To the editor:
Re: “Is Congestion Pricing Plan Stalled?”
A few months ago, I wrote a letter to this publication regarding the congestion encountered when walking or biking across the Brooklyn Bridge, putting the blame on the vendors who set up shop along the narrow walkway.
The problem with traffic throughout NYC streets will not be solved by “congestion pricing”. This is a misguided answer to a simple problem.
As I see it, there are two major causes of increased congestion:
*1 the amount of construction taking place around NYC, particularly downtown, which forces drivers to navigate through narrowed streets, and
* 2 the influx of thousands of ride-hailing vehicles clogging our streets.
It’s been said that New York City is always under construction. I don’t see this abating. What we can do, however, is limit the number of ride-hailing vehicles. Like yellow cabs, many of these vehicles drive around waiting for a hail. Unlike cabs, which stop only long enough to pick up or drop off a fare, these drivers drive around – sometimes erratically – looking for their particular customer, or even stop in the middle of the street without pulling over to the curb waiting for several minutes for their customer.
Additionally, because their cars are not as easily identifiable as yellow cabs, other drivers often don’t expect them to stop in the middle of the street. It can be very frustrating and dangerous.
I’ve walked up to several ride-hailing drivers recently, and asked them a series of questions. The take-away is that they agree there are too many vehicles such as theirs on the road, causing difficulty in making a living. Let’s do them and ourselves a favor – rather than wait for the Law of Supply and Demand to find a stasis point (which may take forever), let’s restrict the number of ride-hailing vehicles on the road today.
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