Jump to content

East River tolls, Midtown traffic charges proposed for $1.5 billion boost to roads, transit system


Harry

Recommended Posts

post-5097-0-66172500-1395411342_thumb.jpg
New York City's deteriorating roads and transit system could get up to $1.5 billion per year for upgrades under a rummaging of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push to toll East River bridges and charge for access to Midtown. Undaunted by Bloomberg’s 2008 defeat on congestion pricing, transportation advocates are ramping up efforts to sell the public on a revised version of the concept, which includes key changes designed to attract outer-borough support — existing tolls on several spans would be reduced. The reworked model, now called the “Fair Tolling and Transportation Reinvestment Plan,” will be unveiled at a forum at Baruch College on Friday.

Read more: Source

post-5097-0-66172500-1395411342_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Tolls are Taxes. Plain and simple.

You're right.  At the same time I support the tolls ONLY if transportation is improved.  There needs to be a clause that states that a certain amount of funding goes directly to ensuring that transportation is improved and remains viable.  That would mean having the express buses run longer than past 00:00 or 01:30 in some areas, reviving overnight service on some local bus lines, and better Metro-North and LIRR service as well, as those are the areas that would generally have people drive as transportation in some areas that are isolated can be scarce. For example here in Riverdale, once the express buses stop, you have Metro-North, but Metro-North serves a very isolated part of Riverdale along the Hudson river, which makes getting to and from it a pain unless the Hudson Rail Link is running or you can drive from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wouldn't it make sense to improve and expand subway service before attempting to add tolls on East River Bridges? Our current subway service wouldn't be able to handle the loads of people taking mass transit to avoid paying the tolls. The same thing applies to the buses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wouldn't it make sense to improve and expand subway service before attempting to add tolls on East River Bridges? Our current subway service wouldn't be able to handle the loads of people taking mass transit to avoid paying the tolls. The same thing applies to the buses.

 

If only all the pro-public transportation people here can see this post before totally abolishing cars as a form of transportation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wouldn't it make sense to improve and expand subway service before attempting to add tolls on East River Bridges? Our current subway service wouldn't be able to handle the loads of people taking mass transit to avoid paying the tolls. The same thing applies to the buses.

 

It's not like the East River bridges and the neighborhoods around them are handling the traffic well, either. If we increase the amount of people using the QMT, Triboro, and Battery Tunnel, perhaps we'll reduce the pollution and accidents that occur in Chinatown, LIC, and Downtown Brooklyn when truckers and commuters toll shop.

 

Tolls are Taxes. Plain and simple.

 

And like taxes, they go to support essential government-provided services. This isn't the Port, where the tolls are being raised to fund the World Trade Center.

 

 

You're right.  At the same time I support the tolls ONLY if transportation is improved.  There needs to be a clause that states that a certain amount of funding goes directly to ensuring that transportation is improved and remains viable.  That would mean having the express buses run longer than past 00:00 or 01:30 in some areas, reviving overnight service on some local bus lines, and better Metro-North and LIRR service as well, as those are the areas that would generally have people drive as transportation in some areas that are isolated can be scarce. For example here in Riverdale, once the express buses stop, you have Metro-North, but Metro-North serves a very isolated part of Riverdale along the Hudson river, which makes getting to and from it a pain unless the Hudson Rail Link is running or you can drive from there.

 

While this would be a nice thing to have, this would be entirely dependent on the state government behaving itself and not treating the MTA as a piggy bank. We had an opportunity to stop this with the transit lockbox that passed both houses of the legislature, but Cuomo doesn't like having his hands tied when it comes to shady accounting tricks.

 

That being said, the funds will probably go to improvements in both train service and capital funding; the MTA had a wishlist of new routes and added service they wanted to implement during the 2008 proposal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to get raped with this.  Not one dime will ever see transit with this but costs for everything will go up and traffic flow stop in those areas.  Who owns the bridges , the City and it will be a revenue source for the city.  Who uses those bridges, mainly truck and shipping companies and commuters .Where are you building the toll plazas?  How much is this fiasco going to cost with bonds being sold and dedication of revenues to pay them off which never seem ever to be paid off.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not like the East River bridges and the neighborhoods around them are handling the traffic well, either. If we increase the amount of people using the QMT, Triboro, and Battery Tunnel, perhaps we'll reduce the pollution and accidents that occur in Chinatown, LIC, and Downtown Brooklyn when truckers and commuters toll shop.

