Thursday’s Headlines: The MTA Blows Its Congestion Pricing Analysis Edition
How did the MTA turn the flexible; visionary; time-, money-, and environment-saving, congestion-pricing plan into a “dog” that everyone is kicking — erroneously — as “a money grab that will cut traffic only in Manhattan”?
Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff laid out the many deficiencies of the authority’s environmental assessment that led to that outrage yesterday in a Gotham Gazette op-ed. Here are key takeaways:
- Central Business District tolling “will result in 1,974,000 fewer daily miles traveled by automobiles outside of the Manhattan congestion zone.”
- The EA underestimates these cuts in traffic outside of Manhattan an average of five-fold.
- The MTA’s modeling makes such mistakes because, among other things, it totally omits the concept of “price elasticity.”
Here’s an added whopper: “I can’t find one transportation or environmental advocate actively pushing this congestion pricing plan who protested the invasion of 100,000 [for-hire] vehicles,” writes former MTA board member Lucius Ricco in an error-laden Daily News op-ed. Wrong.
In other news:
- Ninth Avenue is getting an 11-foot-wider sidewalk on its east side from 50th to 59th streets, reclaiming a lane for walkers that was lost to the approach of the Lincoln Tunnel 85 years ago. (W42ndSt)
- The NYPD will begin encrypting its radio transmissions in 2024, cutting off the press and the public for the first time since the 1940s. (amNY)
- Taxi owners will get some medallion-loan relief. (amNY)
- The NYC Economic Development Corporation booted a beloved playground from a pier in Red Hook. (The City)
- The hit-and-run moped rider who killed actress Lisa Banes in Manhattan pleaded guilty. (NY Post, NYTimes)
- An anarchist group opposing private property tried a stunt: selling multiple keys to a “mystery” car parked somewhere in Brooklyn. (Gothamist)
- A New York Times tech reporter took a “Cruise” driverless taxi in San Francisco. (These are the kind of driverless cars for which Ford an GM want a safety exemption to turn loose thousands annually.) The “technology remains a work in progress” — to say the least.
- Albany advanced legislation that would punish drivers from “non-cooperative” states (see: New Jersey) with a $50 fine if their DMVs wouldn’t share vehicle information with New York. New Jersey’s Senate unanimously passed such a measure in June. Gothamist covered the tit-for-tat legislation.
- Heard about the latest sally against outdoor dining? Streetsblog had the story (and, later, so did amNY). One Twitter wag had a humorous solution. (Via Twitter)
Worried about the city removing your dining shed? Slap an expired temp NJ plate on them and the NYPD will be powerless to enforce the law. pic.twitter.com/gAUXCzWKNW
— NYC Bike Lanes (@NYCBikeLanes) September 29, 2022
- Pity the office-building dinosaurs of Third Avenue? No, turn them into housing. (Bloomberg)
- From the assignment desk: DOT Commissioner Rodriguez cuts the ribbon on a new bus priority lane in Queens this morning.
- Long Island’s Hempstead Turnpike is the most dangerous road for cyclists in America. Believe it. (Bicycling)
- Speaking of congestion pricing, Assembly Member Robert Carroll, who just penned a column on it for Streetsblog, welcomed a different kind of project on the 27th. (Via Twitter)
Edward Robert Carroll born last night, September 27th at 10:30pm. 7pounds and 6 ounces and 20 inches. pic.twitter.com/jT4o4IWV6B
— Assemblymember Robert Carroll (@Bobby4Brooklyn) September 28, 2022
- A Brooklyn judge awarded $4.5 million to a man who was beaten and blinded by a Williamsburg “safety patrol.” (NYDN)
- Here’s a Sport Utility Vehicle owner who says the “quiet” part out loud: The “sport” is roadway killing. (Via Twitter)
Thinking of all the loved ones of people injured in traffic collisions who have to walk around and see this crap. pic.twitter.com/h7bxcKH6f5
— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) September 28, 2022