No More Congestion Pricing

Woe is Us.

traffic in windowIt seems almost surreal that political decisions are made in 3rd floor conference rooms-in secrecy-without votes these days. One would think that this practice would describe the currently contested elections in Zimbabwe. But alas, we are just as opaque here in the Empire State.
Transparent Traffic.

While I am personally disappointed that the plan is now dead-as are most New Yorkers who chose to walk instead of take the slow bus that follows their route-it is inconceivable that this didn’t even go to a vote. Considering that 2 out of 3 New Yorkers supported congestion pricing if the dollars went to mass transit improvements, this might have deserved such attention. New York State politics is often described as 3 men in a room. But all of a sudden Sheldon Silver tells us that “they”-the Assembly Democrats, weren’t for it. Something smells polluted here. Silver’s position has ranged from ardently opposed to minimally embracing. Not to mention the larger structural flaws of the state’s political process. At one of the first public hearings last summer a representative voiced concern that his Rochester constituents might be confused about where the boundary starts, when they come to visit. It might be time to rethink this system.

People can sling mud at Bloomberg and his inability to have built relationships with upstate politicos, as well as criticize the DOT’s commissioner for getting a speeding ticket on her way up there to convince lawmakers of the plan’s merits. Both of these things are problematic, but standard practice in Albany:An inability to build coalitions and a misuse of privilege. But it is the constituents of those mudslingers who don’t have chauffeurs or city vehicles.  We are ultimately the losers.

It was not a tax, it was not elitist, it was a market based solution that charged for use. Simply put, when a resource is limited, it costs more. The real waste of dollars was the commission made to study this plan. Shame on those with power who don’t even honor the most basic democratic practice: A transparent vote.


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