- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Advocates of Congestion Pricing Argue It'll Help Bronx | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Advocates of Congestion Pricing Argue It'll Help Bronx

Supporters of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal gathered today at the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse, arguing the mayor’s plan would benefit low-income Bronxites and allow for expansion of the city’s public transit system. The small group who turned out for this morning’s press conference included State Senator José M. Serrano (D-28th District) and representatives of several public-transportation- advocacy organizations.

Under Bloomberg’s plan, motorists would be charged $8 to enter Manhattan below 86th Street. Advocates of the plan said that a very small percentage of Bronx residents would feel the burden of this cost because the vast majority of those who work in the Congestion Pricing Zone (CPZ) commute there by public transit, not by private vehicle: Veronica Vanterpool, policy advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign—a group that works to reduce automobile use in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut—pointed to 2000 U.S. Census Data indicating that only 3.7 percent of Bronx workers drive alone to the CPZ.

But Vanterpool and others argued it’s not just that congestion pricing would not hurt Bronx residents—they said it would help these residents as well: Advocates said the funds generated by congestion pricing (or, specifically, by the Department of Transportation grant that would result when the proposal is implemented) could be used to relieve overcrowding of buses and subways.

“This is the only plan that has an ongoing funding stream for transit improvements,” said Noah S. Budnick, deputy director for Transporation Alternatives—a group that advocates for public- transportation- use in the city.

Bronx resident Sandy Noel, administrative assistant for Walter E. Houston--member of Community Board 4 and president of the 167th Street Business and Professional League-- said these improvements were much needed: “I’m on the trains all day,” Noel said, adding that her daily commute from Claremont Parkway and Washington Avenue to lower Manhattan often takes several hours because several trains and buses that are filled-to-capacity pass her by.

The congestion-pricing supporters further argued that public transit expansion would particularly help low-income Bronxites, since wealthier New Yorkers tend to use public transporation less frequently.

Their support for reducing vehicle traffic from the Bronx to Manhattan having been voiced, the advocates were asked by a reporter about congestion going in the other direction—specifically, traffic that will be generated when new parking-lots are built in the South Bronx as part of the Yankee Stadium project.

Serrano suggested that the forthcoming construction of the new Yankee Stadium Metro North station would encourage fans to take public transportation to Yankee games rather than drive cars.

“That way,” Serrano said, “they can drink more beer at the games, I guess.”


  1. Part of the new Yankee Stadium project is the constuction of around 4,000 parking spaces in two
    garages which will have direct access to the Major Deegan and which will be sited adjacent to a new Metro North Station and the current D and 4 subway station at 161 Street.

    When the garages were first proposed, we were told that they would only be open on game days. When no parking company stepped forward to
    construct and operate these garages, the terms for them were changed and we are now told that they will be open 365 days a year.

    This is looking very much like a park and ride situation. Keep in mind that this area of the Bronx is already known as "asthma alley" and you will understand community residents' fears that we are about to be inundated by thousands of vehicles which will be parked in these garages for the comfort of out-of-town commuters.

    How can anyone say with a straight face that this is good for the Bronx?!

  2. Here we go again: if the Mayor's plan goes through, we will be hearing those who are supporting it say "well, had we known this or that" just like it has happened with the Filtration Plant.

    There are no guarantees that local buses and trains will be improved. Who can say, for a fact, that it will not go to improve the rail services for the Metro-North and Westchester bus lines that come into the Bronx?

    And where is the fairness in this plan? Why is it ok for drivers who live out in NJ have to pay only a fraction of the cost but us (or me) who live in the Bronx, will have to pay the entire fee?

    To my understanding, the 90-page plan that was submitted to the State Legislature states that it is a pilot program and that after 5 years, the Mayor (and only the Mayor) will have the option of continuing or not, with no say or approval from the Legislature.

    Not that this is the most important reason why I, Haile Rivera, proudly stand against the congestion plan.

    It is completely UNFAIR for the Bronx. Have those who are lining up behind Miguelito thought about where the thousands of people who will still drive into NYC will park? Of course, in the Bronx. Cearly, more cars, more pollution, more asthma. Great, just what we need!

    There's still time to reconsider folks, there's still time.

    In Solidarity,

    Haile Rivera

  3. Forget about all this congestion pricing. Fix the trains. They have to be a clean, quick on time, and user friendly, riding machines and more people would travel on the subways than drive in cars. Simple and less costly.


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