NYC Congestion Charge Sputters And Dies, Your Cab Still Stuck In Traffic

We've told you before about New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg's proposal to charge New York drivers eight bucks to enter Manhattan during the day, a proposal that was carefully researched, drafted, approved of by Bloomberg, and then buck-passed to Albany, which people are always surprised to hear is the official capital of New York. Well, it seems the folks in Albany handled the controversial proposal with the courage and vision you might expect: they allowed the voting deadline to pass without touching it — Now, the city's out $354 million in federal funds intended to help get the plan rolling.

Actually you can hardly blame them for letting this one go by. It may be a cop-out, as one Bloomberg spokesman claims in the Reuters report, but there are tons of reasons not to start erecting tollbooths everywhere. It's basically a tax on people living in New York's other four boroughs, which would also see a substantial traffic increase. It would lead to greater wear and tear on New York's already overburdened mass transit system without providing additional funds for upkeep. There's also some question of whether it's fair to New Jersey and Connecticut drivers. Meanwhile, Manhattan traffic continues to resemble the world's slowest, most dangerous, and — since it's mostly taxis — yellowest stock car race.