N90s: Back In Court Thurs AM; Congestion Pricing: Are We Protected?

Join us this Thursday, March 21st at the NY State Supreme Court, 80 Centre Street, Room 122 at 9:30 AM for a hearing on the Neighborhood In The Nineties lawsuit against the City, Praxis Housing and Esplanade LLC to stop the shelter at The Alexander on 94th St.

 

Shelter Case Resumes This Thursday In NYS Supreme Court
— Is Cargestion Coming To Our Neighborhood? Read On!

This coming week holds two events that will have a huge impact over the future of our beautiful neighborhood, and the whole Upper West Side:


·         Thursday, March 21st: Our case against the City’s plans to turn the Alexander Hotel into a shelter will be heard in Court. The hearing will be at 80 Centre Street, Room 122, starting promptly at 9:30 AM. We encourage our neighbors to attend – there is strength in numbers!
 
·         Tuesday, March 19th: Several elected representatives from the Upper West Side are holding an event on Congestion Pricing at 6 PM at John Jay College, 524 West 59th St., Room L63 Atrium.

 
Bias alert: Tuesday’s three-part panel features two groups actively campaigning for the congestion pricing plan, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the League of Conservation Voters. Neighborhood groups from the Upper West Side who are concerned about our community becoming a park-and-ride will not be represented on the panel. At least half the money raised by the new tolls will NOT go to NYC subways and buses.
 
N90s has not taken a stand on congestion pricing but we are concerned that vehicles seeking to avoid the additional toll will seek street parking and garage space above the 61st Street congestion zone. 
 
During the Bloomberg Administration, a congestion pricing proposal was torpedoed, in part, because the issue of flooding local streets on the Upper West and Upper East Sides was not adequately addressed. Despite the support of civic and business groups, the proposal died when the NY State Assembly couldn’t muster enough support in April 2008.https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/congestion-pricing-plan-is-dead-assembly-speaker-says/
 
FACT: Every day 145,000 vehicles enter Manhattan via the G.W. Bridge; 35,000 enter via the Henry Hudson Bridge. A congestion toll below 61st Street may encourage new vehicle patterns in our neighborhood.

If you don’t own a car, you may still have to worry. Why? Because the streets will be flooded with traffic, and even subways will be more overcrowded as more people drop their cars off and switch to local rails. Yellow cabs and other hails will cost even more as they plod through possible gridlock.
 
Proposals that call for neighborhood parking permits will come with a new tax for street parking, but it may not solve the issue of:
o   Out-of-neighborhood commuters using neighborhood garages
o   Taxi and limo riders who were already socked with new congestion fees last month for rides below 96th St. to subsidize public transit (many users are fixed-income seniors who are not well accommodated by Access-A-Ride)
 
While congestion pricing is a good concept, it must be implemented the right way. 
 
Our neighborhood needs an objective study that addresses the impact on all constituencies including seniors, working people and local businesses. In the rush to tap a new revenue source, the state and city cannot indulge the law of unintended consequences.

 

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