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Congestion Pricing

Monday’s Headlines: Congestion Ahead Edition

Good news: We're not going to start our week with our typical ascent on our long-legged steed to criticize the Times for its flawed, car-centric coverage. Plus other news.

Photo: Josh Katz|

The Times offered insights from other cities on congestion pricing.

We're not going to start our week with our typical ascent on our long-legged steed to criticize the Times for its flawed, car-centric coverage.

In fact, we enjoyed the team reporting that Winnie Hu, Ana Ley, Stephen Castle and Christina Anderson offered in a long Sunday takeout about how successful congestion pricing has been in three major cities: London, Stockholm and Singapore.

Of course, we could quibble (whoa, Nellie, simmer down there, girl) with the paper's overall tone that congestion pricing is somehow controversial (when, indeed, bridge and tunnel tolls are not). And we would obviously point out that lines like this should not be parenthetical asides, but main thrusts: "The congestion tax ... has raised millions of dollars for building roads and highways, expanding the subway system and making other investments in public transit, city officials said." Um, that's kinda the point, not a tiny afterthought.

But like we said, the piece included solid reporting, including how New York could benefit from learning from London's mixed experience (business drivers kept on driving or switched to Ubers because their firms paid the fee or because cabs weren't properly tolled, for example).

That said, Komanoff had a two-part takedown:

Also, Ley and Hu's use of the term "congestion tax" is intentionally sensational. This is a toll. There are tolls everywhere. No one says, "I'm paying the Triboro Bridge tax." (That said, perhaps the Times was trying to stay ahead of the story; the Post reported that the GOP "can't wait" to turn the Democrats into "the party of congestion pricing." Of course, once everyone sees how awesome congestion pricing is, that could backfire on Republicans.)

Plus, the Paper of Record should have linked to my column from late Friday about what a terrible job our mayor is doing at championing the policy he claims to strongly support.

On the plus side, the Times didn't link to former Council Member Kathryn Freed's inaccurate, short-sighted and disjointed op-ed in the Village Sun that took the Jersey-eye view on congestion pricing.

In other news:

  • Former federal transit man wants the MTA to share some congestion pricing revenue with New Jersey. (Mass Transit)
  • Hey, Mayor Adams, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is eating your lunch on street safety. (Bloomberg)
  • Speaking of which, Curbed reminded Adams that promising to daylight 1,000 intersections is nice, but only concrete will keep drivers from parking there anyway.
  • "Open-air drug market"? The Post examines a Bronx subway station.
  • The actor Michael B. Jordan apparently smashed up his fancy car in LA, the Post reported. He's OK.
  • Speaking of car crashes, here's a story about a driver whose car seemed to go out of its way to injure him! I mean, really, this is an object lesson on how not to write a news story about a reckless driver. (NYDN)
  • Also, there was a massive crash on the LIE. (NY Post)
  • More noise cameras are coming soon. (NY Post)
  • A man swiped a moped then used it to hit a cop and flee on the Upper West Side. (amNY)
  • Meanwhile, a driver killed a moped rider in a road rage incident. (Bronx Times)
  • The feds are helping the city electrify the Governors Island ferry. (NYDN)
  • The Fifth Avenue open street got off to a soggy start on Sunday. But it'll be back next Sunday and the Sunday after that for safe pedestrian travel and tree-peeping. (NYDN)
  • And, finally, it's time to a) remind you that our annual fundraising drive continues and b) praise by name all the people who gave to us over the weekend. It's a lengthy list for a weekend, which is a reminder that people have really been answering the call — and we can't wait to list your name on this list next (hint). For now, thanks, Laurence! Thanks, Johanna! Thanks, Lacey! Thanks, Thomas! Thanks, Mark!
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