Readers Write: Congestion pricing is nothing more than a tax grab

Readers Write: Congestion pricing is nothing more than a tax grab

I have been a Roslyn resident for some 40 years.

Personally, I found and exposed the Roslyn school scandal, and rid the district’s for-profit day care center, owned by the school board president’s wife, operating out of East Hills High School.

I remained anonymous and chose not to be the story. When they made the movie (“Bad Education”), I chose not to contribute. I am a frequent contributor to the New York Post and again, to not seek publicity.

As a loyal American, I see things from perhaps a different perspective than your editors.

I just spent three weeks in London and had the opportunity to see what congestion pricing can achieve.

The first myth is that it will eliminate or reduce congestion. In London this was not the case.  Traffic is as thick as it always was, it took 32 minutes to travel 2 ½ miles.

The traffic lights are rigged so that only 3 or 4 cars can pass at a green light, with a speed limit of 20 m.p.h.  Speeding at 21 m.p.h. will get you a $150 fine.

If the road had two lanes, one is now a bike lane.  But, beware, crossing that bike lane is dangerous and at your own risk. The bikers know no rules, it is everyone for themselves.  Any car in the City of London is billed about $18 a day, whether or not it moves.

As of the end of August, fossil-fueled cars are forbidden. The effect of this is to render any gas-burning car in the country, value reduced by half.

The cost of EV cars is about $20,000 more than conventional automobiles. Recharging a vehicle is about $78 and is time-consuming.  Outside of London, people really have no interest in Battery cars.

The result has been that London is losing its middle class. The residents break down to young, single professionals, the very rich, tourists and immigrants, legal and otherwise.  Many businesses have folded, and have been reduced to convenience or “off License” stores.

Enforcement is Orwellian for parking violations, stopping or traffic misdeeds.  A UBER driver must wear his identification around his neck or else the fine is in the hundreds.  The cost of collecting these fees approaches the monies collected.

When our politicians come up with proposals such as this, they see only their pet interests, in this case, the MTA.  When I began driving the bridges and tunnels were .25 each way.  Now it is $6-$8, except for the Verrazano which is I believe $19

When you add parking, meters were .10 an hour, and now $3-$4 per hour, with a meter maid on every block.  Add the congestion fee to all of this and it rapidly becomes a burden to the working man or a resident wanting to shop.

Conveniently, the congestion zone stops at 60th Street, so anyone who wants to go uptown off of the Queensboro Bridge gets socked with the fee.

Let’s look at the TBTA and any crossing.  As I mentioned, when I started driving the toll was .25, does it really cost $500,000+ a day to maintain the Triboro bridge or the Queens Midtown Tunnel?

Where does the money go?  Our politicians believe that “if you build it, they will come.”  This is not the case always.  How many more who drive, are going to opt for the crime-ridden subways?

With the high cost of rent, and these added expenses, everything in Manhattan will increase in cost.  It would be naive to think that UPS, Amazon and any delivery truck will absorb this increase.

Did closing 14th Street speed traffic? Of course it did not, and likewise for Herald Square and Times Square. It is obvious that the politicians are anti-car.

Will the hundreds of thousands of working commuters, give up their cars to take the Subway, or buses.  Unfortunately, when the make gross mistakes, there is no going back, the damage is done.

Years ago, NAFTRA was going to increase business from Mexico and the economy would flourish.  Some 63,000 factories and now you can’t buy an American-made nail or clock.

Lest people think that congestion pricing or battery cars will save the planet, it is well established the First Law of Thermodynamics states that ”energy can neither be created nor destroyed.”

Instead of the car burning fuel, now the power plant will. Forget alternative energy, which when push comes to shove, is neither reliable or cheap.

With this folly of congestion pricing, it is only a tax grab and there is no going back.  Today’s Daily Telegraph reveals how these policies hurt London.

Cary Ratner


No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here