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Congestion Pricing

Tuesday’s Headlines: Gridlock Alert — And Gridlock Abort — Day Edition

A "Gridlock Alert" day is a perfect day for supporters of congestion pricing to rally in Union Square! Plus other news.

12:00 AM EST on December 5, 2023

Photo: Josh Katz/Insets: Dave Colon

Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes. According to the Department of Transportation, today is a "Gridlock Alert" day — one of 19 this season that the agency anointed as part of its feeble annual effort to beg people not to drive into Manhattan.

Curiously enough, that's a perfect day for supporters of congestion pricing to rally in Union Square! Tout le monde will be there: MTA Chairman Janno Lieber, NYC Transit President Richard Davey, right-thinking members of the Council and all your favorite (or not so favorite, if you're one of those people who is legally barred from approaching DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez) advocacy groups, such as Riders Alliance, Open Plans and Transportation Alternatives.

The fun starts at 11 a.m. The congestion starts much earlier, but hopefully ends when the tolls begin this summer.

In other news from the first day of a week just getting on its feet:

  • Believe it or not, but the car-loving Staten Island Advance cited our reporter Jesse Coburn's exhaustive work on ghost plates in the second paragraph of a story about New Jersey's bid to reform the practically unregulated market.
  • Another (suburban) county heard from: The Star-Ledger came out strongly for congestion pricing.
  • And the plan is popular with the "Tell it to Sweeney" crowd, too. (NYDN)
  • Friend of Streetsblog Sara Lind of Open Plans had a great Daily News op-ed on the need to eliminate parking mandates.
  • Ridership on the NYC Ferry — which has never been overwhelming — has finally surpassed its pre-pandemic numbers. (NYDN)
  • You can take the LIRR or Metro-North to SantaCon, and you can drink — but you can't do both at the same time. The NYPD even said it would will patrol at Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station to enforce the ban. Thank god for discrete hip flasks. (NYDN, the Villager, Gothamist)
  • Congestion pricing supporter and soul of Manhattan Community Board 7 Howard Yaruss was featured prominently in the Times's latest coverage of the central business district toll plan. Interestingly, James Barron's piece made a big issue of defaced or covered plates, yet never mentioned our seminal coverage.
  • Speaking of CB7, the co-chair of the Parks & Environment Committee abruptly resigned in outrage after the city said it would move ahead to try to make the lives of delivery workers a tiny bit better by installing a charging station and a rest area, despite local concern about the chosen site at the busy 72nd Street subway hub. (West Side Rag)
  • Wait a second — maybe Friday isn't dead forever. (Crain's)
  • The "Reasons to Love New York" issue of New York Magazine is out and our editor ended up on the cutting room floor at the last minute (the piece had even been fact-checked)!
  • Sunday's fire in The Bronx was sparked by a lithium-ion battery. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Check out the cool new fare gate! (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Speaking of fares, just make sure you don't use your OMNY when you need to TAPP — yes, it's time for more ridiculous regional rail conflict. (amNY)
  • Finally, don't forget our annual donation drive, where we a) ask for your support and b) reveal the names of yesterday's benefactors with an honor roll call: Thanks, Sharif! Thanks, Mark! Thanks, Ken! Thanks, Stephen! Thanks, Bob!

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