NY pols driving us on roads to ruin

NY pols driving us on roads to ruin

There are 6 comments on the Newsday story from Jul 2, 2007, titled NY pols driving us on roads to ruin. In it, Newsday reports that:

Far too many New York State politicians practice what amounts to a kind of political masochism.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.


Farmingville, NY

#1 Jul 2, 2007

Williston Park, NY

#2 Jul 3, 2007
I am not even sure where to begin...
You complain about the congestion pricing because its an "tax" by 'evil politicians who are out to get your money.' Well, why are they doing that? Well certainly there are many cases of corruption throughout the world, but do you really think that this is all an elaborate ruse for graft?

I don't think so

Infrastructure costs money, a lot of it, especially in New York City where property values are astronomical. Building or expanding a road out in suburban or rural Georgia is a lot less expensive than pretty much anywhere in New York City. New York also has a old and complex infrastructure (utilities, subways, etc.) below ground that makes any project that interferes or relocates it very, VERY expensive.

The reason, I would guess, that New York roads are so bad is that in the city they are so extensive, combined with high city costs for any construction work, makes it difficult to keep all the roads in a state of good repair. Upstate (which I imagine where most of the rural lanes are), on the other hand, has a very low density which, combined with a depressed economy, does not provide a lot of money to keep the far flung road network up to par.

The New York Subway system is over 100 years old, much of it built more than 70 years ago. With the expense of Manhattan construction, the city needs a substantial amount of money in order to complete projects such as the Second Avenue Subway which has to come from somewhere.

This brings me to my next point, what you do when you drive. Driving is not a harm-free action. Cars cause an incredible amount of air pollution which in New York helps contribute to the city's very high asthma rate among Children. Cars also injure and kill many pedestrians and bicyclists (over 300 this year already). Yet when it comes down to it, most households in the city do not have a car. This is even more so when it comes to Manhattan residents, 75 percent of which do not own a car.

Yes driving is a choice, but its one that hurts many people, especially in a high density area like Manhattan. Do you have the right to make others sick? Oh and by the way, those East River bridges cost a lot of money to maintain. So do the streets throughout the city. Where does that money come from? NYCDOT whose funding comes from the city capital program (and some additional federal money). That capital program is funded through city funds (i.e. not gas tax) by a city in which the majority do not own cars. So instead of thinking about congestion pricing as being unfair in making you or others pay to use use the east river bridges (or pay more on the tunnels, etc.) think about it like this: Why should the people who walk (the vast majority of New York commuters) pay for you to ride bridges and drive their streets for free when they are not even using them when you, as a driver, are damaging their lungs and putting them into serious bodily danger. Having a congestion charge puts a disincentive against imposing these problems on residents and other pedestrians.

Your argument seems to be more of an emotional appeal to people fear of taxes rather than a sound, logical argument. It is not a "tax," it is a "user fee." You only pay for it if you use it. If you want to take that reasoning, I should call a subway fare a "tax" as well.

To be perfectly honest, I think the fewer cars there are in Manhattan (and the rest of the city for that matter, the more appealing that it would be).

I could go on and on. I would look forward to hearing a response posted from you about this.

One last thing though. You wrote "Bloomberg, like many elected officials, prefers to see other people on trains and buses rather than in automobiles," seemingly implying that Bloomberg drives (or is driven) to work every day. He takes the Lex.
Tom F

Phoenix, AZ

#3 Jul 3, 2007
Well said, Chris. It appears you've ended the conversation before it ever took it's first toxic breath.

Actually, I envy NYers that do not own vehicles. What a money saver! Simply, the best transportation system in the USA. Those that deny that need to wake up.
Belinda S

Glen Head, NY

#4 Jul 3, 2007
On average property taxes in Connecticut are about half of what they are in New York.

The primary difference is that New Yorkers pay for snow removal, street lighting, signals and signs, traffic law enforcement, accident investigations, road construction and maintenance etc out of the property tax. In Connecticut these expenses are paid for out of the gas tax and a annual tax on the value of vehicles.

New York’s antiquated system provides a huge subsidy to the trucking industry as well as the Detroit three. Village, Town, City, County and State governments pick up most of the expense created by motor vehicle and transportation industry.

In New York State, people who don’t drive are subsidizing those who do.
The poor are paying for the wealthy. New York’s system is outmoded and unjust!
Ed Burke

Coram, NY

#5 Jul 8, 2007
The people of Long Island are forced to subsidize New York City because all the materials needed to support those living on Long Island pass through New York City Toll Booths. For that massive subsidy the Cross Bronx and Brooklyn-Queens 'expressways'(if ever a word was ill used to descibe a road that has to be it) are over crowded, dismally designed, and barely maintained. And a considerable amount of toll money generated by cars and trucks is used to subsidize the mass transit systems so New York City residents don't have to pay their way to commute to work.

If Bloomy wants to make people entering Manhattan pay his new tax, I think that's great ! and long overdue ! Maybe we could build a road that starts in New Jersy, and has no exits or entrances till it arrives in Nassau County. We could call it the "Over-the Toilet" expressway, and THAT I'd be willing to pay a toll for.

New York, NY

#6 Jul 12, 2007
Give me a break. They are not "New York City tolls," they are MTA and Port Authority (PA) tolls. The bridges and tunnels need to be maintained and they are not exactly cheap either. Moreover, the MTA runs the LIRR and the PA contributes to regional transportation projects such as the LIRR east side access. Any "profits" that they make on tolls benefit Long Island residents. Moreover, anytime that anyone uses the toll-free East River bridges, they are being subsidized by city residents, at least half of whom, do not drive.

Expanding the Cross-Bronx or Brooklyn-Queens expressway is not going to happen. With the price of right-of-way acquisition it would be many billions of dollars.

You're complaining about the mass transit subsidy? Look in the mirror. The government subsidy to automobile transportation is huge. Sure highways are paid largely, but not completely through the gas tax, but local roadway construction, repair and maintenance is generally paid through property taxes. The half of city residents that don't own a car are largely subsidizing you whenever you drive through their streets. If you want to actually pay the cost for all government subsidies for streets and parking, your gas tax should be about $3.50 a gallon.

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