Congestion Pricing

Dear Assembly Member O’Donnell:

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my email. Naturally, I am extremely disappointed to see the proposal, supported here in my own city, die in Albany with your help.

In the email below, you note we “can do better.” I can’t disagree with that notion, nor with some of the flaws that you outline. You know as well as I do, however, that politics is never a matter of perfect policy: not what “can” be done, but what “will” be done. If this measure dies this week in Albany, we won’t see a reduction in congestion in this city for another decade or longer. That decade matters to my health and wellbeing, and to the health and wellbeing of my family.

I agree that despite the rhetoric, this does not do enough to improve public transportation in New York. We can do better. But this does not mean you should block a measure that will improve the health and livability of our city, merely because it is imperfect. Pass it now, collect federal funding, reduce downtown traffic, and build on that win.

This is a time for change, please help make that change happen.


Alex Halavais

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  1. Posted 4/4/2008 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Congestion pricing trades cost & convenience for environmental benefits. The Bloomberg’s Broadwater gas project trades (uncertain) cost & convenience for environmental harm. It’s an embarrassing contradiction which helps explain why the mayor is absent in the heated Shell Broadwater debate. Keep Shell out of Long Island Sound. Act now:

  2. Posted 4/5/2008 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I’ve been following this closely, I also think it’s interesting that New Jersey wanted to sue because of it…I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I’m not sure exactly why Upstate New York should be allowed in on the decision (yes, Albany is where our government is…but this isn’t exactly a decision that will affect them). Most interesting.



  3. Posted 4/5/2008 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Doh! I thought congestion was the entire point of NYC in the first place. That combined with the doctrine of MORE! It seems like trying to reduce congestion goes against the spirit of things and plays to the “Now that I’ve gotten here, you can’t come.” To meaningfully reduce congestion in an ethical manner one has to go back at least to the generation before they were born and adopt those levels, thus allowing themselves to be part of the solution, rather than whining about the problem. :)

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