Via Second Avenue Sagas, I saw this NY Times piece by Bill Keller profiling Sam Schwartz, who has a plan to reduce congestion and fund transit in NYC:
You do not have to be an engineer to appreciate the logic. The scheme puts the heaviest onus on the solo driver who has ready access to a train, and lowers the cost for drivers who have no alternative. Unlike earlier plans that amounted to a punishing tax on commuters from outlying communities, the Schwartz plan has more affluent neighborhoods (like the plusher parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens) pay a fair share. Though the main purpose is to underwrite public transport, the plan sets aside money to make the highways more bearable — in part so trucks will use them and avoid the populous business districts. Unlike plans that are all about cars and trains, Schwartz’s includes some lovely optional extras for the green at heart — graceful new bike-pedestrian bridges connecting the gentrified waterfront neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey to Manhattan.
Schwartz calculates that his system would bring an extra $1.2 billion a year to the M.T.A. — enough to raise the subways and buses back to first-world standards. The plan promises 35,000 permanent new jobs, a sharp drop in traffic, and for a majority of travelers an actual reduction in costs.
If only such dreams could come true. More seriously, Schwartz’s plan (which the profile does not offer in detail) sounds like a comprehensive scheme for addressing most of the city’s transit needs, immediate and long-term. Maybe someone has finally found the right package to make all these reforms appealing enough to gain widespread approval.