2015-03-18 / Editorials

Tolls Defeat The Purpose

It does not make sense to start charging for the East River crossings when we paid for them already years and years ago, with our taxes. To do so is to create an unnecessary expense for already overburdened drivers – the roads and tolls are expensive enough as it is.

Queens commuters and other residents who do not live near public transportation, seniors and the disabled who cannot navigate mass transit for various reasons, must rely on their cars for necessary trips. And, affecting the entire community, the survival of small businesses, which may need to traverse the crossings multiple times a day, would be threatened.

These small businesses, as it is well-known, are the backbone of our economy, employing the overwhelming majority of workers. If they are tolled for each crossing in delivering goods and services, it will cause an added strain on businesses struggling to meet expenses.

This is basically a form of congestion pricing, which was soundly rejected during Mayor Bloomberg’s reign.

Queens’ hard-won place as number-one travel destination will be threatened, with the additional cost of coming into Queens, for travelers to and from LaGuardia, not to mention discouraging weekend trips into Manhattan by us. Discouraging visitors will harm businesses and all the jobs they create, and the resulting spending power.

We do not need an obstacle to continued growth. The extra revenue from added tolls will only end up strangling the local economy, defeating the purpose.

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