Publisher's Letter: "Mayors Win"
The guys at Empire Deli on 6th Avenue say Mayor Bloomberg is bad for business and raised transit fares. They're not alone. The Mayor's approval rating has fallen to 32%. Worse could be ahead for Bloomberg as the City faces even more popularity-killing budget woes the next two years.
One (unpopular) way to help close these deficits is by tolling the East River bridges. Because of the great success of London's congestion pricing program, there is renewed speculation by pundits that such tolls are on the way. Indeed, the Mayor's budget contains toll revenue of $400 million in '05 and $600 million in '06.
The political reality is otherwise. There will be no tolls until Bloomberg is re-elected or a new mayor steps in. Queens and Brooklyn councilmembers have quashed any hope of getting the City Council's approval for tolls--which the Mayor must have. In Albany, both houses of the state legislature have also nixed tolls. A closer look also reveals that the City has not started the extensive planning, environmental studies and other preparation needed to put tolls in place. (An army of experienced consultants and high- level city managers spent two years on London's program.) This is probably because the Mayor hoped to lease the East River bridges to the MTA. That agency's credibility problems now make this very unlikely.
Battered as Bloomberg may be at the moment, there is an old NYC political saying "Mayor's win."
In essence, mayors have tremendous power and usually get there way. Indeed, there are still many things Mayor Bloomberg can do quickly and inexpensively to make NYC a better place to live and travel in. Here are a few:
These are just a few of the ideas T.A. has for making NYC a better place to bicycle, walk and live in. Check us out. Read this magazine, share it with a friend, and if you haven't already, join as a member.
P.S. Note to guys at Empire Deli: the Governor, not the Mayor, controls the MTA and transit fares.