Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Congestion Plan Re-Make

The NY Daily News' Adam Lisberg is reporting (can't seem to find the online link) that the vaunted Congestion Commission is thinking an overhaul of the mayor's plan-quoting Marc Shaw the commission's chair. We're not sure what all of this means, because the changes being examined-narrowing the congestion zone, and exempting Manhattan residents-aren't what's causing all of the outside Manhattan opposition.

In this morning's Crain's Insider the newsletter discusses the K&K alternative to the mayor's plan: "Transportation consultant Brian Ketcham has been floating a modified version of congestion pricing that would move the boundary south to 60th Street from 86th Street and toll the East River bridges. Ketcham and fellow consultant Carolyn Konheim have been arguing for East Rivertolls for years without success. Insiders say the idea could catch on if congestion pricing proponents believe their plan is in trouble; this week’s Quinnipiac Poll shows
a decline in public support."

While the K&K plan does have a greater degree of efficacy from a management perspective, it does little to address the major objections of opponents of the congestion tax-that it's an unfair burden on the citry's already over-taxed middle class. And it certainly doesn't address the MTA governance issue.

All a call to toll the bridges will do, is to really galvanize the intensity of outer borough opposition to the tax; and will harden assembly opposition at the same time. Keep in mind that it's the three legislative bodies that will make the final call on this, no matter what the handmaidens on the commission decide to do.