driver of an assault truck in May has died. William Maeder was 66. Then as now, Upper East Site reminded us that the driver of the pickup truck had more than a dozen camera-issued tickets. Why don't other outlets report such critical information? Another critical fact: The driver has still not been charged.
    • In her regular column, Nicole Gelinas opined that the main problem is violent young men on the roadways.
    • The City dove into the weirdest NIMBY fight in town — that small development in Throggs Neck.
    • Don't forget to early-vote. (NY Times)

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