Tuesday, June 12, 2007

So much for 'momentum'...

"Many of the neighborhoods that have the children with asthma are not in the congestion pricing zone," said Silver (D-Manhattan) referring to East Harlem, the South Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which have among the highest childhood asthma rates in the city. "Some of these areas will not benefit."

Key pol questions congestion plan

"In fact, some ... will become parking lots as people drive around the neighborhoods looking for parking spots in order to avoid the congestion-pricing fees," Silver said after a news conference in Albany.

Silver's Skepticism

Were it up to Mayor Bloomberg, state lawmakers would give him the go-ahead and ask questions later. The administration knows how business is done up there; it wants a quick-and-dirty, backroom deal. Why else would it wait until April to announce an extraordinarily complicated road-use charge scheme and then demand it sail through the Legislature by June?

In February, British newspapers reported that congestion in the city, after dropping by 30% in 2003 when the program started, is back to pre-charge levels, despite a fee increase of more than 50% in 2005. Meanwhile, the charge zone has grown larger, spreading westward to areas such as Kensington, Chelsea, and Notting Hill. Manchester is now proposing to charge motorcyclists, which have been exempted from fees...

The experience of London points to a problem with the logic of congestion pricing. If the charges work by encouraging more people to take public transportation and deterring frivolous trips to the city, the reduction in traffic would make driving a more attractive option. The number of motorists would increase until equilibrium is reached. The failure to reduce traffic encourages city officials to hike up the fees until they cause enough pain, making the program an increasingly regressive tax.

Also, another aspect of the congestion pricing plan was mentioned in the Daily News:

Bloomberg eying resident-only parking permits

Mayor Bloomberg is exploring the possibility of creating resident-only parking permits to help neighborhoods that may be flooded by drivers trying to avoid the fees that he proposed for entering parts of Manhattan.

City officials acknowledged yesterday that motorists would be charged an annual fee to acquire special resident-only permits, and the fee would be "in line" with similar permits in other cities around the country.

So, here are our choices. Pay to:

a) drive into the city
b) park near the subway
c) not move the car at all

This plan is sounding better and better.


Anonymous said...

Sure eastern Queens, you drive out development into western Queens, and drive thourgh western Queens to get into the city.

Hmm. What is worse, you taking up parking spots (which is waking up western Queens to the evil of development) or western Queens breathing in all your @#$%^&**$ car fumes.

Let me think about that ....

grvsmth said...

"So, here are our choices. Pay to:

a) drive into the city
b) park near the subway
c) not move the car at all"

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Somebody's paying for the space your car takes up. If it's not parked off-street, then I don't want to be the one paying through my income taxes. You want the car, you pay for it.

jeremy said...

Why the sudden crankiness over congestion pricing? Sure, it's a bad idea whose time as come, but the effects of congestion pricing are spectacular. Just check with the Economist Magazine's one year later article on congestion pricing in London - they're thrilled with it, and London's even more car-necessary than NYC. The Tube stations are few, far between, and spendy. You'll pay, my friend, and pay dearly when you have that heart attack or stroke in Manhattan and you're caught in gridlock before you can get to the hospital. I was ambivalent about CgP before, but now I'm foursquare behind it. Usage fee's not a tax, and as long as this money doesn't get too siphoned by corrupt NYS institutions, I'll be very happy with the pricing.

That said, we have to get better rail-connections to the parts of Queens that don't have it.

Shelly Silver has stood in the way of the right thing to do for years. And he's personally robbed this city of half a billion dollars when he repealed the commuter tax. When are Manhattanites going to wake up to this miserable excuse for a legislator?

Forest Hills 72 said...

I think what the Crapper's concerns are (and I know I have them too) is that there are better ways to reduce congestion than simply reassigning it to neighborhoods outside Manhattan. We don't want the pollution either.

If you hold London up as the end-all of traffic planning, you have to take into account the increased traffic in the outlying areas. So much so that some of them have tried to implement their own congestion charge to keep others out. I don't want to live in a city where we all nickel and dime each other to enter different neighborhoods.

Traffic is unbeable everywhere. Something has to be done. Let's talk about enforcing double parking rules. Let's talk about distributing yellow cabs outside Mahattan so people can hail a ride to the nearest subway/LIRR. Let's talk about using the 2nd Ave Subway billions to resurrect the Far Rockaway LIRR line.

About that costly 2nd Ave line, why don't those people just take the many 2nd Ave buses? From what I hear about congestion pricing, buses are the best way to travel on Earth.

mazeartist said...

I hope that The Crapper never has a medical emergency in Manhattan, because the ambulance will be stuck in gridlock before it reaches him, and it will be stuck in traffic on its way to the hospital, too.

Does Shelly think that suburban commuters are all stupid enough to park their cars in Astoria or Brooklyn, when they know both places are already crowded?

Shelly already took away the commuter tax and torpedoed the 2012 Olympics, he will go down in history for obstructing great ideas that could help our city.

Anonymous said...

Klause said:

I like the resident parking permit idea. Afterall, there are 400,000 out of state plates on the streets of New York every day.How can you be a resident of New York City with Georgia, North Carolina,Virginia or Florida plates on your vehicle.Just enforcing the State Law should clear up the congestion.

Anonymous said...

This guy is even uglier than Councilman Dennis Pinky Gallagher.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion of implementing all of these feeble retrofit programs like congestion pricing are living proof that NYC is already overbuilt, over-choked, overpriced etc. and crawling to the max with its resident ants trying to get by!

I'm afraid little can be done to mitigate this problem.....but a moratorium on building until a real impartial study is done on the future of our metropolis!

But greed will prevent this and NYC is on a death trip mission to overbuild.....become top heavy..... then eventually topple like a house of cards!

Don said...

George was right many posts ago. The concentration should be on how we can get less people to live here, not more. More people does not make a successful city. Rather, it may spell the death of one.

Anonymous said...

A very early experiment in animal behavior supports the last poster.

Cram enough rats into a confined space and they begin to exhibit aggressive behavior and fight each other for food , living and sleeping quarters!

Any resemblance to our over building overcrowding trend in NYC ?

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how many of those in attendance at many i.e. Korean "community" churches have plates from the "Garden State"! They eat up all the parking spots available on my block!

I think resident plates (even more specific neighborhood tags attached to them) might be a good thing to try out!

Taxpayer said...

Who actually trusts that the tax dollars collected from this "Keep Manhattan Pure of Little People" tax will EVER be spent on improving mass transit?

Who actually believes that the "solution" to the impurity of us entering Manhattan is the imposition of a tax?

Are there any politicians with the imagination and willpower to devise a solution to traffic jams that involve no taxes?

London failed. No matter what this Commissar is saying. It was a dismal failure almost before it was implemented.

The tax was hiked repeatedly, and traffic increased anyway.

With all the overdevelopment, why not develop major business zones throughout the boroughs so that people have employment nearer to home?

Use of computers has just about eliminated the need to even get out of PJs in the morning to start work.

How about moving the theaters and restaurants out of Manhattan and into the boroughs. Over the years, it has been the Commissars who have been promoting tourism with these as the attractions. Oops. Now we're treading on the toes of the "Precious People". The Commissar will not like this.

We don't even have to consider this moronic proposal until after it's been completely thought through, a task for which the current commissar is unequipped.