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The (Insert Numeral Here) Point Congestion Plan
November 1st, 2007

As public hearings continue across the boroughs on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Councilmember Lewis Fidler is distributing and presenting this evening a so-called more precious plan pun intended.

The councilmember released a plan today, titled “The 9 Carat Stone Plan: A 9 Point Plan to Clean our Air, Reduce All Traffic, and Support Transportation Operations in New York’s Environs,” which outlines his alternative to a fee for driving into Manhattan below 86th Street during the workday.

Fidler was an opponent of congestion pricing even before it was announced.

The report states instead of reducing pollution in Manhattan only, a traffic plan should be adopted that cleans “everyone’s air,” including those in the outer-boroughs that are typically overrun with pollution and consequently asthma.

The plan proposes the following nine items as an alternative to congestion pricing:

1. Construct three critical tunnels: A Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel, a Trans-Narrows Tunnel from Staten Island to the city’s subway system and a tunnel to replace the Gowanus Expressway

2. Force the issue of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

3. A .0033 payroll tax to fund transportation improvements that applies to New York City as well as Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties

4. Increase metered parking spots and their rate in the central business district

5. Increase the number of taxi stands

6. Get unloading zones off the streets

7. Increase enforcement and fines for violations

8. No one way tolls for trucks

9. Move city agencies out of the central business district and not to downtown districts in other boroughs

Not long ago, another opponent of Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan came out with a 10-point plan.

Here is Councilmember David Weprin’s:

1. Need to ensure that all traffic regulations are being strictly enforced. Enforcing current block-the-box legislation as well as, enforcing that taxi cabs are not stopping in the middle of the street picking up and discharging fares.

2. Urge Albany to increase the number of red light cameras

3. Invest in building multi level park and ride facilities near subway stations and LIRR stations.

4. Give deliveries coming into the city incentives not to arrive during peak hours, but rather during after hours.

5. Another alternative would be to implement flex commute by increasing the tolls of bridges and tunnels during peak hours and reducing the tolls during off-peak hours on existing bridges. We could also do the same for MTA busses and subway discounted fares during peak hours and normal fares during off peak hours.

6. Modifying current traffic patters during peak hours and off peak hours through the adjustment of traffic signals in real time. This means the DOT can either lengthen or shorten the time on red lights. As traffic conditions change within the Congestion Zone

7. Incentives in the form of tax credits for those commuters that switch to mass transit

8. Give employers tax credits that compensate employees who switch to mass transit.

9. Increase the number of parking meters

10. Raise the prices for construction permits; currently the $50 fee for three months encourages contractors to occupy street space beyond what is needed.

These two members are probably the most outspoken on their disdain for the mayor’s plan. Here is a break down we did earlier this summer of where members stood then.

By on November 1, 2007, 5:02 pm
In category: Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “The (Insert Numeral Here) Point Congestion Plan”

  1. mork Says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 7:57 am

    There are some good ideas in here, but the increased payroll tax (besides being politically untenable) is completely ridiculous.

    Why shift the cost of reducing congestion onto people who aren’t driving?

    The beauty of congestion pricing is that it moves the cost of congestion directly onto those who cause it, and allows drivers to pay for their use of scarce street space while at the same time improving transit to make it easier not to drive.

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