Congestion Pricing: Gridlocked

Monday, April 07, 2008

If the state legislature approves the congestion pricing bill by midnight tonight, the city will be eligible for $350 million in federal assistance. Deborah Glick, New York State Assemblymember, discusses the latest in the Albany debate.


Deborah Glick

Comments [19]

Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

jake gunner,

You’re missing the point of people’s opposition…. Its not greedy penny pinching tax payers. Its people fed up with being taxed for problems that are never fixed with that generated tax money. I would gladly pay an $8 dollar tax to go into lower Manhattan. But only if I was guaranteed that all of the $8 would go to a real and practical solution for NYC congestion and can actually be proven work and not have the tax money go to things that have nothing to do with congestion. If you can show me that guarantee in writing, I’ll be more then happy to jump on board. But I have yet to see any such promise from anyone….

Apr. 07 2008 11:37 AM
Randal from Queens

While talking about the MTA, I hope it isn't cheating to further document their undeserving unprofessionalism with this...

GPS technology doesn't work in NYC? Any honest GPS manufacturer could have told the MTA that (and I'll bet did). Tall buildings interfere with the triangulation needed. (One option is for the GPS to fall back temporarily on dead reckoning. Okay for cars on the open road, not so helpful in Manhattan.) Have they tried 50-year-old technology: transponders in the bus stops, or (shudder) the radio telephone? It seems their only "system" is widely spaced supervisors during peak hours, ridiculously expensive inefficient.

About those new bus stops -- the old eye-height 4-panel map/info/schedule displays are replaced by 3 panels tucked in the corner, down at your knees. Where schedules were posted for only half the routes serving a stop, now we are lucky to find any. (MTA has a history of not adequately testing prototypes. These displays are as practical as the handrails on those short-lived Grumman buses in the 1980s. Remember those -- you could grab with only two knuckles? Tips of the iceberg.)

Amateur hour.

When MTA management proves they care, that they can actually IMPROVE service (not just buy equipment and print misplaced change-of-service signs), that they actually understand communication and usability principles, THEN maybe we can consider giving them a bit more. But if they do all that, guess what -- fund will generate themselves.

Apr. 07 2008 11:33 AM
Serg from Queens

Hi.Why boroughs should pay for Manhattan?
If its so , then lets put some taxes on manhattanners,whos driving in to Queens(airports) and see,who's gonna pay more.

Apr. 07 2008 11:15 AM
jake gunner from Greenwich Village

I live in the West Village and have always thought that Glick was a true Progressive and represented her district and in particular, women's health issues well. However, over the last few years have seen her to be one of “Shelly’s Girls.” What ever Shelly wants, Glick helps him get .. regardless of how it affects the people of New York City, or her commitment to progressive principles. I have heard her speak AGAINST Albany reform and blame the New York Times and the Brannen Center at NYU of trying to undermine the three rule Troika of power in Albany, So, what does Shelly really want to put his imprimatur on Congestion Pricing really? Glick wants to use bike paths as one of her reasons. Too bad she does not follow the wishes of a bike rider constituent groups in her district who ALL are in favor of the Congestion Pricing bill. Yes fight the parking permits slush politics and the location of bike paths ...but STOP with this opposition., She and Silver are feeling embolden by their role is the Governor’s downfall because he didn’t kiss the Silver ring .. Now she goes again after the Mayor.

And all this tax talk.. perhaps just once these greedy voters might put quality of life above the few pennies more they will keep in their pockets

Apr. 07 2008 11:14 AM
Randal from Queens

1. There’s no assurance fees going to MTA won't be offset by cuts in existing funds.

2. The MTA can’t administer what it has now. Buses still bunch. When delayed, Dispatch has NO awareness, and no plan for restoring headway (similar to what’s done in the subway). Poor communications training, no communication to MTA trench personnel, amateur communication to passengers. Call 311 to advise MTA of a problem after hours or weekends, odds are even at best that 311 can route it.

3. Will the tax below 60th amount to an OUTbound tax on the QB bridge outer and upper levels, which are accessed below 60th, adding even more to the jam-up on Second Avenue?

4. The residential street parking permit is ironic. I lean toward it, but yes, it will become another tax. Meanwhile, for 30 years Manhattan has restricted construction of parking space for MANHATTAN residents. If you build a UES residential high-rise, you are allowed to build parking space for only 30% of its tenants... even if you tore down a parking garage to build it! This forcing NYers to rent at impossible prices or park on the street (itself a source of congestion and pollution). I understand the Congestion plan will REPEAL the resident parking tax break. Instead, the city should encourage long-term storage and restrict new Manhattan indoor parking to residents of the building or neighborhood.

Apparently the Mayor doesn't drive himself or take subways much. His plan wreaks of Giuliani and Moses.

Apr. 07 2008 11:09 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ


Read the above responses and you'll know why the democrats are reluctant to just say yes. This is not just a tax on the poor, it’s a general mistrust of the local and state government to actually use the tax money what its meant for if the bill goes through. Lottery, sin tax (cigarettes and alcohol) gas tax... Do any of these taxes really fund what they were initially intended for? If so then why are local and state roads in such poor shape? Why are the schools so undefended? Why do people still drink and smoke like it’s the end of the world? This is just another tax that takes money from people but has yet to guarantee it will do anything for the general public that it promises to do.

