Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Mike Suko

    There’s a world of difference between his group’s study NOT endorsing it and its being “off the table.” Hope you’re right, but NO plan – as of now – has anything like an easy path to being approved, and this is like an embolism – at some point “What can we do?? And fast?” might put that awful-for-us approach back in play. Esp. in year 1 of someone’s Mayorality! Remember how Bill caved on LICH!

  • Eddyde

    IMHO those who think, increased tolls are the magic bullet that will alleviate traffic, are delusional. Tolls have already been pushed to ridiculously high amounts and the traffic remains the same. All it will accomplish is higher prices for consumers, more aggravation for drivers and of course more money for the corrupt, inept government to squander.

  • Andrew Porter

    “corrupt, inept government.” I think you’ve been watching too much cable TV.

  • Mike Suko

    But TOGETHER with improved mass transit, they have a synergistic – additive – effect. Buses, in particular, are due for a re-think in a way that’s really not possible with subways. And they’re getting it. Routes like the 103 combine the best of “express buses” with a cost of getting to and from work that isn’t a killer…. Plus the city COULD put the Uber/Lyft genie back in the bottle as London has done. And if NY wasn’t so rich-friendly, there would be $ enough to “finish the Q” or put yet another line in place, because several lines are clearly maxed out at this point. We agree on one thing – there is no single magic bullet – higher tolls included.

  • Cranberry Beret

    The toll on the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge is **zero**

    I don’t consider that a “ridiculously high amount.”

  • Banet

    The park wouldn’t even have to give a little land. They’d lose the land under a smidge of the berms — land you cant walk on — and have quiet AND a ton of NEW land on top of the highway.

    The B.I.G. Engles architecture plan really is brilliant… but unlikely.

  • Eddyde

    The Verrazano Bridge has just earned the esteemed credit of being the most expensive toll in the nation, Has traffic decreased? No. Tolls on the East River Bridges won’t do anything either. Though I kind of do wish traffic would decrease on all the tolled crossings by say 50% so the subway fare would increase to around $6, then maybe you’d get the “synergy” LOL

  • Brixtony

    For some time now, a well-meaning animal lover has been distributing peanuts under the bushes in Cadman Plaza Park. There are several problems with this: 1) There are not many squirrels in the park but there are a lot of rats who love peanuts. This encourages their population growth!
    2) I’m not sure who the intended recipients are, but most birds don’t eat peanuts.
    3) BUT Most important – peanuts create gastric problems for many dogs who cannot digest them well despite the appealing taste. This has, in the case of my dog, aggravated her pancreatitis. In off leash times, dogs may wander and snack on these despite our vigilance.

    If you’re reading this, neighbor, please stop or at least sprinkle bird food, although our local wildlife seems to be doing very well feeding on available “wild” food.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I disagree with your logic and economics.

    Tolls have 2 purposes: (1) repay construction costs (2) match demand to desired capacity. (#1 isn’t in play here because all the relevant infrastructure is paid for.) So for #2, if the traffic through NYC via the bridges is considered too much, that means the current toll is *too low*. It calls for raising the tolls until demand is lowered to match supply.

    That you perceive the toll as “too high” (either subjectively or compared to other US cities) simply reflects the effect when artificially low car subsidies are lessened/removed.

  • Mike Suko

    You – like many (including me) sometimes speak whereof you know not. The toll near New Rochelle on I95 is one of – I’m sure – thousands in different spots in the U.S. that has neither of those purposes – ones that you imply are the only ones that matter (or should matter.)

    In reality, “paying for the cost of building something” is often in the paperwork involved in borrowing money to build it, but while there ARE instances of tolls being terminated, that – as you would say – is mostly a POLITICAL decision.

    And yes, tolls can be used – as NY is trying to make happen – the way Uber uses “surge pricing” – to alter usage patterns.

    But they certainly can be used to build up a rainy day fund or pay for “maintenance & upkeep” of bridges, roads, etc.

    Too often, I suspect, they pay for salaries & benefits of the once many people who worked “in that area.” And I doubt that either of us would be shocked if States & municipalities viewed them as a way to tax people passing through – rather than (to an extent) the people who might vote for or against local politicians.

    Last, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that truckers and drivers pay more per mile in and near NYC than most places – the freebie bridges notwithstanding. UPS and the like build those tolls into their rate structure, but you do well to remember that WE pick up the tab indirectly, because trucks pay way more than cars and again – that just winds up inflating the cost of whatever those trucks are moving to or through New York.

  • Eddyde

    You may disagree but facts are what they are and the fact is, tolls have not significantly reduced traffic on the Verrazano Bridge, despite it being the most expensive crossing in the country. So why do you think slapping a toll on the East River bridges will significantly reduce traffic, if it doesn’t do so elsewhere in the city? Or that traffic really needs such massive reductions in the first place? If you ever drove through midtown in the 70’s 80’s you’d know what I’m talking about.
    Fact, MTA tolls subsidize mass transit, reduce the traffic and fares will go up.