Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why congestion pricing is a complete joke

Let's just use my home turf as an example:

Short-Term Congestion Pricing Transit Improvements for the 30th District that would be lost without congestion pricing:
• Rehabilitate Metropolitan Avenue Station, Fresh Pond Road Station, Forest Avenue Station, and Seneca Avenue Station. (M Line)
• Structural improvements from Cypress Hills to 121st St (J/Z Line)
• 12 Buses on New Middle Village-Manhattan Bus Route
• 2 Additional Buses for the Q18 Route
• 2 Additional Buses for the Q39 Route
• 2 Additional Buses for the Q54 Route

They've been "rehabilitating" these stations for years. Metropolitan Avenue was recently completely redone. Middle Village already has an express bus to Manhattan. What about the other neighborhoods in District 30 that don't have one?
Two additional buses on each of 3 local lines is pretty damn lame. They already come every 10 minutes or less during rush hour. Is this the best that the MTA can come up with?

And then there's this: critics of congestion pricing are pointing out, the $1 billion is not a new source of money but would be taken out of capital funds that the authority has already set aside for the state under its 10-year capital projects plan, which was approved in December 2006.

"The use of Port Authority funds is a sleight of hand to disguise flaws in the plans," a Democratic assemblyman of Queens, Michael Gianaris, said.

You don't say? Well, I heard it's working in London...

Londoners could pay $50 a day to drive in city

Oops, never mind.

Don't drink Bloomie's Kool-Aid, folks.

Photo from Village Voice


blOomberg sucks said...

Doomberg is the worst mayor since Lindsay. No heart, no personality, no sense of doing what's right.

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg is power hungry and ruthless. He will do anything to get Congestion Pricing passed.

I don't respect a man that won't own up to his mistakes. He is on a mission with this one folks.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that its a complete success in London.

People against it talk about parking a car?

You have to be making a big joke.

How about breathing in fumes. How about an emergency vehicle stuck in gridlock.

Look, you can get after the public officials. Instead of wasting your taxes on city planning, connecting developers to the power grid, and tax subsidies, how about (gasp!) insisting they spend it on you - like in mass transit.

The problem is you cannot control your officials.

Get real.

Anonymous said...

Transportation around the country is in for big changes. The interstate highway will no longer be subsidized - watch as the start to impose tolls.

A Better NYC said...

Congestion Pricing is nothing more than a tax.

The city could care less about reducing traffic.

If reducing traffic is the true objective then city officials should simply stop vehicals from entering Manhattan.

I guess this solution is too logical.

Anonymous said...

Never trust someone who tells you "it's good for for the city" , it is usually a lie. We are such sheep and accept most things government tell us.
Does anyone remember those power plants that were suddenly being built in Queens? We were told that they would help alleviate the stress on an already stressed power infrastructure. The year those power plants went into operation , western queens suffered from so many brownouts.
What assurances do we have that the City and MTA will use the money to build and improve mass transportation? We don't have any.

Anonymous said...

A tax raise is a tax raise, even when it's disguised as congestion pricing (Bloomberg) or as a rollup of previously lowered taxes (Hillbama).

Either way, you pay more.

Anonymous said...

My wife spotted a comment
on another blog site
that sums it up simply.....

"The real cause of congestion
is Bloomberg"!


Anonymous said...

Businesses in central London also have mixed views on the planned increase.

"If you have something unique people will still travel," said art dealer Karen Yuen. However, she said "we won't know for a few more years" whether or not the environmental targets of the plan are attainable.

Sounds like they haven't seen an improvement in pollution yet. I thought this was a major reason for its passage.

Anonymous said...

Congestion pricing is something akin to what comes out of Bloombergs nose and hit Queens homeowners in the face - splat!

I pay the city to live here not restrict me, take away my right of freedom of movement in my own backyard. Building a moat around Manhattan preventing all NYC residents from access should also include congestion pricing for residents within the zone to pay the same to access Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Equal access or equal pricing for all NYC residents or no congestion pricing at all.

Oh,the best solution - no congestion pricing plan at all, it does not work, it's a bad plan - why chase people away from NYC and in a bad recesion?

A bad plan, by egotistical Mayor desperate to leave an ill advised legacy project to imortalize his bone headed schemes while we are stuck with the bills?

Anonymous said...

Those against is are just talking about emotions without offering facts, substantive arguments, or countering propricing advocates who outline the problems it will solve/ All you say is you don't like Bloomberg, its a tax, it will not help mass transit, etc etc etc.

Oh yes, its bad because you will not be able to park your car (thanks, but the new 6 story building accross the street from me is swell, if I listen to the politicans and read the papers.) I agree because THAT will help 'solve' the parking problem from congestion pricing.

