The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Staten Islanders Call for Toll Fairness

I don't often align with the Staten Island Advance Editorials page, but they recently took the Democratic candidates running for mayor to task for all coming out against East River, while also calling for increases in the MTA bridge tolls. Here's the pertinent exerpt:

Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Then the candidates were asked about putting tolls on the East River bridges, which are currently free to cross by car, in order to ease traffic congestion in Manhattan.
Naturally, each candidate declared his or her staunch opposition to that idea.

Anthony Weiner, who has tried to position himself as the defender of the middle class, asked, "Why is it fair that every time there's a challenge in this city, people want to raise taxes on the middle class?"

We'd ask Mr. Weiner: Why is it fair that the residents of Brooklyn and Queens pay nothing to drive into and home from Manhattan over the East River, while residents of Staten Island have to pay a whopping toll to drive home from Brooklyn?

I'll add my own self centered perpective as a current resident of Manhattan: Why is it that Manhattan has to bear the traffic and congestion of free-riders from Brooklyn taking the low toll route out of Brooklyn and Queens, thus avoiding the $8 toll on the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge going into Staten Island?

What we really need is congestion pricing, car-free parks, harrassment-free biking, more investment in mass transit alternatives, better mass transit quality, better freight rail links, and more hybird Taxis and alternative fuel cars.

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