Apr. 07 2008 10:43 AM
hjs from 11211

the city gets the short end of the stick AGAIN.
NYC makes Albany takes. if we can't get upstate and LI driver to pay for the infrastructure that they use then we should stop subsidizing them.

Apr. 07 2008 10:39 AM
Sarah from Manhattan

Why are the Democrats in the Assembly, particularly those from Manhattan, not LEADING on the issue of Congestion Pricing? Talk about not voting their interests! Deborah Glick and others find excuses like hiding behind the need for environmental reviews---which will occur anyway---in order to shoot this thing down. Why do they start out from a position of NO, rather than a YES, BUT... It's not Bloomberg's intransigence but their own. Everyone is calling this a tax on poor and middle class, but poor folks can't afford to drive and park in midtown anyway.... Poor folks need mass transit!!

Apr. 07 2008 10:25 AM
Karen from Orangeburg, NY

I hope it does not pass. The bill will not lessen congestion, just raise money which will go into someone's pocket. The MTA has already announced that funds will not go to improve capital needs but into the general fund. The MTA should not get an additional penny until they open their books to public scrutiny. This is being rammed through by a dictatorial attitude and no openness about all the details. The second avenue subway-- the MTA has more than enough funds for that! There is no way that the subway system can take more people, and companies are resistant to flex time staffing, so how are people to get to work? How many double parked city commissioner limos will this bill get off the city streets?

How about re-instituting the communter tax-- those folks use the city infrastructure. How about getting the mega-corporations like Madison Square Garden or the Yankees or the big banks to pay up their back taxes or give up their tax deals-- those funds will fill our public budget very well. Why are they being subsidized? This bill should not be enacted. Say no-- we will remember in November!

Apr. 07 2008 10:25 AM
Mitchel from SoHo

As a resident of Sullivan Street I am proud to have Deborah Glick as my representative and I whole-heartedly support her undecided position. It is hard to be against Congestion Pricing because we need some relief. But there are so many problems with the current plan it is hard to support it. Start with the fact that SoHo gets most congested after 6pm, and then add a list too long to state here.

Apr. 07 2008 10:19 AM
Obi from NYC

I can't believe we're still talking about congestion pricing. I thought the last time new yorkers rejected it, it was abundantly clear to everyone that it was no more than a poorly veiled regressive tax on working new yorkers designed to avoid for elite manhattanites the indignity of having to rub elbows and share their streets and sidewalks with the rest of us. All these other ridiculous side issues like pollution and the 2nd Avenue subway and more money of the MTA are just expedients to dupe enough of us to make this absurd idea into law.

Apr. 07 2008 10:18 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Increased density through out city, increases traffic! Big real estate projects destroy everyone's quality of life! Stop Bloomberg now!

Apr. 07 2008 10:17 AM
hjs from 11211

why does the assembly have to negotiate with the mayor. just pass the law.

Apr. 07 2008 10:17 AM
MCH from Brooklyn

I am gradually beginning to believe this is being sold as a bill of goods. The New York Times editorial board which has been avidly pro-CP even embedded this in an editorial last week. "...the fees it would produce are also vital to the state-run MTA which has found its existing revenue stream undependable and inadequate. If congestion pricing is defeated, New Yorkers can look forward to higher taxes, higher fares and worse transit service." In other words we need this just to maintain status quo. Forget about "improvements" in the outer boroughs, they need this just to stay where they are now.

Apr. 07 2008 10:14 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Bobby G

The subway riders and bus riders have been slapped in the face and kicked in the face and mugged by the MTA.

Congestion isn't going to help at all.

Apr. 07 2008 10:13 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

I truly do believe something has to be done about easing congestion in NYC. It’s painful to get anywhere in the city during peak rush hour. But let me get this striate, you want to tax drivers so you can get more money from the federal government? Isn’t that a double tax? After all, we are all paying for the federal grant through taxes already, whether you own a car or not…. You know the extra tax money in the end will be spent on anything but a congestion solution. This just doesn’t make sense…. I can’t believe that a better solution can’t be made to ease congestion without adding another tax. Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax….. When does it end?

Apr. 07 2008 10:12 AM
Bobby G from east village

If Congestion Pricing is defeated it will be a sop to cars and drivers and a slap in the face to subway and bus riders.

Apr. 07 2008 10:09 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Hopefully Congestion Pricing will be DOA.


It's just another way for NYC to gauge the poor and working class for more tax dollars.

The MTA would never bennefit except for raises and large living allowances for executives.

Certainly no improvement in subway service because the MTA is totally corrupt.

Want to raise money raise taxes on people making a million or more!

Also tax cigerettes $5 to $10 a pack!

Apr. 07 2008 09:50 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Congestion pricing is just another tax on the middle class and there is no evidence that the MTA will use any of the grant monies from the Feds or the monies that it collects from motorists for the subways and buses. Why should we believe these politicans? What happens to all of the monies that are collected from the State Lottery that are supposed to go to the State's education system? Say no to the Bloomberg elites who want to transform Manhattan into an island for themselves!

Apr. 07 2008 09:24 AM

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