 

 

And like taxes, they go to support essential government-provided services. This isn't the Port, where the tolls are being raised to fund the World Trade Center.

 

 

 

While this would be a nice thing to have, this would be entirely dependent on the state government behaving itself and not treating the MTA as a piggy bank. We had an opportunity to stop this with the transit lockbox that passed both houses of the legislature, but Cuomo doesn't like having his hands tied when it comes to shady accounting tricks.

 

That being said, the funds will probably go to improvements in both train service and capital funding; the MTA had a wishlist of new routes and added service they wanted to implement during the 2008 proposal.

Well that's my point.  Put a clause in there that says that said funds must be used for express bus service, local bus service, commuter railroads and subway improvements.  That's the only way that this can work.  I support it because you have some arrogant folks out here that think they're too good for transit and I'm of the opinion that they like to use the poor transportation argument as a lame excuse. Now some of them do actually have a legitimate gripe.  Express bus service is poor in some areas forcing one to have to drive to Manhattan, but for people that need to go to the city from the outer boroughs or suburbs, they should be able to do so quickly and efficiently, and shouldn't have to rely on their cars.  I'm very pro-transit especially after seeing how well it works in Europe where car usage is discouraged in major cities.  If one isn't going to Manhattan then fine, use the car if you want, but we have to get more people to stop driving into Manhattan and clogging up the damn roads.  It infuriates me that I sacrifice a car and take the express bus or Metro-North into Manhattan but others MUST drive into Midtown... Really? Now yeah I understand some people don't like taking the subway, fine, but those coming from the suburbs should have the option of a clean express bus or commuter rail service. That's what they do in Europe.  They market different tiers of public transportation.  Some folks want to ride in luxury and I understand that and so in Europe you have business class where you're served and brought drinks, etc.  A real luxury service, but the point is it is marketed properly and it gets people that would not use public transit to get out of their cars and leave them at home, reducing traffic and pollution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's my point.  Put a clause in there that says that said funds must be used for express bus service, local bus service, commuter railroads and subway improvements.  That's the only way that this can work.  I support it because you have some arrogant folks out here that think they're too good for transit and I'm of the opinion that they like to use the poor transportation argument as a lame excuse. Now some of them do actually have a legitimate gripe.  Express bus service is poor in some areas forcing one to have to drive to Manhattan, but for people that need to go to the city from the outer boroughs or suburbs, they should be able to do so quickly and efficiently, and shouldn't have to rely on their cars.  I'm very pro-transit especially after seeing how well it works in Europe where car usage is discouraged in major cities.  If one isn't going to Manhattan then fine, use the car if you want, but we have to get more people to stop driving into Manhattan and clogging up the damn roads.  It infuriates me that I sacrifice a car and take the express bus or Metro-North into Manhattan but others MUST drive into Midtown... Really? Now yeah I understand some people don't like taking the subway, fine, but those coming from the suburbs should have the option of a clean express bus or commuter rail service. That's what they do in Europe.  They market different tiers of public transportation.  Some folks want to ride in luxury and I understand that and so in Europe you have business class where you're served and brought drinks, etc.  A real luxury service, but the point is it is marketed properly and it gets people that would not use public transit to get out of their cars and leave them at home, reducing traffic and pollution.

 

What about Truck drivers who have to make deliveries in Manhattan? Are they too arrogant to take the express bus, Metro North, or LIRR to make deliveries?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Truck drivers who have to make deliveries in Manhattan? Are they too arrogant to take the express bus, Metro North, or LIRR to make deliveries?

We're not talking about truck drivers... We're talking about people that can take mass transit that don't want to.  I'm of the belief that more should be done to facilitate truck drivers making deliveries at night.  They clog up traffic at an incredible clip with the double and triple parking to make deliveries.  Some of them have to make deliveries in the morning, but for some with more flexibility, more should be done so that they deliver at night.  I see some trucks that already do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're not talking about truck drivers... We're talking about people that can take mass transit that don't want to.  I'm of the belief that more should be done to facilitate truck drivers making deliveries at night.  They clog up traffic at an incredible clip with the double and triple parking to make deliveries.  Some of them have to make deliveries in the morning, but for some with more flexibility, more should be done so that they deliver at night.  I see some trucks that already do that.

