NYC Congestion Plan: Eat Carrots and Carry A Big Stick

Donal Fagan
by Donal Fagan
nyc congestion plan eat carrots and carry a big stick

In the recently released ' Kheel Plan' for New York City, professional arbitrator, environmentalist and social policy gadfly Theodore W Kheel explicitly, and repeatedly, refers to free public transit as the carrot, and congestion pricing as the stick. His free transit plan seeks to reduce traffic in the City's central business district by a third, thus shortening travel times both for those that do still drive, and for those taking the bus or subway. Lanes no longer needed for cars would be given over to bicycle commuting. Many of the plan's goals are worthy and the means may be effective in the short run. But Kheel ignores the possibility of a huge surge in public transport use, and City drivers' unwillingness to leave their carcoons. In any case, Kheel's financially liberated transit commuters would have to rely on "additional policing" to deal with the vandals and criminals currently deterred by fares. Good luck with that.

Join the conversation
4 of 13 comments
  • Brownie Brownie on Feb 11, 2008

    I should also add that Manhattan bus service should improve substantially from reduced congestion (in addition to express bus service from outside Manhattan). This would give quite a lot of relief to subway crowding - personally I prefer taking the bus over the subway within Manhattan, but it is far too slow for commuting thanks to traffic.

  • Ldbricker Ldbricker on Feb 11, 2008

    Where does this knucklehead come up with the notion mass transit will be "free"? Are all the workers going to suddenly do their job for no pay? Are all the systems suddenly going to need zero maintenance? Are the utilities going to provide service for free? Nothing the government is involved in is free and in fact costs more than if it were provided by the private sector.

  • NICKNICK NICKNICK on Feb 11, 2008

    carpool? F that. no strangers in my car.

  • Brownie Brownie on Feb 11, 2008
    carpool? F that. no strangers in my car. You and everyone else on the LIE at rush hour, apparently.