Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The Big Apple: First, a cover charge, and now a minimum, too.
For years, it cost a cover charge to get in to the Big Apple from New Jersey. The “Bridge and Tunnel” crowd from NJ [and the surrounding boroughs, of course,] would make their way in to Manhattan by those very bridges and tunnels, and pay a hefty fee for the privilege of being in NYC.
Those 'bridges and tunnels' are the ones named for former presidents Lincoln and Washington, and the one-not-named for the nickname for the Netherlands, Holland. We love the folks from Holland very much, but not so much to name a tunnel after them. We like Clifford Milburn Holland, the guy who designed the tunnel much more than we love the Dutch folks, so we named the tunnel after him.
For just six bucks, payable in cash or EZPass, you, too can gain access to the very exclusive land the Indians called ‘Man-hat-tan’ ---from Algonquian word meaning “isolated thing in water”--- [and possibly from ‘land needing hyphens in the name’].
Oh, so accurate were the island natives back then with their naming skills. The thing was such an ‘isolated thing’, that we had to build tunnels and bridges to keep them connected to the rest of the nation. While NJ is actually part of the American continent, Man-hat-tan is not. Their only attachment to the rest of US are those very bridges and tunnels.
Besides the cover charge of six bucks, now Mayor Bloomberg wishes to charge a ‘minimum’ in the form of a ‘congestion fee’ --- charging cars $8 and trucks $21 to drive into Manhattan below 86th Street between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the privilege of just being present in the Big Apple. This is a plan the Mayor was inspired to consider because of its use in London. And we are amused that the Mayor is inspired by what the folks across the pond are doing to control the riff-raff that makes its way in to London town.
The scuttlebutt/gossip/rumor-mill is that Gov. Corzine is not thrilled with the Mayor’s idea just yet. “I have some concerns, which I have expressed, about how it will impact New Jersey commuters. . . . We don't have the capacity to handle dramatic surges in additional riders on our mass transit system, which is what congestion pricing is going to," he told the folks at Gannett.
So, just like everything else with New York City, when they have a problem, they dump it on us. It’s like having a big, fat party animal John Belushi-type friend, who is fun to have around, but always makes us be the designated driver when we go out partying.