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Congestion Pricing

Thursday’s Headlines: What an Historic Day Edition

It was such a big deal that all sorts of strangers in the press corps showed up. Plus other news.

6:57 AM EST on December 7, 2023

Approved!

I know it seems like we've been talking about congestion pricing since the Pataki era, but yesterday was truly an historic moment: The MTA board voted to approve the $15 weekday congestion pricing toll, which is the first time that has ever happened in these United States.

It was such a big deal that all sorts of strangers in the press corps showed up at the MTA board meeting — people we never see covering the fight for better transit, but who suddenly show up the minute a new transit policy affects the small, but entitled, cohort of people who drive into the central business district.

We don't expect this angle to be part of their coverage, but make no mistake: Yesterday's MTA board vote is one of the first times that government has agreed to price some of the negative externalities associated with driving. Yes, there have been tolls before, but this specific toll is aimed at more than just raising revenue — it puts a price (albeit an undervalued one) on the society cost of individuals' driving: the congestion, the pollution, the road violence, the lost pedestrian and cycling space and all the other damage that cars do.

Kudos to the MTA board for passing this historic measure. (The Daily News, Gothamist, amNY and pretty much everyone else also covered. Newsday and the Post focused on the suburban outrage.)

In other news:

  • Speaking of suburban outrage, here's a tragic story of kids being orphaned due to a car crash in Westchester. (NY Post)
  • In case you missed it, our friend Harry Siegel had a (mostly) good piece in Vital City about the delivery industry. We say "mostly" good because a) it blamed electric bikes for causing an increase in road violence, which is not accurate, and b) it ignored all of our coverage of the exploitive industry, including our coverage of Charles Komanoff's simple reform that should get far more traction.
  • Here's a touching story about a woman who lost her sight when she was hit by a car driver (though the Times, of course, calls it an "accident"). We actually covered some reaction to the original crash back in the day.
  • The Daily News beat us to the Third Avenue eyes on the street. (NYDN)
  • We enjoyed this Gothamist story about a man who makes his living making noise complaints about businesses — and the Council's effort to stop him.
  • We'll be back tomorrow with an honor roll of donors during our monthlong fundraising drive. But if you want to join the important fun, click below:
It's our monthly donation drive!Click here to donate

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