Spring 2001, p.16


Hoboken, New Jersey
Mayor Attempts Ban on Non-Residents' Cars

Like many towns in Northern New Jersey, hoboken is clogged with cars. In April, Mayor Anthony Russo planned to solve the problem by re-routing southbound drivers around Hoboken between 7 am and 9 am. Only vehicles owned by residents or employed in town would be allowed in. County lawyers labeled the plan unconstitutional. Additionally, surrounding towns and the mayor's political opponents suggested the restriction was irrational and a publicity stunt. However, some local residents praised the plan as welcome traffic relief.

Hudson River Crossings NJ/NY
 Big Time "Road Pricing" Comes to the Metro Area

In March, the Port Authority raised rush hour tolls, and lowered off-peak tolls, at the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge. The Port's action creates the largest "Road" or "Congestion" pricing system in the United States. Tolls will increase for cash-payers from $4 to $6 during the peak, but drivers using E-Z Pass will enjoy a significant discount. Environmental and transportation reform groups welcome the measure as a step towards a more rational transportation system that would not require regular road widenings.

The new toll structure creates an incentive for all drivers to begin paying tolls electronically and will encourage drivers with flexible schedules to use the crossings during off-peak hours. These shifts will lead to less congestion during rush hour, allowing those who must drive then to get where they need to go faster. Studies by the Port Authority and other agencies around the country have found that 8-10% of drivers during rush hours are not headed to work or school. If even half of these motorists switched their trips out of rush hour, it would significantly reduce congestion at the river crossings.

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Nassau County, Long Island
Nassau Bus Woes Continue

Long Island Bus serves 110,000 passengers per day in Nassau County, and ridership has been rising for five years. Surveys show that even more people would ride the bus if service improved This is good news for transit advocates, but bad news for bus riders who face overcrowding. Nassau's 2000 budget meltdown resulted in a crushing one-third reduction in the county's $20 million in annual support for buses. With less money, LI Bus was forced to cut service 35%. The news for local bus riders gets even worse. Nassau budgeted $7 million for bus service this year, and is slated to eliminate all support for the bus system by 2003. The county seems to be engaged in a high-stakes political game to get the state and MTA to assume its bus funding obligations. So far, the governor has provided emergency funding to keep the buses moving. But it's extremely unlikely that Nassau will be able to fob off its transit funding responsibilities to the state.

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Hudson Valley, NY
Sustainable Development Studies Score

 Towns north of NYC are giving a big thumbs-up to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's (NYMTC's) "Sustainable Development" studies. NYMTC's goal is to help Mid-Hudson towns and counties escape from the destructive and expensive cycle of "More Roads-More Cars-More Roads." The studies focused on changing zoning rules and creating appropriate road networks that work, but do not encourage more traffic. State Department of State Transportation Commissioner Joseph Boardman said the DOT's involvement in the studies was one of the agencies efforts to fulfill Governor Pataki's "Quality Communities" smart growth agenda.
Read Mobilizing The Region contact the Tri-State Transportation Campaign www.tstc.org or 212-268-7474