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Monday’s Headlines: Kathy’s Congestion Cover-Up Edition

It was yet another big weekend for congestion pricing news, and Gov. Hochul continued to look awful. Plus other news.

Photo: Josh Katz|

Fifteen dollars is too much? That’s rich!

It was yet another big weekend for congestion pricing news, and Gov. Hochul and her allies continued to come out looking awful. Let's get to it.

First, the governor went before an exceptionally friendly inquisitor on CNBC's Squawk Box, where she was asked how long her "pause" on congestion pricing might last.

She didn't answer:

But she did say this: "Right now, $15 for anyone to drive into New York City is too much at this time. ... I have supported congestion pricing but think about the effect of $15 right now. ... Right now $15 is not the right price. That does not mean it's gone forever, but let's just be reasonable. Right now, New York City residents are under siege. They have high costs of living everywhere they turn. Water rates just went up. Rent rates are going up. It is a lot for our citizens, and we should not ignore them saying to us as government leaders, we just want to break once in a while. Who's listening to us? I'm listening to them."

So much of that is preposterous (as Hell Gate's Chris Robbins also pointed out). For one thing, by her own estimates, congestion is costing New York City $20 billion per year. For another, in her own words, asthma is sickening people forced to breathe the exhaust from cars. And lest we forget, as the governor so recently reminded us, cities are unlivable with so many cars choking public space.

So one could argue (as we have) that $15 is far too little to charge the drivers who are causing these dangerous and awful conditions in our great city.

New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, obviously agrees — not that he's going to do a damn thing about it, as Peter Martin tweeted on Sunday:

Obviously, given Hochul's last-minute decision to listen to a wealthy Midtown restaurant owner or a bunch of lawsuit losers who can always get ink in the Post, the governor can be pressured — it's just that Schumer is unwilling to do it.

Oh, and by the way, nor are any of our esteemed lawmakers in Albany. NY Focus burned up the phone lines to our state legislators — and basically found that money is not the only thing in short supply in the state capital. There's not a lot of smarts, either.

Meanwhile, the subway system is going to get worse and worse and worse. (NYDN)

Finally, there was a youth rally in support of congestion pricing at the Barclays Center to shame Gov. Hochul into protecting the planet for the next generation. NY1 and amNY covered.

In other news:

  • Our friends at Reorientations looked at the Department of Transportation's two plans for Grand Army Plaza — and let's face it, Option B is the only good one.
  • The city and state's crackdown on "ghost cars" is racking up some legit successes, so you're welcome. (NY Post)
  • Justin Brannan and James Parrott made the case for expanding Fair Fares. (amNY)
  • Curtis Sliwa and his caravan engaged in outright cruelty and racism at Floyd Bennett Field, where new immigrants aren't bothering anyone. (NY Post)
  • The placard elite are so entitled that they're fighting each other now. (NY Post)
  • Subway crime is down. (amNY)
  • It's been an F-ing bad time in Brooklyn, but at least repairs are getting done. (amNY)

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