Congestion charges on life support in NYC

The shame of the stories about the defeat of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for a downtown congestion charge is that there appears to have been no discussion of whether he actually had a good idea. Instead, it’s all politics and pique — from Bloomberg and from the state legislators whose co-operation he needed.

“If the mayor came in with one vote, he left with none,” said Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat.

“His posture was not ingratiating,” he said. “He says he doesn’t know politics, and he certainly bore that out by the way he behaved.”

So angered were Democrats that they decided to vote as a bloc to defeat the measure, and there were not nearly enough votes among the Republican senators for it to pass.

The mayor moved from meeting to meeting in the Capitol, his expression grim, and he declined to take questions from reporters. He did take a shot at his critics on WROW-AM radio in Albany on Monday morning, saying, “Anybody that says we didn’t have enough time to look at this is ridiculous.

And worst of all, Bloomberg needed the state’s co-operation so New York could get access to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money, which is just about to be taken off the table.

Why on earth must New York City meet artificial deadlines just so it can exercise reasonable control over what happens within its own boundaries?

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