The botton line is you folks DON'T want it because you will have to expand transit in your communities and you know that once you do, you know you will have to then take your share of development.

Anonymous said...

I guess parking your car is more important than your kid's health from auto pollution.

You accept anythng the poltician says to you.

And they wonder why people laugh at Queens.

Julie said...

How is a negligible reduction in car pollution going to make a difference? 80% of the pollution in this city comes from buildings, and there is no congestion pricing scheme for that. War against cars and not against overdevelopment is really not effective at all. Bloomberg is shifting the attention away from his rampant overdevelopment scheme which is choking NYC.

Anonymous said...

Propricing proponents have made substantive arguments showing it will solve problems? Every one of them has been debunked - and by the city's own statistics. Face it, this is nothing but a money grab boondoggle.

keepin' it real said...

Exhaust from cars isn't even that harmful. Bloomberg is making it out to be like Agent Orange, when it is probably no worse for you than smoking a cigarette or two a year. Big deal!

Anonymous said...

Most Queens residents, especially smart ones who have thought about it, favor this plan. Most Queens residents do not drive into Manhattan during weekdays. Most of the fees will be paid by suburbanites and the funds will help improve mass transit in Queens. Of course, you all are just knee-jerk against everything. You probably were against the smoking ban too.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have stats to back up that auto pollution is not bad?

Ah, buildings give off more pollution than cars? Eh, what?!?!

Taxpayer said...

This is a new tax dreamed up by the lazy, unimaginative lackeys of the Commissar.

My neighborhood is near the subway. Every morning cars from elsewhere prowl for parking, so they can use the subway.

Drivers block driveways, hydrants, crossings, and otherwise park illegally because they have no consideration for "strangers".

And, that's with no congestion tax.

With that tax, drivers will park anywhere - on lawns, in schoolyards - just to board the mass transit that will NEVER be improved with ANY money collected from this tax. Even after the tax is quadrupled in a few years.

Oh, yeah! The Commissar knows that this is true, but lies about it anyway.

Queens Crapper said...

Ah, buildings give off more pollution than cars? Eh, what?!?!

It was summarized nicely by the NY Times:

"In fact, most big New York buildings, both commercial and residential, are wasting thousands of dollars a year on energy, the city says. Energy use by buildings accounts for almost 80 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, and residential buildings for about a third of that. These gases are released in creating the energy used to heat, cool and light the buildings, as well as to run myriad household appliances and gadgets."

Phil said...

Hmmm, so the city is giving tax breaks to developers to build these polluting skyscrapers, but stiffing the little guy who needs to drive into work or to make deliveries? What a shame and a sham.

Queens Crapper said...


Page 7 is an interesting read for those who need to be enlightened and spoonfed.

Anonymous said...

Buildings are giving off heat, which is a little different than auto exhaust.

The biggerst pollution sources in this city are cars, power plants, and the airports.

Again, all these arguements are based on emotion.

I will remember that the next time I see an ambulance stuck in traffic in Manhattan.

And in our community, also next to a subway, it is a lot more difficult to find a parking spot an its all from illegal conversions and development.

And since they are talking about double digit growth in the forseeable future, how is this parking argument meaningful for me?

It sounds like something dreamed up by someone in Bayside.

Again, western Queens has a lot more in common with Manhattan than Bayside. The Bayside arguements are meaningless to us.

Anonymous said...

Check out the part about pollution:

I cannot believe these arguement in Queens over a @##^ parking space.

We are talking about cancer for Christ-sake.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of the extremist opposition against congestion pricing. CONGESTION PRICING WILL BENEFIT MASS TRANSIT, FOR GOD'S SAKE! The plan would benefit Queens more than it would Manhattan. I'm TIRED of the fact that our mass transit system is a shambles. Opposition to improving mass transit is evidence of pure ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Government report on diesal pollution in NYC:

anyone want to do research on the nature of pollution in NYC?

Queens Crapper said...


Yes, and developers will put affordable housing in their luxury condo developments. They'll also build parks. I see no mass transit improvements for Maspeth, which is underserved by transit now, just a few extra buses on already established bus lines. Where are the BRT lines to Maspeth? How will my commute improve? Once I get to Woodside or LIC how will I get on the trains that I can't board now because they're full of people? You can't run any more trains on the 7 or E lines and they're about to build up Jamaica and Flushing even more.

Anonymous said...

It will be successful in stopping traffic, all right. Trucks will have to pay $21 to drive there, meaning the cost of goods will go through the roof and people will head for the hills.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are so stubborn and pessimistic about mass transit! Maybe then there will be money to build/extend subway lines in Queens. Open your eyes!

Anonymous said...

"Some of you are so stubborn and pessimistic about mass transit! Maybe then there will be money to build/extend subway lines in Queens. Open your eyes!"

