Saturday, July 7, 2007

QCC vs commuter tax


Statement by Queens Civic Congress President Sean M. Walsh:

Supporters of the Congestion Tax scheme admitted LAST MONTH to spending THREE MILLION DOLLARS to foist their scheme to charge New Yorkers $8 ($21 for truckers) to drive into Manhattan below 86th Street. Now, with a new glossy mailing slated to arrive in many of our mailboxes, they try to paint Queens civic leaders and others who stand against this tax as the devil for opposing their scheme. I for one resent that. I know my fellow civic leaders feel the same way. This 'buy the fear' campaign is nothing less than despicable.

Their latest promotional mailing features a stock photo of a girl clutching an asthma inhaler, with text stating: "She cannot hold her breath waiting for Albany to act."

In fact, our state legislators and Governor face no need to act.

A July 5, 2007 Daily News article disclosed the ad is being sent to 350,000 families by a business lobbying group that represents many of Manhattan's wealthiest and elitist companies,” explained the QCC President. The flyer says that “over 300,000 New York City kids have asthma - a disease made worse by air pollution and traffic congestion.”

The Congestion Tax does not in any way target traffic in the New York City neighborhoods where youngsters suffer from asthma. The South Bronx, East Harlem, South Jamaica, LI City/Astoria, Bed-Stuy all lie outside Manhattan south of 86th Street.

The Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization of over one hundred civic and community associations from across the entire borough of the two million plus residents of Queens county, will not stand idly by and allow tax proponents to link their scheme with a cure for asthma.

Tax scheme supporters hope this mailing will induce our neighbors to call our state legislators to go back into a special session in Albany July 16. Yet, no federal funds sit in any account that New York can tap if our legislators would impose this regressive tax. U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the relevant House subcommittee, made clear to our state leaders that Congress authorized no federal funds for this project and the US DOT Secretary lacks any dollars to fund this scheme.

Nothing requires the State Legislature to rush to act by July 16. The USDOT's Federal Register notice indicates clearly malleable timelines to qualify for funding.

This Congestion Tax would take $2 of every $5 collected to support the scheme, rather than to improve transit; that's grossly inefficient as a proposed revenue source.

This scheme also offers no tradeoff in immediate or near-term mass transit improvements for city commuters; in fact, the MTA admits its system lacks capacity to handle the projected 90,000 riders the congestion tax scheme envisions diverting to rail, subways and buses.

No money. No deadline. No sense. Why then the haste to act? We tell our state legislators: “No to the Congestion Tax”.


Anonymous said...

Move on guys, eastern Queens doesn't even wag the dog in Queens, let alone the city.

Traffic is growing rapidly. You have no choice - there is simply no more room for all those cars. Besides, cars are the greatest source of pollution and we are tired of breathing in all those fumes.

Now if you guys want to do something useful, then stop development in the city, not just your backyard. If you do, you can perhaps buy a few more years to drive your little cars.

But seriously, you have never discussed the issue of emergency response vs convenience.

As someone who works in Manhattan, I want emergency services to arrive promptly, not be stuck in clogged streets because some yoyo wants to drive in from Nayside.

Anonymous said...

Traffic is growing because mass transit sucks. The congestion TAX will do nothing to aleviate that. The whole asthma routine smacks of the WMDs offensive that the Prez used to ramp up the war in Iraq. They are both lies. The areas with the bad asthma rates are all outside of the CBD and will actually see increased traffic as people drive into those areas to find parking.

You're a tool and a dolt to buy any of this from the billionaires who see congestion pricing as a way to buy their limos and towncars more space in manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Pa-lese, the increased traffic canard stands right up there with all the clubhouse lies on Sunnyside Gardens Landmarking.

The folks in Eastern Queens do not want good mass transit, because, remember the old saw, electrification brings Democrats.

Tough. We should all share in the burden of development and not just glibly stick it in one area.

You can and should expand public transportation in the eastern part of the borough. Look how many studies were done to extend the 7 line out to Nassau. It never happened becuase they didn't want it. So now everyone is supposed to suffer?

