Let It Sit, Mayor Bloomberg, Let it Sit

Showdown in New York: Spurred in part by information in a new report by New York State Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky (D), the state legislature is worrying that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to charge drivers $8 to enter lower Manhattan on weekdays would put a disproportionate burden on low and middle-income drivers.

Mayor Bloomberg has other priorities, namely, the $500 million in tax dollars the Bush Administration has promised New York if the driving restrictions are adopted by next Monday. As reported in the New York Times:

“With this window of opportunity rapidly closing, it’s imperative that our state leaders put aside their competing interests and come together on this issue,” the mayor said. “To leave this half a billion dollars just sitting on the table would be absolutely ridiculous.”

“Sitting on the table” is mayor-speak for not requiring the residents of the other 49 states to subsidize a new transportation bureaucracy in New York City– a bureaucracy that, apparently, would hurt low and middle-income people.

Not incidentally, the $8 toll is unlikely to relieve traffic congestion. Assemblyman Brodsky’s report says it would increase driving speeds an average of one sixth of one mile per hour. By comparison, a typical comfortable walking speed for a healthy adult is three miles per hour.

I previously blogged about this here.

Addendum: Streetsblog, which has a different take on this issue than I do, has a link to Assemblyman Brodsky’s full report in a post today.

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