And you trust the MTA and City to come through on those promises. Like the MTA has never lied to commuters before.

Anonymous said...

The truth of the fact is that congestion pricing is being pushed for two reasons:
1) The residents of Manhattan(the vast majority of them extremly wealthy) are sick of those little people from Queens and other places driving outside of their front door.
2) To make more money for the MTA around $350 million per year and by making that money they can sell another $400 million worth of bonds so they can fund capital improvements.

Well, screw the Manhattanites as for the MTA the problem is that most of that money will not go to making it easier for people from the outer boroughs to not use their cars!!
All that is budgeted for the outer four bouroughs to make their commute easier if the plan is passed are a nearly tripling of express bus service for those living in eastern Queens and an additional LIRR stop in Sunnyside. Thats it. Nothing for Southern Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island.
Instead we will have more commuters to fight with to commute to work each morning thus making our commute longer.
So where is all that money going to go?
Believe it or not, not to the 2nd Avenue subway but to the LIRR East side access project.
Instead of congestion pricing, I remember something that worked very well in the eighties - The commuter tax!!! Charging a tax to all those people who commute from LI, Westchester, Connecticut and NJ to use all our services without paying taxes to NYC.
I dont think my commute should be longer and more cramped so people from LI can land on the East Side of Manhattan rather then the West Side.

Anonymous said...

I was a big fan of the commuter tax. Million of people decend on our city each day using the roads, subways, public services and then hightail it out to their suburban homes. Why shouldn't they pay their fair share? Bring back the commuter tax. Until then I'm happy with congestion pricing. Give residential parking permits to every city resident and let the fun begin.

Anonymous said...

we're heading into a recession, businesses are folding, and this boob wants to institute a tax which will cause more of them to fold. Genius.

Anonymous said...


If congestion pricing goes through, the cost of this tax will trickle down to us all in higher prices for everything.

The MTA will ALWAYS cry for more money no matter what. Do you really think $350 million is going to go towards Mass Transit....maybe in your dreams!

zemilideias said...

I haven't heard anyone talking about improving the G train so people can get from Queens to Brooklyn without going through Manhattan by mass transit...

Anonymous said...

Yes, BRING BACK the Communer Tax and REMEMBER who voted it down in Albany - some of them are now running for City Council or reelection in Albany.

Anonymous said...

A read the pollution study the moderator suggested.


The thrust of the 'pollution' the study focuses is on the CO2 and heat emissions which contribute to global warming, and is a prep for his focus on a 'green city.'

In that sense, you are correct.

But I do not know of anyone who died from those forms of pollution.

Autos, and power plants, emit dangerous hydrocarbons that create breathing problems, cancer, and all sorts of nasty stuff.

This will be decreased by congestion pricing.

I appreciate your concerns about parking, but this IS a minor issue when these other points are put on the table.

And eastern and central Queens, its your fault that you do not have good transportation system. You resisted it for years, and you have to get after your politicians to divert your taxes away from city planning and other development into providing good services for your community, like expanding the subway network and more buses.

The population is growing and we have to do something. We will soon reach a point of physical impossibilty to absorb any more vehicles or comuters.

(you did a nice job of downzoning your back yard, but look at that big building 5 blocks from your house)

This is the failure of spot downzoning.

How about downing the entire boro?

Anonymous said...

How about upzoning it? Queens need to stop being run like Nassau county or some suburban enclave and recognize that it is part of a larger city.

Agree with the previous poster that eastern and central Queens, do not have good transportation as a direct result of fears of the development that access to good transportation brings. Now those chickens have come home to roost. You are cut off from the city you one one hand want to be part off when you need to get to work and on the other don't want to be part of when it comes to development and infrastructure. You guys made your bed...

Anonymous said...

How about upzoning it? Queens need to stop being run like Nassau county or some suburban enclave and recognize that it is part of a larger city.

Um I think Queens needs to be run the way the TAXPAYERS and VOTERS that live there want it run.

What a refreshing thought!

Anonymous said...

If they want people to ride subways and buses instead of driving cars, why don't they just slash the price of mass transit? The could put a 10% city income tax surcharge on those earning over $200,000 per year and use the money to fund lower mass transit fees. It's so simple, am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so generous with my tax dollars. Why should I subsidize your commute? You want to make Queens a suburban enclave, so now you pay for the additional $$ to commute like a suburbanite. Besides if the commuter tax is not enought to get you on mass transit, why would you get on with lower fares? A while back the water taxi stopped service and you all laughed with glee. Allow me to return the favor.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Crapper link to the Daily News article about how London's air quality improved significantly since it instituted congestion pricing?

Anonymous said...

"Why didn't Crapper link to the Daily News article about how London's air quality improved significantly since it instituted congestion pricing?"

