The best story of the day was in the Post, where former Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Lucius Riccio said congestion pricing should first target the real causes of congestion: Uber and Lyft cars that flooded the city a few years ago.
But Riccio undermined his own point with disregard of a key fact: “The largest share of the vehicles on our streets are these for-hire vehicles that pay nothing to be on our streets,” he told reporter David Meyer, who was all too happy to remind readers that “in 2019, for-hire hacks began paying a $2.75-per-ride congestion charge.” (Riccio retorted that it’s not enough to compensate for all the traffic caused by the cabs.)
In any event, Meyer’s piece was an important bit of inside baseball — inside because it’s very unlikely that Gov. Hochul will tinker with congestion pricing now that it is so close to getting federal approval. But the piece should definitely be read, even though it will likely add more ammunition to the congestion pricing opponents who can now say, “See? Even experts disagree about this stuff! Let’s have another few years of debate!”
In other news from yet another painfully slow news day on the livable streets front:
- More footage emerged of that horrifying crash in Inwood on Monday. (NY Post)
- After urging from Mayor Adams, Gov. Hochul did indeed veto the “don’t build schools near highways” bill, citing its “laudable” goal, but overly “restrictive” language. (NYDN)
- Like Streetsblog, the Daily News covered the death of scooter rider Hamdan Almatare. But unlike our coverage, theirs lacked so much context.
- As our own Dave Colon pointed out, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s decision to not seek another term and possibly seek the governor’s mansion is our world’s version of Anne Hildalgo running for French president (which happened!). (Gothamist)
- The city is eyeing two more spots for deliverista charging hubs. (The City)
- Friend of Streetsblog Christopher Robbins did the definitive, “Why does the AirTrain suck so bad” story. (Hell Gate)
- Some people in Long Island City oppose the “noise” and “air pollution” that better ferry service would bring. We wonder if they’ve heard of the exponentially worse conditions caused by cars. (Gothamist)
- We’re not going to weigh in on the city’s latest obsession with bringing casinos to the five boroughs (Gothamist covered it), but you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes and muttering, “Full-fledged casinos in the city?! What could possibly go wrong?”
- And, finally, here are the final grim numbers for 2022, courtesy of the Department of Transportation. The good news? Pedestrian deaths were down from last year, but they are still far too high. The bad news? Total road deaths were the second highest since 2014.
- Oh, and our old man editor launched his latest campaign against scofflaw drivers — this time, those who apparently commit insurance fraud:
EXCLUSIVE: Here's the debut of my new musical satire on rampant insurance fraud right under our nose. Check out #WhereDoMyNeighborsLive — and get angry at all the scammers among us. pic.twitter.com/UALlHPQ7x6
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) January 4, 2023