Congestion Stealing

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Robocall Madness

Dear Editor:

My wife and I are being inundated by spam and robocalls despite being on the (obviously ineffective) "do not call" list. I probably get three calls daily from a 212 number that says, "Bank of America" and then lapses into a Chinese language. We are getting at least five or six calls each day and I know we are not alone. Where are our elected representatives on this? Someone (meaning all elected politicians) needs to act. Their constituents are being abused. If they don't act, then I urge my fellow voters, whatever party they may belong to, to remember their failure to protect us come election day. Enough is enough!

Peter Galvin

 

Congestion Stealing

Dear Editor:

In all the reporting on Congestion Pricing that Governor Andy is pounding through Albany, where are the numbers to back it up? When exactly did Manhattan become so overwhelmed with cars and trucks that this is now the desperate alternative?

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn’t find one news report either online, or with a link showing that so many cars represented an increase of X percent over previous years that got us to this tipping point. Resorting to Google, it took about two seconds to find the NYC DOT Mobility Report June 2018. There’s a chart that shows 717,000 vehicles entered the Central Business District on a daily basis in 2016. It also shows in 2015, it was 731,000; in 2013, it’s 747,000; back to a peak (in this century) of 832,000 per day in 2003, when nobody was talking about Congestion Pricing! (1998 and 1999 were the highest at 842,000 daily). So, what’s the pressing need? The traffic is slow? When was it fast?

So, why is the traffic so slow? I’m sure it’s a combination of bike paths and bus lanes and pedestrian malls, but it also has to be the uptick in ride share and delivery apps.  Government tends to be reactive, not forward thinking. The DOT, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, never anticipated the impact of Uber, Lyft, etc., with a legion of cars now circling all day waiting to pounce on a fare. The City waited too long to act. So, we get a new tax.

The NY Times reported this week that one year after the congestion tax went into effect in London, there were 18% fewer vehicles into their CBD. Agreed, this is NYC not London, but forced out of cars, does anyone believe the MTA is ready for an influx of new passengers? The A Train is always breaking down, are the ferries big enough, is there enough room on the express busses? Do you think for a second, they’re doing any planning? If you do, you’re not from here.

Put an additional 18% ridership onto the MTA’s infrastructure? Let’s say the tax goes into effect two years from now. Consider how little they’ve done to recover on some Sandy damaged lines.

Then there’s the issue of accountability. They’ll get their billion dollars from this tax to add to the 15 plus billion dollars the MTA takes in annual revenue, and who has the over watch? Since the mayor can fire his IG, who’s going to keep an eye on all this? Likely another “Trust me I know what I’m doing” elected/connected politico. Fun days ahead.

Thomas McCaffrey

 

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