Gridlock Sam's Master Plan: Private Cars

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Each Thursday in April, Sam Schwartz, aka Gridlock Sam at The Daily News, and former NYC traffic commissionerexplains another facet of his plan for equitably pricing NYC transit and tolls. This week: private cars.  

Comments [17]

zev from brooklyn

It would be a great idea to add a cross bay highway from Brooklyn directly to JFK, no exits, only direct.

Apr. 19 2012 10:56 AM
Ryan Jones from Brooklyn

You want one less driver on NYC's roads? Let me take my doggy on public transport (as is allowed in virtually every European metropolis without incident), and I'll give up my car tomorrow!

Apr. 06 2012 03:25 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Steven - FROM PROSPECT HEIGHTS, good for you. You should go live in Marine Park, Canarsie, or Mill Basin for a week.

Apr. 05 2012 11:02 AM
Ruben Safir from Brooklyn

If you toll the East river Bridges then you can't drive out of Brooklyn at ALL without paying a fare. Brooklynites should not have to pay to reach Manhattan. If they do that then Brooklyn should split from Manhattan

Apr. 05 2012 11:00 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

If you are looking at dysfunctional pricing, you have to look at mass transit fares. For example, for two or more people it is cheaper on the weekend to drive into the city rather than to take MetroNorth/subway (especially if you convince yourself that you will find parking on the street).

Apr. 05 2012 10:59 AM
culprit from brooklyn

Although I rarely drive, when I do it's to go out of the city and I always go from Brooklyn through Manhattan because it's free. I've always wondered WHY the Verrazano is so expensive, and also the only bridge that charges in the Westbound direction?

Apr. 05 2012 10:59 AM
ismael from dumbo

What about a tunnel from Queens/Brooklyn to NJ?

Apr. 05 2012 10:58 AM
michael from greenpoint

has he spoke about how he wants to charge bikes a toll as well? that's insane.

Apr. 05 2012 10:58 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Hi Sam! Love your work!

I go through Manhattan to avoid tolls, too. In fact, I set my GPS to avoid tolls. I just came back from a long trip and saved about $60.00 on tolls (round trip), which is more than half a tank of gas for me.

I think that there should be NO tolls from borough to borough. It is absolutely ridiculous to charge people to go from one part of the city to another. All five boroughs are NYC and we should be able to travel from borough to borough without paying a fee.

I also think the tolls are unbelievably high. I remember when we used to pay $.25 to cross the George Washington Bridge. $12.00 and $13.00 to cross the bridges are too much and they actually encourage people to find other routes. If the tolls are there to collect money but they are so high that they encourage people to skirt them, then you lose revenue.

I also HATE EZ Pass. Because of the EZ Pass lanes, there is mass confusion when a 2- or 3- or 4-lane highway expands into a 12-lane bridge plaza and I've found that I spend an inordinate amount of time waiting to go through the toll booths because people can't see which lane they're supposed to be in and are switching lanes or waiting to switch lanes or cutting someone off to switch lanes.

Sam, do you think you could talk some sense into the MTA and NYNJPA people so they get rid of the EZ Pass, reduce the tolls and get us through the bridge plazas faster?

Apr. 05 2012 10:58 AM

What about those of us who live in midtown and have to drive for work? This plan charges me more than I already have to pay already with parking being as expensive as it is.

Apr. 05 2012 10:58 AM
Dick in Brooklyn

What about all the free parking?
Why is on-street parking an entitlement?
Would it not be 'rational' to 'Permit' it?
That's valuable real estate.
It could also curb primary rate evasion.

Apr. 05 2012 10:57 AM
Stephen from prospect heights

I support tolls, not only to support roads, and other infrastructure, but i want to be cost prohibitive for folks to drive and place generate more greenhouse gases. Driving is already subsidized through cheap petroleum.

Apr. 05 2012 10:57 AM
Randi from Brooklyn

Here's my problem:

Why is it that residents with cars from the outer boroughs have to pay to drive in Manhattan, but Manhattan residents who drive within the borough pay nothing? It seems like this plan is a "tax" on people who can't afford to live in Manhattan.

Apr. 05 2012 10:57 AM
Emmanuel from westchester

Brain, love your show,

I commuted 4 years from westchester to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. When I could avoid the deegan to 287, I would take the FDR, to avoid the toll. Why is toll so expensive? They must collect millions of dollars in tolls a day in NYC. Yet highways like the BQE have been under construction since the 60s (so i hear). Where does all this money go?

Apr. 05 2012 10:55 AM
Carin Barbanel from Chelsea

NY Times has pointed this out. Pollution, efficiency, safety would all be enhanced by shifting tolls. And yes, we absolutely should have tolls to enter 96th through the fidi, leaving highways alongside with lesser tolls. And tolls to Randall's where kids play ball and can't get there via foot or bike?!?! That's ridiculous!

Apr. 05 2012 10:53 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

Sam is correct -- to go from Westchester to Brooklyn I will drive down the FDR rather then pay the toll on the Whitestone (also to avoid the BQE).

Don't forget to thank former Senator D'Amato the ridiculous reverse toll pattern on the Verrazano.

Apr. 05 2012 10:52 AM
gary from queens

Bloomberg has never understood the rational way to control traffic congestion. It's all based on TIME OF DAY!

You raise toll fees during the busiest time you get inbound traffic to manhattan----the daytime.

You lower fees during times that the inbound traffic is low----at night.


Apr. 05 2012 10:03 AM

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