Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Congestion Ahead

In today's Crain's In$ider the newsletter reports, with a somewhat jaundiced spin in our view, that supporters of the pricing scheme are claiming that opponents are "exaggerating their breadth." In support of this, Crain's relates that the groups who will join the Alliance at today's press conference are "relatively small." Quite the canard if you ask us.

When we look at the 6,000 member Bodega Association, The Nightlife Association, the NYSRA, the Small Business Congress, and the 3,000 member Latino Restaurant Association, not to mention the 200 independent beer wholesalers, we have essentially all of the city's 200,000 neighborhood retailers represented in some form or another. And Local 342 0f the UFCW represents over 10,000 supermarket and wholesale meat workers in NYC. But what's this when compared to the handful of billionaire machers over at the NYC Partnership?

And let me say that we've just got started. When we begin, as we did with Mayor Giuliani's mega-store plan, to link the neighborhood businesses with the local civics and community groups, it will be the swells that will be terribly outnumbered.

This congestion pricing idea has not been well thought out and, as the NY Daily News story this morning on yesterday's grilling of the transportation commissioner underscores, the opposition is just beginning to build on this new, unnecessary, and additional tax burden on New Yorkers and local businesses (and props to David Weprin for exposing the idea for what it really is-"another tax that would burden the middle class").