Beyond the Bay, Congestion Pricing

New York Assembly Approves Citywide Surface Parking Lots

Which citywide surface parking lots would these be? Why, the congested streets of Manhattan, of course. Members of the Assembly, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves: ashamed of your unwillingness to improve quality of life for millions of New Yorkers, and ashamed of your utter lack of vision. Even Mary Peters — Mary Peters! (remember her? If not, here’s a refresher: she tactfully asserted that bicycles are not transportation) — gets it. Mayor Bloomberg said it best: it is a sad day for New York City.

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Discussion

13 thoughts on “New York Assembly Approves Citywide Surface Parking Lots

  1. I agree, it’s a disgrace. But it’s less a lack of vision from the legislature (though it is) and more a manifestation of why New York State is among the most corrupt and unreformed of all state legislatures. Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Leader literally control all lawmaking in the state, including New York City, and have absolutely no incentive to make good policy or be accountable to voters.

    Posted by shanan | 8 April 2008, 2:07 am
  2. A sad day indeed.

    I hate to say it, but I’d like to see Bloomberg create a NYC dictatorship so he could easily pass all his bills without legislative interference.

    Posted by Doug Cress | 8 April 2008, 6:05 am
  3. Sheldon Silver is a complete asshole, constantly destroying bills and projects what would be good for this city. I freaking hate him. (Note: I have lived in NYC for almost 9 years now.).

    Posted by Surf | 8 April 2008, 7:58 pm
  4. People here might have interesting ideas so I’ll bring it up here- is there a zone of the downtown core of San Francisco that would be appropriate for Congestion Pricing? I regularly hear “we can’t have congestion pricing here because transit isn’t good enough” but there is an awful lot of transit on or below Market Street. What about a congestion pricing zone from Justin Herman Plaza (excluding the Embarcadero) to Stockton/4th streets, extending north and southeast some walking distance? There seems to be plenty of transit to that area. Rather than just look at New York, shouldn’t we look at our own city?

    Posted by MikeD | 10 April 2008, 9:33 am
  5. Hi Mike, yes, congestion pricing here is already being investigated. One of the plans under consideration is a zone, possibly bounded roughly by Broadway, Van Ness, the Central Freeway, Harrison, and the Embarcadero. Another possible plan might assess fees at key gateway points into the city — particularly coming from the south, where no tolls are currently charged. I’m actually hoping to go into much greater depth on SF congestion pricing on this site in the future. That is, in fact, the main reason why I’ve posted a few times on congestion pricing outside of SF — just to set up a context of sorts.

    Posted by Eric | 10 April 2008, 9:53 am
  6. I have heard the large downtown suggestion, but I often hear people say that there isn’t good enough transit to that whole area (which may be somewhat true, or may just mean they don’t want to take the bus all the time). My point was that maybe SF should start small, with just the downtown core that is very well-served by Muni and BART.

    A peninsula toll might push up the BART (park-and)ridership from the stations south of the toll. Since the parking lots don’t fill up (so I am told) this might be a decent use of existing resources.

    Posted by MikeD | 10 April 2008, 10:51 am
  7. It’s a balancing act. I agree that we should start small to test the waters, and get bigger; indeed, that’s exactly what London has done. On the other hand, a congestion charge should be accompanied by substantial improvements — there needs to be a clear relationship between the assessed fees and palpable improvements to transit, streetscape, etc. If we begin too meekly, we run the risk of not generating a sufficiently robust fund to pursue these improvements as quickly as we might like.

    In terms of people saying current transit isn’t good enough — first of all, I’m not convinced that transit isn’t good enough going all the way to Van Ness, as opposed to Stockton, just as a general matter. But if we’re assessing current transit’s ability to handle increased riders, all that will depend on how successful the plan is, which obviously depends on what the plan will be. The point here is that all of these factors need to be carefully quantified, so any random statement in isolation that transit isn’t good enough is necessarily extremely speculative, because it isn’t based on a specific plan form. And transit will improve as we get more funds from the congestion fee, and hopefully traffic will decrease as well — both of which pave the way for increased capacity over time.

    Posted by Eric | 10 April 2008, 11:05 am
  8. To be clear, I don’t think that there is a lack of transit to van ness if you are at or near Market, but as you make you way north to broadway and some blocks east, the nuber of transfers can become difficult. Maybe a Market Street Zone that can only be crossed at Van Ness or The Embarcadero (plus a few blocks north and south) could be a starter.

    Posted by MikeD | 10 April 2008, 12:15 pm
  9. in the previous post, by crossed i mean crossed without paying a fee

    Posted by MikeD | 10 April 2008, 12:19 pm
  10. Public transit is very good on Market Street and Financial District (to where a high percentage of people commute) but north of those are (and especially north of Broadway) it’s a different story. I’m totally pro a Penisula toll.

    Posted by PhilSironi | 16 April 2008, 1:09 am
  11. How about Transit and Commercial Loading only on Market? It would speed up the surface transit on Market and make crossing Market easier as well.

    Peninsula Toll on 101 seems like it could work where 101 goes around San Bruno Mtn, but where on 280 can you avoid having people exit for city streets to avoid the toll?

    Posted by MikeD | 16 April 2008, 1:11 pm
  12. Your quotation of Mary Peters is not entirely accurate. Your quotation should read “[Bike paths or trails] are not transportation.” Her statement was precisely:
    “Well, there’s about probably some 10 percent to 20 percent of the current spending that is going to projects that really are not transportation, directly transportation-related. Some of that money is being spent on things, as I said earlier, like bike paths or trails.”

    It could be construed to mean that she does not see bicycles as a transportation option, sure, but she could also be referring to recreational bike paths/trails. I don’t know much about her or her ideas so for the moment I’ve got to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    Posted by John | 4 May 2008, 3:12 pm
  13. I’m well aware of what her quote was. Perhaps the quotation marks obscure this, but the wording here was intended to be a summation/abbreviation. Which was the point of linking to a source containing the full wording.

    EDIT: Quotation marks removed.

    Posted by Eric | 4 May 2008, 3:16 pm

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