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Air Quality

Good Stuff in This Week’s Mobilizing the Region

Finally, we get to see just how much former executive director Jon Orcutt was tamping down the high-powered talent at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The latest issue of Mobilizing the Region is jam-packed with good articles. Here are some highlights (and, yes, I'm kidding about Orcutt but serious about this week's MTR being really good):

NYC: Rationing Won't Do the Trick

Assemblymembers have proposed several spurious "alternatives" to congestion pricing, none of which have proven effective in reducing congestion and none of which would provide revenues for increasing transit capacity.

Assemblymember Richard Brodsky has argued for a car rationing scheme which would restrict car access to parts of Manhattan by license plate. As reported in MTR #558, a similar scheme in Mexico City increased used-car purchases, gasoline consumption, and driving, and decreased transit use.

Further investigation reveals, unsurprisingly, that Mexico City's policy has done nothing to improve air quality. A University of Michigan study found no evidence that the policy reduced emissions of five different pollutants-in fact, the policy increased emissions on weekdays....

...The only effective way to enforce a rationing scheme would be throughthe installation of license-plate cameras, which Brodsky is on therecord as opposing.

Greenhouse Gases: Getting to the Goal in New Jersey

When Governor Jon Corzine announced an executive order in February requiring New Jersey to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, environmentalists applauded. However, while the NJDEP is busy creating a plan to execute the order, the NJ Turnpike Authority is fast pursuing an agenda thatwould undermine the plan's goals.

Newark: Linking Redevelopment and Pedestrian Safety

Newark's push to encourage growth goes beyond the addition of new housing: the city and state are also embarking on an aggressive complimentary plan to improve its run-down and unsafe streets. TSTC, along with the Regional Plan Association and others, has long said that improving pedestrian safety and streetscapes can help attract development and assist in revitalization efforts.

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