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Op-Ed | Governor Hochul must remove congestion pricing equipment and technology immediately 

Queensboro bridge. File photo via Getty Images.

June 6, 2024 By Gus Lambropoulos

Over the past five years, we have heard countless and baseless arguments about why we should accept congestion pricing, and I have been dead set against it because it is nothing more than a cash grab on the backs of hard-working New Yorkers.

When I first learned of this plan, I took the initiative to rally our communities and raise our collective voice. We stood up against the politicians who envisioned a daily $23 tax on all New Yorkers to fund their undisclosed projects.

As we are challenged by an affordability crisis, I was heartened to hear Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledge the economic implications and take decisive action to halt congestion pricing indefinitely.

Governor Hochul has called for an indefinite pause on congestion pricing. The Governor cited the affordability crisis and not wanting to be bound by years of political rhetoric as economic realities have changed, driving her shift in public policy.

As much as I applaud that decision, I’m a savvy New Yorker who knows these ideas come back when you least expect it. I’m calling on Governor Hochul to ensure this idea is truly dead by removing all the congestion pricing technology and equipment from Manhattan. Congestion pricing was a bad idea, and it’s time to send it and the equipment to the scrap heap.

It is imperative to take swift action before the next set of politicians see the convenience of flipping a switch and turning on the cash cow funded on the back of hard-working New Yorkers. Now, we must be vigilant to ensure the pause is permanent because we know the entrenched political establishment will be back to grab your wallets and pocketbooks.

Governor Hochul must take tangible steps to ensure congestion pricing never becomes a reality by removing the congestion pricing equipment and technology as soon as possible.

*Gus Lambropoulos is a Democratic candidate for NY State Senate, District 59. The son of hardworking Greek immigrants, Gus was raised in Astoria, attended local public schools, graduated from CUNY Baruch College, and earned his MBA at Adelphi University. 
email the author: news@queenspost.com

8 Comments

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Arch Stanton

Yes of course congestion pricing was one of the worst ideas in this city’s long history of bad ideas. And yes of course all the infrastructure needs to be ripped down camera by camera or this will likely rear its ugly head after the November elections, but I wouldn’t go so far as to thank Hochul for this. This was obviously a political decision since she met with Hakeem Jeffries recently and the democrats can’t afford to lose any more seats in the house. Donald Trump also promised he’d end congestion pricing his first week in office if elected. Then mere days later she does a complete 180 on this? Coincidence? Don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to volunteer my services to bulldoze all those poles down myself (and then continue on to the rat shacks while I was at it) But as long as they’re still standing, the anti car zealots who won’t be happy until cars are completely banned from the city, will try and and find a way to revive it.

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A Thinking Man

How will the younger generation outnumber the older generation when nobody in the younger generation is having any children and half are walking around as “pet parents” with dogs in baby carriages?

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Boriqua Gato

Most of the residential areas within the congestion pricing zone contain some of the highest priced real estate properties in the United States. The median rental price in the congestion zone is far above the reach of the vast majority of New Yorkers or Americans in general.

As a lifelong New Yorker (Queens), I have lived here for 50 years and have paid taxes here for over 30 years. So, the question is: Why should I, and those like me, as residents and taxpayers, have to pay to enter a portion of our own city? We have to pay to enter, while the much wealthier congestion zone residents would likely be exempt and also purportedly enjoy less cars on their streets. The irony of course is that most of the traffic will not disappear, it will simply redirect to the adjacent areas where we commoners live. I get it, I have to pay so some wealthy Manhattanites can have a few less cars on their streets and a corrupt agency can fill its coffers.

This issue is a case study in the hypocrisy and elitism of the modern Left and their subversion of the Democrat Party. I guess the endless blather about “income-inequality” doesn’t apply when privileged Leftists want less cars on their own street. Congestion pricing effectively creates a gated community out of half of Manhattan Island with no regard for the working class and poorer white and BIPOC residents. Pure ivory-tower hypocrisy from the so-called “progressives.”

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Boriqua Gato

Cry me a river, Jon. When you initially chose to live in Midtown, you knew it wasn’t Mayberry. Most New Yorkers can’t afford to live in Midtown like you do and with the congestion tax, they wouldn’t be able to afford to visit either. Check your privilege at the door and admit that this is an old-fashioned Boss Tweed style cash grab disguised as green virtue signaling. Perhaps elitist, wealthy environmentalists such as yourself have the time and money to indulge absurd “environmental” policies of unproven and dubious benefit but the rest of us are too busy trying to make ends meet. Time for me to go to work now and drive five miles down Queens Boulevard right next to the bike lanes that absolutely no one uses, ever.

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Sophocles

Sorry Gus. You are completely behind the times. Our streets need to be taken back from cars. The younger generations, who will outnumber the older, support congestion pricing.

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Boriqua Gato

Sophocles- Please spare us your Commie double-speak. Nothing needs to be “taken back.” We are fortunate to live in most opportunity-laden, freest country in the history of mankind. The “newer generation” you speak of has been sold a false bag of goods that they will likely never recover from. If you are really concerned about future generations, you should stop contributing to the gas-lighting. This is a stealth regressive tax on working class and poor New Yorkers all being done for the benefit of a notoriously corrupt and bloated agency and you know it.

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jon mcmillan

Meanwhile, we’re dying over here in Midtown from congestion, pollution and noise from combustion engines. The avenues are uninhabitable car sewers.

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A Thinking Man

Yes, I know what you mean. I see the procession of hearses all over midtown trying to navigate the avenues to collect all the deceased victims of combustion engines from their luxury doorman-attended lobbies.

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