NYT: "If Congestion Pricing is Defeated, New Yorkers Can Look Forward to Higher Taxes, Higher Fares and Worse Transit Service."

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
nyt if congestion pricing is defeated new yorkers can look forward to higher taxes

It's no secret that The New York Times hearts "congestion pricing" (not "Congestion Charging" as that sounds like a tax). As the deadline for scarfing major matching funds from the feds approaches, the Old Gray Lady is getting hysterical; for them. The editorial begins with a hosanna for The City Council and the inescapable, irrefutable benefits of the "pricing" scheme: "The City Council did right by New York City this week and voted to move forward on congestion pricing. If that brave action were enough, we would be cheering the advent of cleaner air, less gridlock and billions of dollars for mass transportation." The downside? None. And the villain preventing "pricing?" "Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, has been his usual reticent self… Mr. Silver also asked for the City Council to approve the plan first, providing cover for state legislators to follow suit. Now it is Mr. Silver’s turn. He needs to schedule congestion pricing for a floor vote this week while there is still time to meet the federal deadline." So Silver's covered his ass. What's the holdup? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of motorists/taxpayers who see "pricing" as a cash grab disguised as a P.C. boondoggle. Nah. Couldn't be.

Join the conversation
4 of 31 comments
  • 50merc 50merc on Apr 02, 2008

    It's entirely appropriate to mention Hitler in connection with congestion pricing. If his, er, administration had not been interrupted, a top priority of the Third Reich would have been clearing Berlin streets of all the clutter of building debris and Russian tanks. Hitler's buddy, Mussolini, is remembered for his interest in promoting mass transit by getting trains to run on time. Another anecdote: years ago the state employees at the Capitol complex complained so loudly about the lack of parking spaces the Governor had a mass meeting to explore solutions to the problem. I pointed out the state's parking lots had hash marks painted a foot or two farther apart than the width of spaces in shopping center lots. For the cost of a few buckets of paint, the state could create hundreds more spaces. That never happened; there must have been too many drivers of RVs and big trucks among the decision makers.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Apr 02, 2008

    What a load of junk. Congestion pricing is being pushed by the big real estate interests in NYC, and by the Feds. The Feds are dangling a lot of money in front of the City, but no one has asked why. I live near NYC, and this is clearly a Commuter Tax. There will be no lessening of traffic. The Second Avenue Subway still won't be built. The dream of Tolls (NYC's dream) on the East River Bridges will come to pass. The NY Times is fully behind Congestion Pricing. Every article in any section of the paper reads like Pravda for Congestion Pricing. No "people" want it save a shrill bunch of bicyclists whose arguements are silly outside of NYC. This is a massive screwing of the middle class, plain and simple.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 02, 2008

    S Lang, Just to back up a point you made. They did make special parking spaces for skooters in Calgary, and more people started using them on nice days. So, it actually could help, but I am with you, this is about power and revenue.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Apr 02, 2008

    It appears that His Supreme and Most Exalted Lordship, King Corzine I is actually good for something. http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-13/120711468377830.xml&coll=1 He's angry over the suggestion that the only way to avoid additonal charges added to the tolls for the Lincoln and Holland tunnels ($3 during peak hours, $4 during non-peak hours) is for the State of New Jersey and the Port Authority of NY & NJ to provide $1 billion to the city to fund transportation projects for the city. So angry, in fact, that he's threatened to sue the State of New York should the plan be approved by Albany. It's unclear whether he's acually fighting for his subjects or if he's dismayed over the fact that New Jersey doesn't get a slice of the revenue pie.