Ban cars. I am tired of breathing in those fumes and frankly now the advantages of western Queens begin to kick in. Remember, we are closer to Mahattan than most of Queens. Getting to Hunter is a breeze, St Johns or Queens College a pain. We might have lousy zoning, but got great tranportation.

And believe me, you are not going to find too many people driving into western Queens for parking.

We have none.

Anonymous said...

You're an out of touch pinhead. First of all, you're going to be one of the ones priced out of Queens. But you're too dumb to realize it. Look around you. Can you afford any of those new luxury condos? They're not building up western Queens for the likes of you.

That's going to leave eastern Queens. Good luck getting to work. You'll be one of the few that will deserve the rotten commute.

As for Queens not having it because they didn't want it, as I recall, NONE of the expansion plan in the 60's was built in Brooklyn or in the Bronx or in Manhattan (save for the tunnel to nowhere). How does that jibe with your theories?

Let me know when you're either priced out of your current apt. or the eviction proceedings begin. I'd like to stop by to get a good laugh. Irony is always funny.

Anonymous said... (obviously) Astoria resident (anonymous #1 poster) Astoria Hospital is in Astoria the last time that I looked....and that's your hospital for emergency services ! It's an easy 5 or 10 minute trip by ambulance with no Manhattan style traffic snarls ! don't like its 'butcher shop" reputation and would prefer New York Hospital on the west bank of the East River ?

I don't blame you !

Anonymous said...

Ignore the words of Horace Greely !

In this case my advice to you is:

"MOVE EAST YOUNG MAN" (to eastern Queens or out of state) !

Look at that cresting wave !
The over development Tsunami is about to hit Queens western shore ! It's move, swim or sink !

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, the civic congress. Now there's another do nothing organization. Oh yes, once a year they provide a forum for the politicos and in-between, issue statements. Do any of their committees ever hold meetings?

Anonymous said...

Let's be real and stop the insanity!
The 7 line is crowded as is right now. Sometimes you need to wait for 2 locals to be able to fit in the 3rd. Nobody can tell me that this will not become worse. I've been taking the #7 for 20 years. What's MTA going to do? Run another subway line???? We only have this train in the Sunnyside area. Where do people think that all those coming by car from further in Queens will be parking? As close to the bridge as possible. Being so close to the city prices here are becoming astronomical. With the addition of the Aris Lofts at almost 600k for a one bedroom
the LIC area will soon become untouchable.

Taxpayer said...

The Commissar calls it "Congestion Pricing". Non-Manhattanites call it "Congestion Taxing".

The Soviets call it a Travel Ban.

Even the Commissar always knew that the "Proposed" $8 would quickly rocket to $20, $25 as the ban works to keep Manhattan free of "Little People", and the politicians dream of new spending plans.

And, the mass transit system? Why bother to improve it? Only Little People use it. It IS call MASS transit, ya know, for a reason!

Remain quiet now, and, later, you'll have to be silent!

Anonymous said...

I don't see the part of the Queens Civic Congress's statement where they disclose that their own, pseudo-populist campaign is financed by the parking garage owners.

Anonymous said...

Does Sean Walsh ever spend a week in Queens ?

We hear that he's so busy working (?) or living (?) in Washington D.C. (???) doing whatever he does there most of the time !

If this is can he be the president of an organization that purports itself to be "representing" the whole (not just Douglaston & the East) of Queens ?

Maybe it's time for QCC to elect a new president !!!

Anonymous said...

"First of all, you're going to be one of the ones priced out of Queens. But you're too dumb to realize it."

The overdevelopment in western Queens is in part cause the folks in eastern Queens push it on us with their downzoning.

All communities should share in this disastrous devolution of our communities. Landmarking and downzoning is only avail. for communities with 'juice' and both should be overturned until a system that permits everyone to enjoy its benefits.

And as to eastern Queens, the land of Vicky and Claire and the like? No thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Travel Ban" my ass, "taxpayer"! If that's a travel ban, then I'm banned for life from traveling to Manhattan, since I don't even own a car!

Anonymous said...

Soon.... Commissar Bloomberg will be issuing passports to outer borough residents which will require stamping upon entering or exiting the golden isle of Manhattan !