Some people don't want to take mass transit because the service on the bus, subway, and commuter rails isn't frequent and certain routes are usually crowded during rush hours. Then there's the fact that taking mass transit from the suburbs to Manhattan is long, usually taking 2hrs to go from the suburbs to midtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to get raped with this.  Not one dime will ever see transit with this but costs for everything will go up and traffic flow stop in those areas.  Who owns the bridges , the City and it will be a revenue source for the city.  Who uses those bridges, mainly truck and shipping companies and commuters .Where are you building the toll plazas?  How much is this fiasco going to cost with bonds being sold and dedication of revenues to pay them off which never seem ever to be paid off.  

 

Of the three bridge crossings, it is actually possible to fit the Manhattan with a toll. Only problem is it'll quadruple the amount of traffic it already has. It's probably possible on the Williamsburg as well but only on the entrance from the BQE and of course traffic there isn't pretty as it is already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thoroughly agree with the time if everything breaks in your favor.  What Garibaldi misses is trucks do make deliveries in mid-town at night as they have to.  The activity during the day in certain areas is the only manufacturing done in the City. One of the advantages of age is a memory of what New York was like 60 years ago. Long Island City and Greenpoint  and a number of other areas were heavy industry.  Few people presently know there was a refinery in Greenpoint run by Mobil for years.  When the LIRR was taken over by the State they discouraged rail freight traffic and tore up the freight classification yard .So industries which employed hundreds are now  Home Depot parking lots and Shop Rites. The economy was changed from manufacturing to service.in the City. I can remember as a boy seeing the tracks of the 2nd Avenue El on the Queensboro Bridge as Queens Plaza station still had the unused portion of the station still erect..  This was in the early 50's and the plans for the 2nd Avenue subway were already in place and it took 70 years for them to make headway.  Any tolls if collected will not be dedicated only to transit no matter what the politicians say.  This idea was first floated in the 70's as a method to raise revenue for the City and you notice the leopards no matter how many times are spray painted still have spots.  It's a tax pure and simple.

People who have to take a bus and a subway to their destination and back again pay a heavy freight plus loss of time. So you intend to hold the individual and the car hostage making New York a place where you are taxed to enter and leave. Mass transit in New York hasn't expanded in 60 years with takeover of the Rockaway branch in 60 years.  The only reason they have expanded the 7 line to 34th street is taxes from the yard development not making it easier to get around. If the government doesn't make money out of it nothing is going to be done.  The MTA will be rebuilding that freight classification yard as they realized that development in Suffolk and Nassau has been hindered by lack of freight service and pushing that as it expands the tax base.  If you think they are going to put money to improve bus and mass transit at a loss , not going to happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of the three bridge crossings, it is actually possible to fit the Manhattan with a toll. Only problem is it'll quadruple the amount of traffic it already has. It's probably possible on the Williamsburg as well but only on the entrance from the BQE and of course traffic there isn't pretty as it is al

ready.

 

The layouts on all three bridges require toll plazas on the bridges as all have entrances and exits to street before hitting expressways.  So this means traffic being backed up well into Brooklyn and lower Manhattan for hours. Queensboro bridge means  upper and lower deck plazas.and again we totally mess up Queens plaza as Northern Blvd and Queens Boulevard empty into it. and 59th Street and 2nd Avenue will be a disaster in Manhattan  In simple terms its pure harassment for drivers.  Now if the goal is to get cars out of the City, you have succeeded but at what cost. If the cars drop so does the tolls which are suppose to boost transit development.   so that blows that idea.  You effect retail sales as this is now an added cost similar to raising the sales tax and people running to Nassau to buy or NYC taxis fueling up in NJ to save on the tax on fuel even paying the PA toll. they make out.  .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The layouts on all three bridges require toll plazas on the bridges as all have entrances and exits to street before hitting expressways.

 

This is, of course, assuming that whatever plan will adopt toll plazas as a method of tolling. Singapore, which has used road pricing since the '80s, uses toll gantries that look like this:

 

ERPBugis.JPG

 

You can drive through them at speed, and they either read a transponder (like an EZPass) or a license plate. The Henry Hudson has had this technology for a while now (although it's been outfitted on a traditional toll plaza, simply because they exist.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Truck drivers who have to make deliveries in Manhattan? Are they too arrogant to take the express bus, Metro North, or LIRR to make deliveries?

 

Most of New York City's warehouses (Amazon, postal, etc.) are located in New Jersey, and not Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, or east of the aforementioned area. Truck drivers entering from the west already pay the Port Authority toll, so this probably wouldn't impact truck deliveries (unless they would be toll shopping via the Verrazano and East River bridges westbound, which is not a good thing.) Trucks diverting using the free bridges also cause a disproportionate amount of wear and tear on the city's free bridges, so if anyone pays, they should pay.

