Tuesday’s Headlines: Still Talking Congestion Pricing Edition

Congestion pricing was in the news again, thanks to the Times’s follow-up on our original reporting about the tiny increase in truck traffic that The Bronx may experience if the MTA doesn’t set the proper toll and additionally mitigate trucks

The article wasn’t bad, for what it was, but it missed a number of things, which the “Congestion Pricing Now” coalition pointed out in a statement:

“The New York Times article failed to point out that without congestion pricing, the public transit system that New Yorkers rely on — especially lower- and middle-income New Yorkers — will deteriorate, air quality will worsen, and traffic will continue to choke our city,” the statement said.

Speaking of the beneficiaries of congestion pricing, opposing Council Member Bob Holden had a supremely bad take on Twitter yesterday, comparing the MTA to a trust fund kid who is always borrowing money from you — yeah, except that no trust fund kid holds the entire regional economy in his hands nor do trust fund kids tend to favor investing in transit on behalf of every day working class New Yorkers.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lee Zeldin took made the same anti-congestion pricing pitch, blaming MTA “waste” and also repeating the lie that congestion pricing will hurt low-income people the hardest. In fact, it will boost public transit, which is disproportionately used by lower-income residents (NY Post). And Politics NY covered the presser with Holden and Co.

In other news:

  • Ross Barkan had a great take on the brain drain from the Adams administration: The mayor doesn’t think it’s a big deal because he has no actual agenda that he needs the workers to carry out.
  • Workers hired to clean subway trains during Covid hope to be retained. (The City)
  • It’s nice to see a city take on the noise of cars and trucks. Hint: It isn’t exceptional New York. (Politico)
  • How about a half-priced ferry ride for students? (amNY)
  • We couldn’t help but notice Manhattan Council Member Julie Won’s tweet about how she visited the Queensboro Bridge with DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez as well as staffers from Council members Selvena Brooks-Powers’s and Julie Menin’s offices, so we asked if the pols had persuaded the agency to accelerate its timeline so that pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be endangered on the overcrowded, narrow, two-way walking and biking lane. No such luck: DOT told us the current delayed timeline — the end of 2023 — is still in place.
  • John Oliver told the truth about “Law & Order.” (Last Week Tonight)
  • Our colleague Arthur Chi’en spotted what appears to be magic — but is really just a scofflaw with a louvered plate cover, one that was very similar to one that the aforementioned Holden spotted last year:

  • Finally, Friend of Streetsblog Tony Melone was excited that he was featured to be featured (anonymously) in Ginia Bellafante’s solid Times column in support of congestion pricing:


Congestion Pricing Can Help Save Working NYC Families $2,300 Per Year

Without congestion pricing, fare hikes will hit New York’s many transit-using families hard. Image: Ed Yourdon via Flickr. Without bold action from legislators to fund transit, middle-class New York families will have to spend $2,300 more per year to get around the city even as the quality of the service they’re paying for declines, according […]

Don’t Underestimate the Street Safety Benefits of Congestion Pricing

The primary benefits of the Move NY toll reform plan are reducing congestion and funding transit — but don’t overlook the huge potential to improve street safety. Recent research at Lancaster University in the UK suggests that since the introduction of the London congestion charge in 2003, lethal crashes have fallen faster than traffic congestion. The safety gains have even […]
In his "State of the City" speech on Monday, Mayor de Blasio said he'd soon release a plan to address growing congestion in the city. Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

4 Ways the Mayor Can Reduce Congestion Without Congestion Pricing

Mayor de Blasio's forthcoming congestion plan won't call for traffic pricing, but the mayor has plenty of other options to reduce traffic congestion. Here are four policies that would provide much-needed congestion relief on NYC streets -- it's difficult to imagine any City Hall traffic reduction initiative that doesn't include some of these ideas.