Congestion $ing Update

March 27, 2008 at 8:17 pm 3 comments

There is a lot going on, so I’m encapsulating some highlights in a bulleted list. The barrage of news on this subject can be a turnoff if you haven’t been following it so far, but—and at the risk of sounding like a broken record (scratched CD doesn’t work)—it’s really important to be aware of the basics surrounding CP because there’s a good chance it, and residential parking permits, will happen.

  • On Monday there was an all-day hearing on congestion pricing (CP) before the City Council State and Federal Legislation Committee at City Hall. Read about it here and here, but of local (Forest Hills) interest: “In response to a question from Quinn about mitigating the park-and-ride effect, [Janette] Sadik-Khan [Transportation Commissioner] said, ‘We don’t anticipate that this will be a problem. Parking is already at 98% capacity in these neighborhoods [adjacent to the zone]. We think it’s unlikely that people will drive to these neighborhoods just to park and get on the subway, but we are mindful of those concerns, so we proposed RPP so that residents have priority to park in those neighborhoods’.” Doubtful that this will assuage opponents of CP.
  • Christine Quinn had one of the quotes of the day: “The benefits so far outweigh any of the negatives, the concept of inaction is simply, in my opinion, not an option. We have to seize this moment to create a sustainable revenue source for mass transit.” Amen to that but also to the principle of reducing pollutants.
  • Monday was also the day when we found out that the MTA’s recent fare hikes are going to result in reduced service. This will probably be a spur for advocates of CP, the profits of which will be directed back to the MTA (in a locked box). Of local interest: the disgusting E line will probably remain disgusting.
  • Good News: Sheldon Silver “agreed to introduce a bill that has the backing of Gov. Paterson and Senate GOP leader Joe Bruno.” Bad News: “Some Democratic lawmakers told the Daily News that a chorus of boos erupted at a closed-door meeting of Assembly Democrats when Silver announced his decision to introduce the bill.” [NY Daily News] Too bad we have to pretend that Albany is politically relevant right now.
  • Today, Barak Obama come out in favor of congestion pricing on WNYC’s All Things Considered. (He was also seen within 10 feet of Michael Bloomberg, setting off a media frenzy about an Obama-Bloomberg ticket; the beast was fed).
  • To cap the week off will be this bizarre photo op: “Tony Avella, Leroy Comrie, Melinda Katz, David Weprin /and other possible members of the Queens Delegation’ are holding an anti-congestion pricing rally tomorrow morning at 8:00 on the Queens side of the 59th Street Bridge, according to an e-mail from the Queens Civic Congress.” [Streetsblog] One suggestion: wear a respiratory mask. The air is filthy and poisonous over there.

queensboroughbridge.jpg

Image: Ming the Merciless on New York City Daily Photo

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Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

Earth Hour—3/29 at 8 p.m. For Parents of Incoming K Students

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. refreshing  |  March 27, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    It’s nice to see someone in Queens standing up for transit and environmental responsibility. Nice work Hair Splitter.

    Reply
  • 2. heff  |  March 31, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Only Weprin and Avella and some of the folks from the QCC turned out to their rally. Oh and a bunch of pro-congestion pricing supporters from the nearby neighborhoods. Of course Avella and Weprin did the usual, accused supporters of not being from the area, which we were, and then of being paid, which we weren’t. Then he had a tantrum cause one of the supporters pointed out that encouraging people to “Honk if you are Against CP” is not the most neighborly thing to do at 8 in the morning.

    Nice coverage by the way.

    Reply
  • 3. karbeth  |  March 31, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I heard a few Weprin comments fro the rally on NPR on Friday afternoon–he’s really out of touch, or otherwise engaged. Just doesn’t make sense.

    Thanks Heff for the much-needed on-site report.

    Reply

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