The MTA Blows Its Congestion Pricing Analysis Edition – Streetsblog New York City


How the MTA transformed the flexible; visionary; a congestion pricing plan that saves time, money and the environment in a “dog” that everyone hits – wrongly – as “a money grab that will only reduce traffic than in Manhattan”?

Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff exposed the many flaws in the authority’s environmental assessment that led to this outrage yesterday in a Gotham Gazette op-ed. Here are the main takeaways:

  • Central Business District toll ‘will result in 1,974,000 fewer miles per day traveled by automobiles outside of the Manhattan congestion zone.
  • The EA underestimates these reductions in traffic outside of Manhattan by an average of five times.
  • The MTA modeling makes such errors because, among other things, it totally omits the concept of “price elasticity”.

The bottom line: Proponents knew from the start that congestion pricing would be hard fought, but they “shouldn’t have helped stave off the tidal wave of opposition that has engulfed the program since the publication of the MTA’s environmental assessment, which arose largely because of the assessment’s flawed modeling and unsubstantiated results.”

Thus, “these results should be withdrawn”.

Meanwhile, bills have been advanced in Albany that would punish drivers from “uncooperative” states (see: New Jersey) with a $50 fine if their DMVs do not share vehicle information with New York because it applies congestion pricing. The New Jersey Senate unanimously passed such a measure in June. Gothamist covered the tit-for-tat legislation.

For an extra tip: “I can’t find a single transportation or environmental advocate actively pushing this congestion pricing plan who protested the invasion of 100,000 [for-hire] vehicles,” writes former MTA board member Lucius Ricco in an error-laden Daily News op-ed. Bad.

In other news:

  • Ninth Avenue gets an 11-foot wider sidewalk on its east side from 50th to 59th Streets, reclaiming a lane for walkers that was lost approaching the Lincoln Tunnel 85 years ago. (W42ndSt)
  • The NYPD will begin encrypting its radio transmissions in 2024, cutting off the press and public for the first time since the 1940s. (amNY)
  • Taxi owners will get medallion loan relief. (amNY)
  • The NYC Economic Development Corporation started a beloved playground from a pier in Red Hook. (The city)
  • The runaway biker who killed actress Lisa Banes in Manhattan has pleaded guilty. (New York Post, NY Times)
  • An anarchist group opposed to private property has attempted a stunt: selling several keys to a “mystery” car parked somewhere in Brooklyn. (gothamist)
  • A New York Times tech reporter took a “Cruise” driverless taxi in San Francisco. (These are the kind of driverless cars that Ford and GM want a safety exemption for losing thousands every year.) The “technology remains a work in progress” — to say the least.
  • Heard about the latest outing against outdoor dining? Streetsblog had the story. A Twitter wag had a humorous solution. (Going through Twitter)
  • Do you pity the dinosaurs of the Third Avenue office buildings? No, turn them into housing. (Bloomberg)
  • From the dispatch office: DOT Commissioner Rodriguez cuts the ribbon on a new bus priority lane in Queens this morning.
  • Long Island’s Hempstead Turnpike is the most dangerous road for cyclists in America. Believe it. (Ride a bike)
  • Speaking of congestion pricing, Assemblyman Robert Carroll, who just wrote a column about it for Streetsblog, hosted a different kind of project on the 27th.ViaTwitter)
  • A Brooklyn judge has awarded $4.5 million to a man who was beaten and blinded by a Williamsburg “security patrol”. (NYDN)
  • Here’s an SUV owner saying the “quiet” part out loud: “Sport” kills the pavement. (ViaTwitter)


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