Monday, September 10, 2007

Street Sleepers

It appears that the Dinowitz Op-Ed piece that we commented on, has caused quite a stir with the street corner ideologues. The Streetsblog, apparently dedicated it appears to returning New York back to the 19th century, takes strong issue with Dinowitz, and does so with the invidious mention of the fact that, by opposing the congestion tax, he's doing so "on behalf of 5.2% of his constituents."

What we have here is a phony zero-sum characterization of the policy dispute, one that pits the bad (read rich and white) car commuters against the good (less affluent) transit riders. All of this Dinowitz trashing is done with a level of self-righteousness that will not do the supporters of the mayor's scheme much good in Albany. In fact, we'd almost believe it if we were told that Lipsky and McCaffrey were orchestrating the campaign-so counterproductive is the level of vitriol.

The reality is that you can oppose the mayor's tax for many good reasons-the primary one being that it is an expensive method to not achieve certain environmental goals. That all of the enviros are willing to swallow whole the rationales of the Bloombergistas would be laughable, if it weren't so sad. Folks, you're being used as cannon fodder for two special interests here: the promotion of the mayor's quixotic national run on the one hand, and the cultivation of real estate greed on the other. All of those phony developers putting out lachrymose crap about asthma are interested in development rights on the far west side and other lucrative venues. They should be running those ads with knee pads.

So we disagree with the Streetsbloggers, and caution them about Lenin's observation about "useful idiots." This plan of the mayor's is far from the "most realistic opportunity for traffic reduction and increased transit funding in decades." It is, however, a great way for the Parsons Brinckerhoff's of the world to get even richer than they are; all at the expense of those disparaged middle class commuters.

And as for the folks at something called the Albany Project who also attack Dinowitz for not being sufficiently "progressive," we wonder who they'd replace the Dinowitzes, Jaffees and Brodskys with? Chris Quinn and her loyal council brigade?