Pros and cons of Manhattan congestion pricing

Good morning. Today is Thursday. We’ll take a look at two words that transit advocates love and commuters driving into Manhattan dread – congestion pricing. We’ll also take a look at the takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries and specials, especially for Democrats.

This afternoon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold a public hearing. The four-page reminder the agency sent out a few days ago sounded dry.

The hearing could be about anything, but it will be about one of the most controversial topics New York City faces: congestion pricing.

Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in one of the world’s busiest and busiest areas – from 60th Street to Pin, minus FDR Road and West Side Freeway – while bringing in $1 billion annual revenue needed to help finance public transportation.

How many less cars? According to agency estimates, it would be less than 27,500 per day if fees were set at $23, one of the rates the agency has suggested. At $9 or $10, the reduction comes to about 12,000 cars a day.

Proponents of the transit say congestion pricing is long overdue. “We are faced with a crisis of congestion and a transport system crisis that is in dire need of funding,” said Cory Epstein, a spokesman for Alternative Advocacy, an advocacy group. “This plan will move people from cars to sustainable ways to get around. We needed it yesterday.”

But it adds another cost to those who depend on cars for jobs in Manhattan — or those with cars. to be their job.

“Especially for the yellow taxi industry, this is going to be an existential threat,” said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Union. People who make a living by driving taxis or carpooling, she said, “are downplaying the crate of massive job loss or having to pay the MTA.” Her group held a rally Wednesday outside Governor Kathy Hochul’s office in Manhattan.

Last month, the transit agency appointed five people to a panel that will propose rates, credits and discounts. “This group should be deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize,” said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University. such as healthcare workers, who may be eligible for a discount or waiver.

He said: “There were categories that were not considered when this was approved in 2019.

What happens to traffic now going through Manhattan is a concern in other counties and in New Jersey. Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from the Bronx, wrote on Twitter last week that he’s pricing due to congestion, “but any specific plan to redirect diesel truck traffic from Manhattan to the Bronx is unfair.” He said he doesn’t want the Bronx “to become Manhattan’s dumping ground for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has complained that the congestion pricing will create what he calls “double taxation” on passengers who have paid tolls at the Hudson River tunnels and the George Washington Bridge. Representative Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, echoed that idea when he and Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican from Staten Island, put forward the idea. a statement against congestion pricing.

“Can you imagine a hard-working nurse or Uber driver from Jersey paying $23 a day on top of the $16 they pay to cross the GW Bridge – not to mention parking and gas?” Gottheimer said. “Just read the MTA written backwards and it tells you exactly how the MTA looks at New Jersey right now: like their personal ATM machine.”


A sunny day is forecast to close to 90. In the evening there will be clouds in some places and the temperature will reach as low as 70.


Valid until September 5 (Labor Day).

There were some surprises in Tuesday’s state Senate and Congressional primaries, with votes delayed after Democratic officials’ fiercely redistributing divisions were overruled by state courts. disabled and district lines must be redrawn. Two pillars of Manhattan politics – Representative Carolyn Maloney and Representative Jerrold Nadler – were forced to run against each other. I ask Nicholas FandosNew York political reporter, for an interview.

What do Tuesday’s results show about the direction of Democrats in New York if not nationally?

Tuesday was a long night with mixed results for Democrats. There was utter pain: Carolyn Maloney lost her powerful chair of the committee. There have been signs of a revival of the Democrats’ moderate wing in Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s commanding victory over a rising star of the left.

And then, the surprise election victory of Pat Ryan, a Democrat, in the Hudson Valley swivel chair brought a breath of optimism to the nation’s Democratic leaders that This fall’s midterm elections may not be as punitive for their party as originally planned. Ryan made abortion rights a focus of his campaign after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe and Wade case, and it seemed to boost voters.

It wasn’t a great night for progressives.

Certainly not at the congressional level, no. Sean Patrick Maloney easily maneuvered Alessandra Biaggi, a state senator who ran very hard to his left, in the lower Hudson Valley. Max Rose, a centrist, easily won the Democratic primaries for a seat on Staten Island.

Then again, the left outperformed in several key state Senate races, despite the aggressive efforts of Mayor Eric Adams to block some of their candidates.

What about the Brooklyn borough progressives’ strategy with more than a dozen candidates? There are three left-leaning candidates who have split the field.

That’s right, the race in the 10th district connecting Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn is another pain point for progressives.

Three of their candidates split 60% of the vote, giving Daniel Goldman, a wealthy former federal prosecutor, a chance to win with just 25% of the vote. Goldman isn’t central, but he’s not a progressive movement either.

Among the losers in that race was Representative Mondaire Jones, one of the first openly gay black members of Congress. He moved to Brooklyn after Sean Patrick Maloney opted to run in what is essentially the county that Jones currently represents.

What about Carolyn Maloney? She lost to Nadler. Did the third candidate in the race get just enough votes from her to make a difference? And what does she do now?

This is one of the toughest races in the state, between two seasoned former allies. In the end, Nadler ran away with it, more than doubling Maloney’s vote. Suraj Patel, the third candidate, certainly sucked votes from Maloney, but less than Nadler’s win rate.

For Maloney, it is hard not to see this as the end of a political career spanning four decades. She is 76 years old and has a pretty impressive record of her 30 years in Congress to look back on. But surely today she is very disappointed.


Dear Diary:

I am new to the city, having just come from Wales to live with my wife, a native New Yorker, on the Upper West Side.

Eager to fit in, I listened with envy as she and her friends discussed seemingly endless combinations – bus, subway, walk, taxi, Uber – to get to one place some. All I know is number 1 and number 2.

One day, I came out of 1 at 86th Street and went to our apartments at 90th and Broadway. A man and woman approached me on a busy, noisy platform. They looked worried.

“Sorry,” the man said. “How do we get to Times Square?”

“Ah,” I said, “You’re going up the street. You need to go downtown. Go up those steps, cross the street, and go back to the other platform. Take a train downtown to 42nd Street. It’s a Times Square stop.”

They thanked me and left.

I stood there, beaming with pride.

– Paul Stapleton

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and Read more Metropolitan Diary here.

So glad we can get together here. See you tomorrow. – JB

PS This is for today Small crosswords and Spell Bee. You can find all our quizzes here.

Melissa Guerrero and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at [email protected]

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