Friday, July 13, 2007

Traffic Plan Incongestion

We've never considered to the Speaker to be heavy, but on the case of the mayor's traffic plan it appears that Silver has become the proverbial fat lady-and his singing signals that the congestion tax, in its current incarnation, may finally have met its maker. As the NY Times reports this morning, Silver will not be in Albany on Monday and will instead be convening his caucus down at 250 Broadway.

On top of all this, the Times story also underscores what we have been saying all along-the mayor's deadline is self-imposed, just like his inclusion of the congestion tax was an arbitrary provision that didn't need to be a part of the city's submission to the Feds. As Richard Brodsky told the Times, "'There is no federal deadline...What there is is a pressure tactic designed to substitute for a reasoned argument about the merits of congestion pricing. It didn't work for him on the West Side stadium, and it won't work now.'"

All of which indicates that any congestion relief plan will have to be actually negotiated with the Assembly. As Silver said, the mayor can go down one of two roads; either he can negotiate with the legislature, "'Or he can go the way he went on the stadium, and challenge people to say no to him.'"

Bravo! Some people with backbone who aren't afraid to stand up to our born again environmentalist. When all is said and done, it will become clear that there are any number of fatal flaws and premises in the mayor's plan, shortcomings that have been ignored by a fawning editorial cohort and a bunch of environmental munecos. What's indisputable in all of this is that, absent the mayor's wealth-and his willingness to use it-this plan would never have even been given the slightest consideration; and all of the mayor's cheerleaders should be ashamed of their total suspension of disbelief.