Angry New Yorker

Monday, July 21, 2003
Yet another stupid idea...

The New York Daily News reports [here] that a report by economist Charles Komanoff and traffic engineer Brian Ketcham claim east river tolls are a good idea. I disagree strongly. NYC's five boroughs are balkanized enough already; adding tolls to the currently free crossings would add insult to the injuries already suffered by residents of Queens and Brooklyn with an additional cost to simply move from one part of the same city to another part.
Granted there is currently NO free way to drive from Queens to the Bronx, or from Brooklyn to Staten Island, and indeed since Brooklyn and Queens are located on an island, there is NO free way to drive to any other part of the country. I think an argument, albeit one that would not survive rational basis review, could be made that ANY tolls on the route from Long Island to the rest of the country violate the dormant commerce clause. In short, the entire system in NYC is one massive shakedown from stem to stern. We need regime change here in New York City. Perhaps we can petition the British to come liberate New York state from itself. Just a thought.

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