2008-04-04 / Letters

Congestion Pricing Plan

The Following letter was sent to City Council Member Davis I. Weprin. Dear Editor,

I wish to commend you efforts in opposing the mayor's congestion pricing scheme. As a life-long resident of New York City, living in the outer boroughs, I have experienced first hand, the second class citizen treatment arising from Manhattan policies. My family and I are fed up with these elitist initiatives that place financial and quality of life burdens on us.

I have been driving to the financial district for almost 20 years. This congestion plan will add to the already steep cost of continuing to live and work in this city. We are already heavily taxed, tolled, fee'ed and fined to death. The middle class has become an endangered species in this city. Even though this added fee will not break me, there is a very basic principle involved here; namely, should a citizen be penalized for traveling to the civic center of his or her own city. As a student of history, I would go as far as to say this touches on basic civil and constitutional rights.

This all smacks of tyranny. The kind of treatment our colonial forebears suffered at the hand of the British. I make this comparison because a proponent of the plan told me when I complained to the Mayor's Office, "well they do this in London!" My response was, I don't care what they do, we fired them over 230 years ago. This leads me to my proposal which I would like you to spearhead. I propose the residents of the outer boroughs respond the way the Americans did to the Stamp Act, by staging a boycott. In this case of all Manhattan businesses, theaters, restaurants, museums, etc. I'm sure you would agree, this could be an effective way of stopping this congestion pricing plan in its tracks. I'm aware, if implemented, it could place a financial burden on small business owners, many of whom are my neighbors. It is doubtful that it would come to that. The threat alone might be enough to change people's minds. It worked very effectively 230 years ago, I'm convinced it would work today.

MICHAEL J. MATTES

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