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NYT op-ed on Congestion Pricing

Sunday's New York Times had a couple of Op-Eds about Mayor Bloomberg's plan for congestion pricing in New York City. One of them, by Ellen F. Crain, makes almost no sense at all. Crain argues that congestion pricing will inadvertently lead to more traffic in the outer boroughs because "drivers will be looking for parking near subways there to take them to Midtown."

I'd love to ask Ms. Crain where all this presumably free and easy parking in Brooklyn is. I'm in Flatbush and even here free parking is slim pickins. The plumber across the street sometimes sits in his car for an hour just waiting for a space to open up. The idea that swarms of people rich enough to keep a car in the City would drive to another neighborhood, search for a space to park, then board the train for a 35-minute ride to the city just to save $4 (assuming the subway and back is $4) takes some imagination. I don't know about the other boroughs, but I'm going to guess that the closer one gets to the city and the subway, the harder it is to find free parking.

The entire Op-Ed rests on this claim, which is totally unsubstantiated in any way. It also doesn't acknowledge that there's a pretty easy workaround: get rid of free parking!

Posted by carrie on 05/22/2007 | Permalink


Her point is rendered completely moot by the inclusion of residential parking permits in the plan.

Neighborhood residents with city-issued decals would be allowed to park as they do now, while permit-less cars would would be allowed to park only for a limited time.

This makes it feasible to park in a neighborhood for a couple hours to visit a friend or whatever, but prohibits auto commuters from using neighborhoods as their own personal Park and Ride lots.

Posted by: Damian | May 22, 2007 2:31:45 PM

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