Yeah I trust the daily news editorial staff to be fair. They want us to put the public trust in Bloomberg and the MTA. We are going to trust these guys to improve mass transit. If you believe that I have a bridge to sell.

Well I shouldn't be to hard on the Daily News. They also reported some interesting things on this Sundays paper. According to the article, congestion pricing was simply a public relations win. The level of congestion in London has not improved. They barely mentioned the fact that businesses in London have suffered since congestion pricing.

Anonymous said...

Simple reason. Not part of his agenda... Half truths and propaganda are Queens Crap raison d'etre.

Anonymous said...

"Why should I subsidize your commute?"

That's really the dumbest argument ever since a subway or bus ride is almost 100% subsidized.

Anonymous said...

what are the hidden costs in driving cars? i can bet it is more than 50 bucks/day ... get out of your cars and ride public transit. you are so concerned about development, one of the biggest crapfests in the design of our urban fabric in america has been the automobile!

the biggest problem with queens current (and past) development is the insistence on the suburban model (aka autocrapfest!) ... start having to pay for the crap on a daily basis and everyone might be able to breath cleaner air, safely walk and bike in our neighborhoods because fewer people will be inclined to get in their private automobile. i think a great number of us in queens would like to be able to move about without fear of cell phone driving zombies crying that they actually have to pay to use a resource that's going to be gone in about 20 years when the chinese and the indians really get busy with their version of american middle class suburban hell.

get over it, pay the true cost of a car addicted culture. if you can't kick your addiction please be quiet if you wish to damage our earth, our water, and our neighborhoods with your continued behavior.

Queens Crapper said...

Maybe if there were real improvements to public transportation proposed in my neighborhood other than a couple of additional buses a day, I'd support the plan. But as it stands, we'll get nothing and pay more for goods once the $21/day fee on trucks is enacted. I am not getting into work any faster after congestion pricing. I have to let 3 or 4 trains go by in the morning before I can squeeze on one now, and no new trains can be added because they come every 2 minutes or so as it is. The anticipated tsunami of new riders predicted to happen should con pricing be enacted will only make the commuting experience worse, not better. Why not limit the cabs that cause all the traffic like they limit non-polluting pedicabs? Because Manhattanites want to travel in cars and not be forced to take the subway. So don't tell me I can't drive mine.

Anonymous said...

A vote for congestion pricing is a vote for the ethnic cleansing of Queens.

Anonymous said...

A vote for congestion pricing is a vote for more development.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't congestion pricing for the entire city? I mean have you ever driven on Hillside Avenue, Grand Avenue, Broadway, Roosevelt Avenue, Grand Concourse, etc? They're local streets and all are parking lots!

Anonymous said...

Well said Queens Crapper.

Anonymous said...

Because Manhattanites want to travel in cars and not be forced to take the subway. So don't tell me I can't drive mine.

Hey, they have the same problem as Queens. I know a friend who lives on the upper East Side. Guess what? with all the development, they can't get on the train, too!

So, if things are this bad, why arn't people writing to the papers, making noise at Community Board meetings, and getting after your elected officials.

At the rate Queens is growing, if you get the pricing or not, it will be soon impossible to travel.

It took congestion pricing to get you up in arms. Just when would you guys have said something?

Oh, like the frog that gets cooked at the water is slowly turned up, things just gradually get worse and worse and no one says a thing.

Queens Crapper said...

We've been saying something on this blog for more than a year now.

Anonymous said...

What have you done about it - aside from bitch anonymously on this site of course.

Taxpayer said...

Do politicians tell the truth when it comes to using our hard earned money?

Remember the promise they made about Lotto earnings? All the money was to go right into the schools. Everything would be improved. New textbooks, modern equipment, well equipped facilities, well paid teachers ... .

Instantaneously, the proceeds from Lotto did go to the schools. Then, that same amount was SUBTRACTED from the education budget and instantaneously spent on anything but education.

So, now the successors of these liars are promising that the congestion tax dollars will instantaneously go into the MTA. Then, the SUBTRACTION and drunken spending will begin.

Oh, yeah, then the liars will say that auto's don't pollute after all, and announce the need for a new ____ "pricing" policy to solve the newly manufactured problem.

Queens Crapper said...

"What have you done about it - aside from bitch anonymously on this site of course."

More than you'll ever know. Expect an announcement on the Huang House soon.

Anonymous said...

I drive a commercial vehicle and since they started putting those Muni-meters I have to pay $2.00 (For upto one hour minimum) every time I park my car. There are times that I am shelling out $10.00 or more a day whenever I am in Midtown. Now, they want to add these another $8.00 a day to these hardworking people? No wonder people are getting out of NYC. It will only benefit the super rich.