Monday, June 4, 2007

Congestion pricing breakdown

This revelation from Streetsblog will really come as a shock to you:

How Many New Yorkers Actually Commute to the CBD by Auto?

You mean the people with the crappiest public transportation are the ones most likely to drive into Manhattan? WOW!

Notice how it doesn't explain which workers need their vehicles for their jobs, whether their final destination is the CBD or if they are just passing through on their way to Jersey, the Bronx or Westchester County, where a lot of the blue-collar jobs were sent, or how long these people's commutes would be if they opted for public transportation. Maybe they'll do another of their nifty charts as soon as they collect that information.

Here's another opinion from the NY Press:

Congestion pricing is dividing those above and below 86th Street


Julie said...

They make a big deal about Weprin's district being able to find its way to the city via public tranportation. In Weprin's district, the LIRR stations have parking lots. Show me where those are at Jamaica, Flushing, Auburndale, Woodside, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of the "You people in Queens should be punished for not living in Manhattan!" attitude coming from this administration.

jeremy said...

I don't feel punished, anon, not by Congestion Pricing. And it seems at a maximum, only 7-8 percent of people COULD feel punished for not living in Manhattan.

The only time I felt punished is by the whole con-ed debacle last year. And the crazy overdevelopment this year. Let's stop that and have better enforcement from the DOB!

Anonymous said...

Are our local politicians fighting for us on this?

Anonymous said...

all this streesblog chart shows is how FEW workers actually commute into the city every day by car. even in the most auto-dependent districts its only like 7 or 8 percent. fug 'em. make them pay $8, put more buses on the road and take a lane away from them for express buses.

JK said...

This is proof that we're blowing the whole thing way out of proportion with loud-mouths making it only appear to be a serious issue.

Anonymous said...

This isn't "proof" of anything. No one asked these people during the survey why they drive into the city or how long their commutes would be by train. (Try getting to Manhattan from southeastern Queens.) Until that gets reported, I am against the congestion tax.

Anonymous said...

Here's another article from that blog we might find interesting:

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should do a poll on how many people drive to the residential communities near transit hubs and take up all the parking so that the locals have nowhere to park.

Ted said...

NYC's next boondoggle: congestion pricing

Ted said...

"...what other major city in the world consists primarily of a barely connected series of islands? I highly doubt the applicability of studies of cities topographically very different than ours."

My Borough is Not a Parking Lot

grvsmth said...

Here you go, Julie:


I don't know about Auburndale, but the LIRR station in Woodside (like Jamaica and Flusing) is well-served by subways and buses, and is walking distance to thousands of homes. Even if there were parking there, it wouldn't make much sense for anyone to drive to it.

Like Jeremy, I don't feel punished for living in Queens. Not by the congestion pricing - but by the Con Ed scandal and by the quality of our post offices.

No, our local politicians aren't fighting for us on this. They're not getting behind congestion pricing!

Finally, here's a working link to the on the London study that shows that no, people don't drive to the border zones and use up all the parking. I'm going to bed now.

Terry said...


What you sent photos of are municipal lots. Many eastern Queens LIRR stations have free parking at the railroad like they have on Long Island, on top of ample street parking. Sending a photo of a lot in Flushing that is going to be developed, contains many spaces with a 4-hour limit, and has no street parking is really pointless. It was meant for shopping, not commuters. As far as Woodside is concerned, many people who now drive would have to take 2 buses to get there. That could be as much as an hour right there and they haven't even gotten on the train yet, and getting on at that point is a crapshoot. There is no bus that serves Auburndale station.

I also don't care that it worked in London. This ain't London.

Anonymous said...

The % of commuters that use cars from the outer boroughs to enter Manhattan is a drop in the bucket!

WHY these people need to use their vehicles is critical info that's missing from the study!

Maybe they're elderly or partially disabled and NEED their cars to get where they're going and don't choose to use those often unreliable access-a-ride mini buses!

Let's see a further detailed break down of this very raw data!

One thing for certain...... this whole issue of congestion pricing is just a smoke screen to cover up something else Bloomberg & Co. is eager to hide!

I wonder what that might be?

Anonymous said...

Sorry if this was already discussed somewhere - just not sure!

What about all the people that drive into Manhattan from Westchester and Connecticut - will they have to pay the congestion fee?

When I was working in mid-town all the people that lived in Westchester and CT drove into Manhattan.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, everyone who enters the zone would have to pay the tax.

Charlie said...

It's 25 cents for two hours at Babylon LIRR station. That's a far cry from $13-14/day at a municipal lot.

There are two lots. The one near the station fills up very early. Don't even try for a spot, even if you leave at 6am. The lot that I use is a block north and a (long) block west of the station, and is set up the same way, although non-Babylon Village residents have to use the far half of the lot. You can probably find a space there at any time of the day.

Queens Crapper said...

The difference between Charlie's lot and the lots in Queens is that the money generated from Charlie's lot goes right back into improvements for his town, while the money from the lots in Queens goes to improving Manhattan.

grvsmth said...

I submitted a long post this morning in response to Terry's comments, but it hasn't shown up yet. Did it get lost?

The gist of it was, "are you really saying that the city should provide low-cost or free parking in eastern Queens for people who now pay a lot of money to park in Manhattan?"

Queens Crapper said...

Sorry, gv, some of the comments get "stuck" in the Blogger system. I have several in there from last year.

To answer your question, I think more people would take public transportation if parking were available near subways or LIRR stations within city limits. The thinking of outer borough residents in remote locations is that if they are going to pay an arm and a leg to park near the train, they might as well just drive in to work.

grvsmth said...

Thanks for the info, Crapper. I'll see if I can find time to repost some more of it.

I agree with you that in general it's better to have people driving from, say, College Point to a train station than to have them driving all the way to Manhattan. However, there are two problems with that scenario.

The first is that the act of building parking lots and other car facilities near a station can actually encourage people to drive to the station instead of walking, cycling or taking a bus. It also encourages people to live driving distance away from the station instead of walking distance or near a bus line. So it might take some cars off of the LIE and bridges, but wind up giving you a net increase in congestion, pollution and safety hazards in the neighborhood.

If you're wondering what that's like, try going for a walk around a station that's designed for commuters to drive to, like Cold Spring Harbor or Oakdale. It's extremely unpleasant for a pedestrian, and I can imagine it gets very congested during rush hours. Now compare that to Woodside, Forest Hills or Auburndale. The availability of government-subsidized parking is a big factor.

The second problem is related: the more people that drive in a neighborhood, the more curb cuts, the higher the speeds, the wider the streets. It kills streetlife and community. If we're going to use that $8 fee to motivate people to take the train into Manhattan instead of driving, we shouldn't build parking lots to motivate them to drive to the train station instead of walking or taking the bus.

JohnnyQueens said...

I live in Queens and I'm in favor of congestion pricing, it will mean more money to improve the transit in Queens. What I was wondering is has anyone seen the article in the Post this past Sunday about Councilmember Weprin receiving 40k from parking lot owners? Makes you wonder why he really is against congestion pricing.