Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Godless | Sneak Peek at GOP Message »

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another Republican for the Environment

posted by on April 20 at 13:34 PM

Why is it that while Democrats like Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire are convening task forces to discuss blueprints for possible future action on global warming, it’s Republicans who are actually doing something about it?

The latest action on climate comes from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who plans to advocate more than 100 new proposals to slash air pollution, ease traffic congestion, create housing, and develop new mass transit. The proposals include charging drivers to enter the busiest parts of Manhattan, and creating zoning and tax incentives to encourage new home construction in the city. The Manhattan toll, similar to a $16 charge levied on drivers who enter downtown London, could go as high as $8; the money would be invested in new large-scale transportation projects. “Unless we considered the full range of challenges to our city’s physical environment, the progress we’d worked so long and so hard for might be at risk,” Bloomberg said at a speech last year. “And it became clear that to secure a stronger, cleaner, and healthier city for our children and grandchildren, we had to start acting now.”

Amen to that. Gregoire?

RSS icon Comments


Fuck Gregoire, ECB. What about GREG?

Posted by Dan Savage | April 20, 2007 1:43 PM

Erica B. writes: "The Manhattan toll, similar to a $16 charge levied on drivers who enter downtown London, could go as high as $8; the money would be invested in new large-scale transportation projects. "

That fuckin'- A makes sense. Reduce congestion downtown, encourage transit use, and ding those who drive downtown a couple of bucks.

Pay for transit by fares, gas taxes, a per-mile-driven charge, variable-priced tolls, and this kind of geographic boundary levy. All of those kinds of taxes not only raise revenue, they tend to get people out of their cars and reduce SOV emissions.

We are basically at 10% on sales tax. Enough already.

Posted by sales taxes ream us | April 20, 2007 1:55 PM

Last time I was in New York, it already cost $7, by tunnel or bridge, to get to or from Manhattan. Not that I care, anyone who drives in Manhattan is insane.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 20, 2007 2:01 PM

Bloomberg is a NYC Republican. They're slightly different animals.

Posted by Kate | April 20, 2007 2:07 PM

My reaction was the same as Dan's upon reading that NYT story yesterday. Here Greg Nickels gets all this publicity for this city-level Kyoto effort that seems to be little more than a publicity stunt. And yet here's Michael Bloomberg actually fighting for something.

The more you look at what Bloomberg has done as mayor, the more you look at what he did with his life leading up to being elected mayor, the more you hear and read the guy speak, the more you realize, "Hey, here's a great man" -- even if you don't necessarily agree with his positions. The more you look at Greg Nickels in the same light, the more you realize, "Here's a small man."

Well, I know it's delusional to think Seattle's going to attract Bloomberg-caliber types as mayoral candidates. We have no illusion that we're the greatest city in the world. But are we such a minor-league town as our mayors (and other electeds) would seem to indicate?

Anyway, here's my "favorite" passage from the story:

Walter McCaffrey, a lobbyist representing Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, which is made up of garage owners, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and some labor and neighborhood advocates, says the city should look at other methods of dealing with congestion before resorting to such a “draconian” method.

“This is another tax for New York City folks,” Mr. McCaffrey said. “If you’re riding in a limo you can afford it. But this city is also made up of working-class people who would be hurt by it.”

Sounds like Mr. McCaffrey would be right at home in Seattle.

Posted by cressona | April 20, 2007 2:12 PM

Kate: Bloomberg is a NYC Republican. They're slightly different animals.

Y'know, Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." So how's this for a quote? -- "The best Democrat I ever met was a New York Republican."

Posted by cressona | April 20, 2007 2:31 PM

Cressona: "Y'know, Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." So how's this for a quote? -- "The best Democrat I ever met was a New York Republican."

Of course! Because he reflects the core values of most NYC voters (pro-environment, socially liberal, anti-gun, etc.) without being beholden to hyper-conservative, pro-status-quo Democratic interest groups (e.g., teachers' unions).

Posted by MHD | April 20, 2007 2:45 PM

Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat before he switched parties so he could run for NYC mayor on a major party ticket.

Posted by Mike O | April 20, 2007 3:11 PM

"Democrats like Gregoire"? What other Democrats are equally useless, and just as unwilling to take any useful stance on anything, as Christine Gregoire? Because she's really been tough to beat in that regard lately.

Posted by tsm | April 20, 2007 3:16 PM

yes, absolutely, encourage as many people as possible to use the multiple existing transit systems to get into and around new york city.

that said, seattle actually needs infrastructure to allow for a similar proposal. buses don't hack it.

mayor =! governor

Posted by jason | April 20, 2007 3:56 PM

Seattle's geography is well-suited for a congestion charge on all vehicles. Here are your toll crossings (17 total):

*All six bridges on the Ship Canal
*Both Lake Washington bridges
*The West Seattle Bridge and 99 over the Duwamish
*East Marginal Way, Airport Way, and I-5 at Boeing Field
*MLK Way, Renton Ave, Rainier Ave, and Seward Park Ave at Henderson St.

Every car entering the urban core has to pass by one of these 17 crossings. Charge at least the cost of a bus fare for every vehicle entering this area, adjusted upward dynamically according to current traffic patterns.

If necessary, a second congestion zone could be established in the downtown area, say south of Denny and north of Yesler.

Posted by Cascadian | April 20, 2007 4:20 PM

If one lives DT does one need to pay to leave? Is it rush hour only? What does this say about transit? NY with the best transit in the US and London with one of the best in the world and they need to ban middle and low income people from the inner city?

BTW Nickels is anything but "small" perhaps a better description could come from the following:

incapable, incompetent, inept, unable, unfit, unqualified; artless, crude, rude; ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient; ungifted, untalented; ignorant, unschooled, untaught, untrained, untutored; beginning, green, inexperienced, new, raw, untested, untried; rough, unpolished

Posted by Kush | April 20, 2007 5:03 PM

@12 - not if you walk or bike. Or, quite frankly, take the bus.

Nickels is good at international PR, just not local facts on the ground. My bad.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 20, 2007 5:10 PM

#13 - If you live DT and drive out in a car, will you have to pay to go back to your home?

And why would it be your bad? Are you Ceis? Nickels himself? His Mother? or are you taking credit for his election?

Posted by Kush | April 20, 2007 5:26 PM

Not sure about Bloomberg's NYC proposal, but in London, residents of the congestion zone are exempt from paying tolls.

Also, rather than installing a network of toll booths that would slow everyone down (a toll gate on I-5?), London did it by installing a couple thousand CCTV cameras to record every single license plate in the center city.

Posted by Greg Diamond | April 21, 2007 5:47 AM

NYC can do this because they have a mass transit system that will generally get you where you need to go quickly and easily.

Seattle, obviously, does not.

Posted by Aexia | April 21, 2007 12:34 PM

and up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong while watching how his penis patches got wet at

Posted by penis patches | April 30, 2007 11:24 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).