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Congestion Pricing; Another Tax

By Jose B. Rivera

August 19, 2023 - Well it looks like Congestion Pricing will come to New York City. What it means is that cars coming into certain areas of Manhattan at certain times will be taxed for it. Their freedom of movement will be taxed. All in a supposed effort to ease congestion. Our congestion mostly occurs for about two hours each day and is part of any major city. n fact it’s a sign of a successful city. One in which good are needed, purchased and sold. The question is, why play with the flow of goods into the city? And remember, it’s a city for god’s sake! What are those proposing this new tax expect? Empty streets? And why even have that expectation? People and goods have to get around or commerce and food will dry up. Knowing that no matter traffic will still in fact stay congested, city elected officials have chosen to tax cars much like they tax cigarettes. With the knowledge that their tax won’t stop the cars or smokers. Quick and easy money!

imageAdding To the Congestion
The elected officials made the past congestion worse by implementing bus and bike lanes. Think of the lanes of car traffic as arteries in the body. Bus and Bike lanes reduce the space cars have to ride in and therefore create more congestion as the same amount of cars now have less lanes in which to travel.  And then the elected officials have the nerve to add congestion pricing to the congestion that they added too. It’s surprising that no one has taken them to court to have them remove the bike and bus lanes or end congestion pricing. Only in New York City can you exacerbate a problem and then offer a fee driven (non) solution. Ultimately this is about creating yet another tax on city resident who will foot the bill for the congestion pricing with higher food, good and transportation costs

Under Utilized Lanes
Bus lanes take up a whole lane of traffic (see photo on the left). When the far and few buses are not on them, the lane becomes under utilized. No other traffic is allowed on them. Camera’s are in place to snap a photo of any car on them. Bike lanes are also under utilized. When added together to any street or Avenue, the lanes take away up to 40% of roadway that could be used by regular vehicles and trucks. Those vehicles and trucks are now forced and confined into a narrower corridor thereby increasing congestion that the creators of bus and bike lanes now add a tax using congestion pricing.

The city has also added totally unnecessary islands to the right and sometimes in the middle of streets and avenues. Thereby cutting in half the roadway for cars. This also adds to more congestion by removing totally usable roads from car use. Again, it’s money over logic when it comes to these lanes. They add nothing and slow down the traffic flow (see photo at the bottom of this article. Bike lane is white, island is yellow).

Yet Another Tax
Car owners already paid taxes when buying a car, taxes when buying gas and insurance. Taxes which pay for roads and their upkeep. But the city and state want to tax car owners for using the road that car owners have already paid for. Now they will pay what is a freedom of movement. And knowing city government, these taxes will never stay the same, but will go up, higher and higher.

imageNot to mention that congestion pricing will lead to less visit by car owners into the area and thereby cost business sales. Trucks pose another problem. Truckers will” pass the congestion pricing on to store, retailers, wholesales, who in turn will pass the tax onto consumers. Another nickel and dime tax added to the numerous taxes a New Yorker has to pay n order to live in the city. It’s not bad enough that the city has an 8.85% sales tax.

Bad Stewards
And it’s not like the city or state of New York are good stewards of the people’s money. The spend more than they collect and run deficits instead of living within their means. Our City and State need a Tax revolution so that we can end the nickel and diming the taxpayers. Starting at the voting booth. And we need to get rid of these newer taxes.  Either that or it’s time to move from this city and state for places where elected officials are mindful of the people’s money.


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