don't mess wid da car!

The Daily News did its tabloid thing yesterday with an hysterical front page headline ("IT'S TOLLS FOR THEE") and story screaming the news that our Mayor wants to charge tolls on the East River crossings.


Gosh, why should someone driving a two or three-ton machine over our streets and bridges into the narrow, impossibly-overcrowded, polluted, noisy and pedestrian-dangerous streets of Manhattan have to pay money for the privilege? Besides, don't those streets and bridges maintain themselves, just as the buses and subways do, and shouldn't they not cost a cent for those who use them? And for more than fifty years haven't we already given away, usually for free, a good chunk of each public street to private car owners so they can store their property? The issue is clearly a no-brainer, what? The News seems to think so.

Get ready to dig deeper into your pockets: The Bloomberg administration is preparing to put tolls on the East River bridges.
The article continued with a description of two Borough presidents' reactions and those of several equally generous and thoughtful driver-citizens.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has called the idea "a turkey," and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has said commuters should not be "punished" for traveling from one borough to another.

Yesterday, at the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, drivers fumed when asked about possible tolls.

"It's outrageous," said Randy Settenbrino, a real estate sales associate from Brooklyn. "I'm surprised Bloomberg doesn't charge for air. As usual, this is a tax that hurts the average working person just trying to get by."

Jose Rodriguez, 30, a construction worker from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said the tolls could be devastating.

"If I pay $6 a day, that's over a $100 a month," he said. "With that money, I should be buying food for my kids."

Unfortunately these good burghers probably have nothing to worry about. This is America, even if it is New York. You just do not mess with the car.