Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bloomberg's Congestion Pricing Plan: There Is An Easier Way

Traffic is a nightmare in Manhattan, but congestion has been a problem in the Outer Boroughs as well. The streets of Brooklyn have become so impassable that simply driving from Carroll Gardens to Brooklyn Heights takes longer than just walking. So yes, we need to find a solution. It makes sense to encourage people to take public transportation. However, I don't think that Mayor Bloomberg's idea of charging people is fair to New York City residents.
Under Bloomberg's plan, cars entering Manhattan below 86th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays would be charged $8. The problem is that this plan treats New York City residents the same as non-residents. It especially puts an unfair burden on Outer-Borough folks. As a Brooklynite, I feel a bit offended that I pay city taxes but am going to be charged the same as if I lived in New Jersey. According to an article in the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens Courier, I am not the only one who dislikes the idea.
I think I may have a better plan... a fairer plan for New Yorkers. If I were Mayor of this city, I would issue a special New York City license plate or sticker. This would accomplish several things:
1) Free passage on the proposed bridges to and from Manhattan for NYC residents
2) Monitor and discourage non-city residents from using our communities as commuter parking lots.
3) Will make it easier to introduce residential parking in certain neighborhoods
4) Discourage New Yorkers from registering and insuring their cars outside of New York City.

Any plan to relieve traffic in our city is better than doing nothing. However, my family and I already take the subway when we go into Manhattan. The few times we take the car, we should not be treated the same as out-of-towners.

Congestion pricing causes Brooklyn schism
By Stephen Witt From The Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens Courier

The Downtown Brooklyn Council and City Councilmember David Yassky last week endorsed Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan.
But elected officials on the other end of the borough continue to give the controversial plan a thumbs-down.
Under Bloomberg’s plan, residents of the outer boroughs would have to pay a fee to drive in some sections of Manhattan during restricted hours.
Initial polls have indicated strong opposition to the plan among Brooklyn residents.

Congestion Pricing Causes Brooklyn Schism


Little Blue PD said...

City residents should definitely be treated different than out of towners and especially out of staters.

I think Mayor Nanny Bloomie is a very arrogant man. I also highly doubt he rides the subway that much. He's the mayor, I want someone driving him around so he can work and make calls and stuff. New Yorkers shouldn't want him wasting all that time on the subway.

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

It's true, Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg?

It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

Check out the map! Tell your friends!

Check it out!


Little Blue PD


JustCurious said...

Hello Little Blue PD
Of course the environmental impact of having all this traffic and traffic congestion in Manhattan is an
important issue. But like you, I have a sneaky suspicion that it is a way for Bloomberg to do exactly what he has wanted to do for a long time. That is to add tolls to the bridges that do not yet have one such as the Brooklyn Bridge.
Now, I rarely take the car into Manhattan. Most people here in Brooklyn just take the subway. But for the few times that we do need to take the car, I do not want to be treated like an out-of-towner. Brooklynites are city residents too after all.

Miserly Bastard said...

Your plan would be unconstitutional, and a violation of the commerce clause, because on its face it discriminates against out of staters.

More importantly, it is retarded. Congestion pricing should be borne by everyone who drives in Manhattan, including those in outer boroughs who are causing problems. You have no "right" to drive into Manhattan without paying for the cost of your actions.

My interim solution: Immediately triple all tunnel and bridge tolls into Manhattan, and put a toll on places like the 59th Street bridge also.

That said, Bloomberg should also charge people who live in Manhattan for causing congestion on the city, by imposing a $1000/year tax on registrations inside the city, and tripling the prices of metered parking.

I say all of this as somebody who owns a car and who lives in Manhattan.

Miserly Bastard said...

I also think that th NYPD should make it priority to issue tickets for blocking the box. Basically, at every major intersection in Midtown during rush hour, NYPD should put a traffic cop who writes a ticket to anybody who blocks the box.

Anonymous said...

While the many impacts of Mike's plan are being debated, there's one effect that is undeniable - this plan would improve the quality of life for wealthier people (like Mike) who can afford to live below 86th and keep a car in the city. Think about it, there'll be less traffic to inconvenience Money Mike, and he can get in his limo at home (E 79th St), ride downtown to City Hall, uptown to Tavern on the Green for lunch, back to City Hall, upper West Side for dinner, Lincoln Center for the opera, and it only costs him $4. But some working guy from Queens, who wants to take his kid to a Knicks game, is going to get hit for $8. Yeah, that seems fair.
I agree that charging out-of-staters more than city residents will probably not pass legal muster, but here are a few ideas to make the plan fairer:
- Agreed, put a LARGE fee on cars registered in the green zone. One way would be a hefty tax on monthly garage rentals and on private garages. Additional fees could be charged for larger cars, since compacts take up less space and produce less pollution per mile traveled.
- Of course, many people already register out of state to beat the insurance costs, so institute automatic confiscation of any vehicle whose owner lives and keeps the car primarily in the green zone.
- Ban ALL stretch limos (at ALL times) and large SUVs (during the congestion pricing hours) from the green zone. (will never happen because it would inconvenience rich people)
- Restrict large delivery trucks (anything larger than UPS/FedEx van size) to nighttime delivery, and crack down on double parking.