Congestion pricing officially died in Albany today and with it was Mayor Bloomberg’s big hopes and dreams of getting 500 million of federal funds to improve our ailing transit system and reduce carbon emissions overall in NYC.
NY Times article, which highlights the big gap between State politics and the heavy handed condescending tone of our Billionaire Mayor.
The sad part about this was that Congestion Pricing had a lot of merit in reducing carbon emissions and increasing the efficiency of our city, not to mention making this a much better bicycle commute (Hey, we all have our agendas!!)
Read a full report from one group who spent much time and effort on this important issue:
Transportation xAlternatives, and their guide to the benefits of Congestion Pricing.
Sad days. We may be ready for a smoking ban and elimination of trans fats, but don’t mess with people’s cars.
Here is a great comedic take on the plan and a few things bikesnob would like to see added to the taxing of drivers.
Here is a good Op-Ed from the NY Times talking about how State Speaker Sheldon Silver, wouldn’t even take this to a vote.
Oh well, now we can look forward to paying through the nose in other ways such as Fare hikes from the MTA who never have to reveal their books to us.
Hey, but cheer-up Bloomie…I’ve got a few suggestions that could help in all this:
1) Start enforcing all the traffic violations that go on everyday in NYC and use that money to fund better public transportation. Give out a $25.00 ticket to everyone who double parks illegally and a $45.00 ticket to everyone who parks in the bike lane. Why judging by what I see just on a daily commute through midtown, you’d have $500 million in no time.
2) Create a special division of traffic police who ride bicycles to enforce these parking violations. Reduce the regular police force from the current 40,000 (the sixth largest standing army in the world, more then the number of troops we have in Afghanistan) This would help with the obesity factor and get more people on bikes. Also, pay the cops more than $25,000 a year and maybe they would stay here instead of going to Seattle where they are paid a real living wage, since you demand that cops live in the city and the last time I checked the average price to own an apartment in Manhattan was 1.7million (as an example of how ridiculously expensive it is to live here)
3) Put bike racks on buses.
4) increase the number of bike racks and make them more secure.
5) But more barriered bike lanes in Manhattan, like the one on 9th Ave, one that goes more than 10 blocks. It seems like you can put a special bus lane on lower Broadway. And put some bike lanes on Houston street where more than 4 people have died on their bikes…hmmmmmm.
6) Create more FREE bike parking in buildings and parking garages
7) Eliminate ridiculous building regulations that seem to allow all kinds of freight into their premises but freak out when someone tries to bring in a bicycle.
8) Give employers tax incentives if their employees bike to work or use public transportation.
9) (MY FAVORITE) Make it illegal for any vehicle to be in the five borough area that serves NO OTHER PURPOSE but to advertise. This means no SUV’s all covered in stickers for a new rap record, no roving billboards, no double decker buses that hand out products, no hordes of mopeds selling something, no semi trucks that have glass encased scenes of some vacation spot with real actors inside them. Sorry, no more of those dumb Jekyl and Hyde trucks that drive around promoting that stupid tourist trap.
10) eliminate all caps on pedicabs
11) create green initiatives (small business loans) for companies willing to deliver by bicycle.
12) STOP building stupid unnecessary things like basketball stadiums, Nascar tracks and water parks.