Monday, July 9, 2007

Congestion tax unfair to middle class

"I could not recommend the bill presented to us. It doesn't do the things the mayor says he wants to do," said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who heads a committee examining Bloomberg's legislation.

Pol puts brakes on congest plan as study slams it

Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan is unfair to middle-class New Yorkers, says a study out today - as Albany obstacles threaten to derail the proposal.

Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx drivers make about 24% of the trips into the congestion-pricing area, but would pay 47% of the fees - even though their average salary is $46,000, the study says.

Manhattan drivers, though, would make 72% of the trips into the pricing zone and pay just 42% of the fees - even with a $74,000 average salary. Trips within Manhattan would cost just $4, and taxis would be exempt.

Report Recommends Rejecting Plan on City Traffic

Mr. Brodsky, who has been a leading skeptic about the proposal, has already said the city’s own estimates showed that the plan would create enough space in the congestion zone to increase the average speed by only 0.6 miles per hour, suggesting higher tolls would have to be imposed to further decrease the number of cars.

“Within a few years, the fee in London went from five pounds to eight pounds, about 60 percent, and witnesses at our hearings said that would happen in New York,” Mr. Brodsky said. “And the second thing is that the mayor of London has said you must have mass transit improvements in place first, and the city doesn’t have that.”


Taxpayer said...

" ... the mayor said. “To leave this half a billion dollars just sitting on the table would be absolutely ridiculous.”"

And, that's what this is all about. Getting his hands on this half billion dollars.

He has zero interest in improving mass transit or air quality; those are the lies.

jeremy said...

Can someone please please please tell me who wrote this fershlugginer report?! Who commissioned it? It sounds like it's a bunch of Brodskyites.

Half a billion dollars goes a long way to building a GD East Side Subway, "taxpayer." If you were really angry about taxes, you'd support more usage fees like congestion pricing.

Air quality, I'm sure, is a bit of a stretch, but either Manhattanites and people who drive there (as well as people who take cabs and ride buses) pay BY their slowed-down infrastructure, or they pay to improve the infrastructure. I prefer the latter.

Anonymous said...

Here's Brodsky's lie: that he cares about anyone "low and middle-income." The vast majority of low and middle class commuters, whether from Queens or from Brodsky's district in Westchester, take transit.

"Public interest" Brodsky is only fighting for the interests of who gave him $16,700 over the last five years. Crapper, for someone who rags on corrupt politicians so much, you sure love this schmuck!

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, I never heard of him before today. Maybe the Streetsblog people would like to link to the $3 million in funds that their side of the issue has spent so far to lobby (badly) that congestion pricing is the best thing since sliced bread.

Anonymous said...

This report is colloquial and without legitimacy or method. Whether or not you support the pricing plan, you cannot take an exclusive report from a partisan's office as the official scoop.

There are Environmental Impact Statements for such things.

Queens Crapper said...

"There are Environmental Impact Statements for such things."

WOW now that was the best laugh I've had in quite some time! I'm going to get you in contact with the Atlantic Yards people.

Anonymous said...

The city's own estimate says there will only be a small decrease in traffic and pollution. But I guess we shouldn't believe that either, and drink the Kool Aid dispensed by a bunch of pro-pricing lobbyists.

jeremy said...

Yeah, but Crapper, come one. No one is mentioning the author of this "study." It sounds like it's a "study" aka not a study at all, but a privately funded opinion paper and entirely funded by Brodsky and his bunch of upstate Democrats and their constituents.

Why does every paper mention this "study" without mentioning authorship? Why does every paper talk in the passive voice about this? It sounds like this "study" is just a press release in want of actual "study."

I call bullshit.

Queens Crapper said...

I have a copy of the study if anyone wants it. Just shoot me an e-mail.

jeremy said...

"But I guess we shouldn't believe that either, and drink the Kool Aid dispensed by a bunch of pro-pricing lobbyists."

How about my Kool aid? I'm not a lobbyist. How else you gonna replace that which Shelly Silver stole from NYC and our MTA?

If Shelly wants to bring back the commuter tax, I might listen, but he ain't gonna.

Queens Crapper said...

As Deputy Mayor Doctoroff
stated, “…we expect that it will go forward without an environmental impact statement because what we’re doing is, we’re doing a pilot.” The Mayor added, “what we’re proposing, in terms of congestion pricing at least, is a pilot project.”

So much for the EIS.

Julie said...

I don't see a problem with being cynical about it. Let's not forget that Lotto was started in order to pay for schools and they somehow figured out how to get around that.

jeremy said...

"I don't see a problem with being cynical about it. Let's not forget that Lotto was started in order to pay for schools and they somehow figured out how to get around that."

Which is precisely why Shelly and his band of Assembly Democrats don't want NYC issuing its own taxes against upstate Democrats. They want to dole around state crap for themselves.

Sure, be skeptical... but cynical? 500 million dollars is too high a price to pay for cynicism. Just too high a price. Usage fees <> taxes.

grvsmth said...

Thanks for the study, Crapper - someone forwarded me a copy. Here's my critique.

Anonymous said...

To a mega municipality like NYC a 1/2 billion dollars is just ice cream'll be "pissed away" in an hour for somebody's pet project !

Now offer me a quad-jillion dollars and I might think about it for awhile !

Anonymous said...

Congestion pricing is a bad thing. Take away all the police and court officer's park wherever you want anytime windshield dressings and most of the streets would be cleared in Manhattan. The city govenment is the only one who will benefit from congestion pricing ......Too many negatives to mention. There has to be a better way!