In the News: Congestion pricing starts June 30

The MTA announced Friday that June 30 is the date that its controversial congestion pricing plan is set to go into effect. Everyone has a story; here’s one from CBS News. The toll for drivers of personal vehicles coming into the city is $15, only entering, max of one charge per day.

Weird premise for a post (maybe it was sponsored??), but Gotham magazine takes the number and goes with it for three neighborhoods: Tribeca (of course), Gramercy Park, the Upper West Side. 145 Hudson gets the spotlight here — love — but wait till you see the Gramercy entry!

A Taylor Swift superfan filled The Post in on the details he noticed in a visit to Taylor Swift’s apartment(s) on Franklin Street, including Grammy awards on the toilet in the speakeasy bathroom and another broken one stored in a birdcage. The Post says the whole spread — cobbled together from two buildings — is 8300 square feet.

The Flaming Pablum rock blog traces a shot taken in 1977 of the Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, “arguably the preeminent band of the No Wave ….er… wave, then featuring drummer Bradley Field, a bass player named Reck, the great James Chance (later to front his own band, The Contortions) and the inimitable firebrand that is Lydia Lunch,” taken in 1977 in front of Joseph Carini Carpet. Plus the photo gets on their poster for their gig at Max’s Kansas City.



  1. So all the lawsuits and attempts to block congestion pricing have failed? Now let’s see how this works. I’m sure it will require adjusting as it goes on, but I do have hopes that it can be a net positive for the city and society.

    • It’s not quite true that the lawsuits have failed. They haven’t been decided. I and other CP proponents are optimistic they’ll be rejected in June but there’s no assurance. OTOH, there could be an 11th hour settlement btw NY and NJ which would probably moot the other lawsuits.

      I’m confident CP will be a big positive for NYC. Our combination of endemic gridlock, solid transit into Manhattan, and affluent drivers guarantees that even a bad CP plan will do way more good than harm. And, amazingly, the MTA’s toll plan is actually pretty smart — and fair IMO.

      More here,, for anyone interested.

      • The issue in Tribeca specifically is the choke point created by the Holland Tunnel and this will still remain a problem for our neighborhood during peak afternoon periods regardless of congestion pricing. The Canal / Hudson intersection is particularly dangerous and the NYPD doesn’t even station police there on weekends despite times when the intersection is blocked for hours on end. This has ripple effects throughout the neighborhood.

        The design to have Laight and Hubert streets used as exit lanes for the tunnel while simultaneously using Hudson as an entrance lane for the tunnel is extremely problematic for pedestrians and residents and it creates a completely unsafe environment for everyone, including drivers. Hubert, Laight, Vestry and Canal boxes are frequently blocked by drivers and the NYPD seems to allow this because its some sort of bizarre illegal “tradition” (their word).

        The neighborhood has asked the NYPD, Port Authority, City Council, and CB1 to do something about the problem and the actions have been very limited. Not convinced our local challenge will be solved with congestion pricing, as the environmental reports clearly show congestion at tunnel will remain.

        Would be great if they could focus on improving the safety conditions in this corridor vs just hoping congestion pricing will make our roads safer. It’s not an either but all the key stakeholders involved in this specific problem seem to be hoping the problem will just go away with congestion pricing and continue to ignore the issue.

        • I’ve never understood why blocking the boxes is permitted. All those “blockers” should be ticketed until this practice ends. It just causes chaos and slow-downs for everyone, and is of course very dangerous to pedestrians. What is this “tradition” you mention?

          I thought there was a time years ago when “don’t block the box” was enforced…or am I dreaming and idealizing?

          • An officer in the 1st precinct referred to the practice of blocking the box as a longstanding behavior by drivers on the tunnel approach during a monthly community meeting that many people in Tribeca attended last year regarding the tunnel congestion and said it was kind of like a tradition by the drivers. The NYPD basically sees the overall issue near the tunnel as a Port Authority problem and so they don’t really focus on the issue despite frequent requests to improve safety in the area.

      • Komanoff,
        With respect…..surely you are aware that many-most drivers in the CP zone are not “affluent “.

        Yes Tribeca residents are mostly affluent and fortunate.

        But lots of non-affluent people can’t afford to live in Manhattan, live far away, not near transit, some with night shifts etc – and thus must drive.

        And CP will raise costs of commercial.

        BTW what’s the TransAlt Plan? To expand bike lanes?

  2. But why should local residents be charged? There should be an exception similar to other cities where they have local stickering. We already pay tax on our monthly parking garage and frankly it would be a good idea to remove the tax discount for locals in lieu of weekly or daily $15 charges!

    • Why shouldn’t local residents be charged. It will discourage driving by residents as well. You garage tax doesn’t go to the MTA. It’s just a sales tax liked you’d pay on most anything.

  3. James Chance is in the air! A friend played “Contort Yourself” at a gathering on Saturday.

  4. Ms Lunch stayed downstairs here – at 81 Warren st. – for awhile…
    Many of those seminal punk bands “ practiced”, partied, etc. on the second floor …the Jerks, the Voidoids, the Contortions, Mars,
    DNA and more. It was wonderful, FUN, ( and missed).
    Those were the daze, my friends…….

  5. @Jam:

    I’ve never contended that the congestion charge won’t sting. It’s *intended* to sting, in order to effectuate the (roughly) 15% reduction in auto trips needed to meaningfully cut dangerous and expensive traffic gridlock inside and en route to the CBD.

    Low-wage workers commuting by car to the zone are relatively few in number compared to the many hundreds of thousands who will benefit from better subway service enabled by the congestion charges paid for by the other 85% of drivers. That’s not just me talking, it’s the Community Service Society, whose work I reference in many of the papers you can find on my web page I linked to in my earlier comment. Moreover, the MTA offers low-wage workers a 50% discount on car trips past a monthly threshold. And that’s apart from the 75% discount for trips entering the zone after 9 pm. (For the record, I wanted 8 pm. I hope unions representing those workers will demand and obtain flexible schedules to take advantage of that fee drop.)

    CP’s impacts on truckers’ cost could be a net positive, due to the ability to service more destinations more quickly. Please try to visualize benefits like this, not just negatives.

    As for Trans Alt’s program, why ask me? I haven’t had a position of authority there in over 30 years.