 

If a truck needs to get to points east, the proposal lowers the toll for the Verrazano, Bronx-Queens segment of the Triboro, the Whitestone, and the Throgs Neck, so it's not a lose-lose situation.

 

No one has given an adequate answer to this though: why should we encourage toll shopping by tolling the Brooklyn-Battery, the QMT, and the Queensboro, but not any of the other crossings? Why is it okay to fund the MTA using those crossings, but not the free ones? The status quo puts a unequal burden on our most structurally deficient crossings, and clogs up inner-city neighborhoods with pollution, traffic, and accidents; drivers from Queens and Long Island will drive down the BQE and the Kosciuszko to avoid the tolls. What makes the free East River crossings so special?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further more, if the bridges on the east river would ever be tolled, I'd assume they would use the same method as the RFK bridge(?) the one with overhead EZ-Pass scanners. But of course they would alienate people who don't use it at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thoroughly agree with the time if everything breaks in your favor.  What Garibaldi misses is trucks do make deliveries in mid-town at night as they have to.  The activity during the day in certain areas is the only manufacturing done in the City. One of the advantages of age is a memory of what New York was like 60 years ago. Long Island City and Greenpoint  and a number of other areas were heavy industry.  Few people presently know there was a refinery in Greenpoint run by Mobil for years.  When the LIRR was taken over by the State they discouraged rail freight traffic and tore up the freight classification yard .So industries which employed hundreds are now  Home Depot parking lots and Shop Rites. The economy was changed from manufacturing to service.in the City. I can remember as a boy seeing the tracks of the 2nd Avenue El on the Queensboro Bridge as Queens Plaza station still had the unused portion of the station still erect..  This was in the early 50's and the plans for the 2nd Avenue subway were already in place and it took 70 years for them to make headway.  Any tolls if collected will not be dedicated only to transit no matter what the politicians say.  This idea was first floated in the 70's as a method to raise revenue for the City and you notice the leopards no matter how many times are spray painted still have spots.  It's a tax pure and simple.

People who have to take a bus and a subway to their destination and back again pay a heavy freight plus loss of time. So you intend to hold the individual and the car hostage making New York a place where you are taxed to enter and leave. Mass transit in New York hasn't expanded in 60 years with takeover of the Rockaway branch in 60 years.  The only reason they have expanded the 7 line to 34th street is taxes from the yard development not making it easier to get around. If the government doesn't make money out of it nothing is going to be done.  The MTA will be rebuilding that freight classification yard as they realized that development in Suffolk and Nassau has been hindered by lack of freight service and pushing that as it expands the tax base.  If you think they are going to put money to improve bus and mass transit at a loss , not going to happen.

I see plenty of trucks delivering late at night (I'm out at all hours of the night), but I think more of them need to follow that set-up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those bridges are special for the simple reason they are 100 years old or better and have been free. Brooklyn would of never joined the City except for those bridges.  Put tolls on these bridges and New York becomes unique as no other city in the world.  You have to pay one way or the other to enter or exit center city.

 

The Narrows bridge was built not for connecting with Staten Island which it did but to get traffic from the Holland tunnel out of Manhattan as it saves time for freight going to New England otherwise lower New York streets would be twice as brutal.  Go back 60 years and the New Jersey Turnpike was built and opened in 1952 with the Hudson County extension going to the Tunnel. You only had a choice of three crossings two tunnels and a bridge.  

Back in 1963 I went to a discussion with engineers who built the Narrows bridge at CCNY  and they told me and the group there the engineering problems but also the reasons behind the decisions and why it went to Brooklyn. New York didn't want the traffic in the city.  You were diverting truck traffic from the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. The time, fuel and tolls saved by this diversion would pay for any toll on the Narrows.

