Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Outer boroughs might as well be outer space

Tomorrow, the congestion pricing committee will vote, and each of the four plans they've decided to vote on remain Manhattan-based, to the detriment of those of us who live in the other four boroughs. I've spent plenty of money contacting these committee members, registering to speak, paying for postage, etc., and will continue to work hard to advance an open dialog on these issues.

I, and many others, including Council Members Lew Fidler and Letitia James, spoke out against this wrong-headed approach, apparently to no avail. Likewise, there has been insufficient press coverage of the traffic mitigation and congestion pricing issue, and basically no public dialog. This does not a healthy democracy make. Therefore, I am asking you to write your own viewpoints concerning traffic and transit in New York City—and to make them known to each member of the City Council and State Assembly.

Please read my report, speech, and letter to the congestion mitigation committee,
and tell me that you think these issues are unimportant—I don't think you will; these are probably the most important issues facing the city—far too important to be ignored.

There are many issues to be addressed here, and the solutions I propose are not necessarily the best solutions; but the astounding lack of public discussion of these issues is causing serious harm to our fair city. We, the people, are not being heard, and we are not well represented by silence.

I thank you for any help, comments, or suggestions you have to offer.

NYCT Bus sale

Pete Donohue of the NY Daily News reported yesterday that New York City Transit is putting three New Flyer Viking express buses up for auction; they had originally been purchased in 1999 for evaluation.

Here's my question: Why are we purchasing buses for evaluation? I would think that NYCT, as the largest transit agency in the country, would have enough clout to be able to evaluate equipment at the manufacturer's expense, rather than at the taxpayer's, wouldn't you? This sounds like yet another example of the rampant waste that has long been a hallmark of the MTA's operations.