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Pricing Post-Mortems
July 18th, 2007

So who killed congestion pricing?

Streetsblog, which backs the plan, says the mayor made some serious missteps. Bloomberg and his allies, it says, never seemed to understand that the congestion pricing debate was fundamentally going to be a fight about class, and the widening divide between rich and poor in New York City. (Not something we might add that the mayor has ever been particularly sensitive to). As a billionaire, Bloomberg was vulnerable to charges that the plan would be a regressive tax, harmful to small business, the middle class and the aspiring middle class. Even though opponents of the plan (i.e. Richard Brodsky) tend to represent more affluent districts than many of its supporters, anyone who dares to take congestion pricing again, the blog, warns will have to address the fairness issue.

For its part, the Daily News fingers Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith of Queens, who reportedly told the paper in May he supported charging motorists to enter Manhattan. Then the day came to act and, Bloomberg said, Smith told me personally that he would not and his members would not vote for it unless everybody else voted for it,'” the paper writes. He’s not the guy you want in your foxhole.

The Post blames Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who, once again, played obstructionist. And then theres Governor Eliot Spitzer, who the editorial concludes, proved no more effective at getting this through than he has at anything else.

Rather than a sign of dysfunction, the failure of congestion pricing is just, as the old protest chant says, what democracy looks like, writes Newsdays Lawrence Levy. Many people, including Silver simply were not convinced the plan would work. If Silver has his doubts and he doesn’t have the votes for it, why should he be seen as a bad guy for not pushing it on members who wouldn’t have swallowed it if he did? Levy wonders.

While not sparing Silver, Bay Ridge Blog slams outer borough politicians who opposed congestion pricing. It writes, Instead of listening to the big majority of their constituents who commute by bus and subway, they chose to listen to the five percent (or whatever) of voters who think they’re too good to ride the subway with the normal people.

Fred Siegels Contentions blog focuses on Bloomber himself : What may have been [the plans] real undoing was the mix of arrogance and managerial incompetence that the mayor brought with him to Albany.

See it how you like theres no shortage of pointing fingers.

By on July 18, 2007, 8:33 am
In category: Albany,Environment,Gotham City,Transportation | Comments Off on Pricing Post-Mortems

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