 

The bridge and tunnel authority already gives money to mass transit.  Lower the toll and have more of them and you are back to the same amount .  So you are robbing Peter to pay Paul but give back to Peter but increased payroll in the mix. Remember every bridge has been paid off years ago including the Throgs Neck   So the tolls collected after maintenance and payroll for the toll collectors is gravy

 

To shop for a freebie as you say means time and fuel which isn't cost effective. The only one I consistently avoided was the Battery Tunnel because simply it is badly built

 

The only problem is the City has deferred maintenance so many times on so many structures over the years that they have to be rebuilt from scratch.  Prime example was Stillwell Avenue at Coney Island.  The problems on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges were known in the 60's but only addressed when the bridges were about to fall down.  I can remember driving the Whitestone Bridge which had more craters in it and potholes than the moon..  The Battery Tunnel still floods when there is a downpour and has for the last 50 years and I pay tolls for this privilege..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those bridges are special for the simple reason they are 100 years old or better and have been free. Brooklyn would of never joined the City except for those bridges.  Put tolls on these bridges and New York becomes unique as no other city in the world.  You have to pay one way or the other to enter or exit center city.

 

The Narrows bridge was built not for connecting with Staten Island which it did but to get traffic from the Holland tunnel out of Manhattan as it saves time for freight going to New England otherwise lower New York streets would be twice as brutal.  Go back 60 years and the New Jersey Turnpike was built and opened in 1952 with the Hudson County extension going to the Tunnel. You only had a choice of three crossings two tunnels and a bridge.  

Back in 1963 I went to a discussion with engineers who built the Narrows bridge at CCNY  and they told me and the group there the engineering problems but also the reasons behind the decisions and why it went to Brooklyn. New York didn't want the traffic in the city.  You were diverting truck traffic from the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. The time, fuel and tolls saved by this diversion would pay for any toll on the Narrows.

 

The bridge and tunnel authority already gives money to mass transit.  Lower the toll and have more of them and you are back to the same amount .  So you are robbing Peter to pay Paul but give back to Peter but increased payroll in the mix. Remember every bridge has been paid off years ago including the Throgs Neck   So the tolls collected after maintenance and payroll for the toll collectors is gravy

 

To shop for a freebie as you say means time and fuel which isn't cost effective. The only one I consistently avoided was the Battery Tunnel because simply it is badly built

 

The only problem is the City has deferred maintenance so many times on so many structures over the years that they have to be rebuilt from scratch.  Prime example was Stillwell Avenue at Coney Island.  The problems on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges were known in the 60's but only addressed when the bridges were about to fall down.  I can remember driving the Whitestone Bridge which had more craters in it and potholes than the moon..  The Battery Tunnel still floods when there is a downpour and has for the last 50 years and I pay tolls for this privilege..

 

The main rationale for tolls these days is that it reduces congestion. It's why MTA tunnels and bridges diverts funding to the rest of the system; if the subway and bus were at a higher price, more people would flood and congest city streets. The same exact logic can be applied to the East River bridges; today, they are parking lots during the rush because of all the commuters trying to take advantage of free (as well as those trying to avoid the Verrazano's extremely high westbound toll), yet at the same time the bridges carry less people every year than they did 75 years ago when cars weren't prevalent. If you put a toll on the bridges, then the streets around them will be less congested and the MTA will have more funding, so it will be able to carry more people. Not everyone who is currently driving into Manhattan should be driving into Manhattan.

 

I think an important fact that people are ignoring is that the outer borough crossings and the crossings north of 60th St will have their toll lowered. Want to get out of the city? It'll be cheaper, if you don't use Manhattan.

 

Just because you don't toll shop does not mean there isn't a significant amount of people toll shopping. DOT and locals in affected neighborhoods have known about this for years; according to traffic studies, most of the traffic on Canal St is passing through Manhattan. With the Verrazano toll as high as it is now, it makes more sense to use the East River and Holland for free westbound, and then use the Verrazano eastbound due to the one-way tolls on the Holland and the Verrazano.

 

I'd also like to point out that the toll will only be charged for entering. It will operate the exact same way the Verrazano and Port Authority tolling works now; you pay a toll to enter, but not to exit the cordon. This is exactly the same as the 2008 proposal; tolls are charged inbound, but not outbound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not this again.

 

Good luck to all the small businesses in Queens and Brooklyn (and Long Island) that make deliveries in Manhattan. I used to work for a small bakery in Queens back in the day, and the only way we were able to compete for deliveries in fancy Manhattan buildings was by having our delivery vans go over the free bridges. Even the seemingly small price of a toll would raise our prices too high for small jobs and the customers would go elsewhere. It's still a tough economy out there for the little guy and this won't help. 

 

And, just as in 2008, the (E)(F) and (7) are still packed to the gills in rush hour, and even well past that these days. If people actually do stop driving and taking mass transit, we will need more express buses until CBTC is finished on those lines (whenever the hell that will be), and those buses will put more wear and tear on these bridges. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.