Thursday, April 19, 2007

Congestion Pricing

The NY Sun is reporting that Bloomberg's 2030 plan will include congestion pricing. I'm so against this stupid idea I canceled my NY Times subscription because of it. Every week, another Congestion Pricing pro article.

I usually don't editorialize on this site because I know no one gives a shit about what I have to say. But this one issue gets to me.

I don't drive into the city - I take mass transit. However, I don't want these damn cars in my neighborhood any more than Manhattan does. But having a LIRR stop and two express subway lines, and plenty of parking garages, guess where everyone's going to go. Yes, Forest Hills. And Flushing, and downtown Brooklyn, and LIC.

In a city where people sit in their cars for hours on end for a free parking spot to avoid the $7 a garage costs, you think they're going to happily pony up a congestion fee? No, they're going clog up our streets and trains instead of Manhattan's. Screw that. If they get the benefits of being a corporate mecca (private money in parks, subways on every corner, extra police presence), let them deal with the drawbacks (pollution).

The Times constantly points to London's successful bout with CP. However, they never mention that the surrounding towns have been swamped with traffic - so much so that some London suburbs want to institute its OWN congestion pricing.

We all want nicer walks to work - and that's really what CP is all about. People wanting a nicer walk to work. The traffic in Manhattan is no worse than Woodhaven Blvd, Atlantic Ave., the BQE, or Roosevelt Ave. We all could use a little congestion relief. Make it citywide if at all.

Plus, have you noticed Manhattanites didn't exactly jump on the idea of dispersing cabs throughout the boroughs? Maybe cars aren't that bad after all - as long as they're yellow. I usually dismiss the resentment people have of Manhattan, but when it crosses into public policy, I have to say something. If you think I'm riled up now, wait until you see me in 2030.

If there is CP, then our representatives have to get Forest Hills residents parking permits. Period. Either that, or let's charge people a fee for getting off the GCP at Queens Blvd/Union Turpike. And charge 'em double if they're going to the Midway.