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OpinionLetters

Congestion pricing, Gabby Petito and vaccinations for cops

Taxing trips below 60th Street in Manhattan flies

Taxing trips below 60th Street in Manhattan flies in the face of efforts to revitalize midtown and downtown commercial districts hit by COVID-19 vacancies, a reader writes. Credit: Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Congestion pricing a terrible idea for LI

The editorial about congestion pricing in Manhattan fails to consider important factors that should halt the idea in its tracks ["Give green light to tolling plan," Editorial, Oct. 3].

Long Island working-class drivers and small businesses will get no benefit and will be burdened with yet another senseless cost, which would also reroute carbon-belching truck traffic into low-income communities. They should oppose the tax.

Taxing trips below 60th Street also flies in the face of efforts to revitalize midtown and downtown commercial districts hit by COVID-19 vacancies. These are state economic engines that we need up and running. Why not instead lobby for Metropolitan Transportation Authority funding from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill when it finally passes? It would save an estimated half-billion dollars that setting up the camera system would cost.

In London, a congestion tax was put into effect; although it was mostly an early success, it has had issues of late. Commuter vehicles aren’t the problem anyway; for-hire cars such as Uber and Lyft are major culprits.  

— Joshua E. Bienstock, Westbury

The editorial on congestion pricing is way off base. I have been a Pepsi distributor for more than 45 years. The plant and warehouse are in the Bronx. Every day, we drive into Manhattan to deliver our goods to theaters, hotels, delis, drugstores, etc., in midtown.

We pay enough in taxes. We spend hours commuting but get paid by the cases we deliver, not time. We pay a fortune to park legally at parking meters, not to mention getting parking tickets. It’s unfair. And it’s enough already.

— Joe Shanken, Jericho

I favor congestion pricing and agree with the editorial. This plan should reduce the congestion in Manhattan by encouraging more drivers to use public transportation.

But in order to make this work, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority must provide safe, clean and efficient train service. Late, delayed, overcrowded trains, whether the Long Island Rail Road or subways, will discourage riders.

The MTA must meet its obligation to provide increased service to accommodate increased ridership.

— James T. Rooney, Centerport

No excuse for so many fatal accidents

The majority of fatal accidents are caused by driving under the influence, driving while distracted or reckless driving ["Suffolk led NY in 2020 roadway fatalities," News, Sept. 27]. Those who call for "roundabouts, narrower roads, bulb-out extensions, bike lanes, medians and rumble strips to alert inattentive drivers" are missing the point. Drivers in the aforementioned categories aren’t going to be affected by any of these changes to our roadways because they’ve already adopted the wrong approach to driving or have made the fateful decision to drive in an impaired condition.

The article also alludes to our courts not permanently taking driving privileges away from repeat DUI offenders. If New York truly wanted to establish a zero-tolerance environment and reduce the number of incidents, convictions need to be issued faster and penalties must be harsher.

With ride-share services and apps only a click or phone call away, there is no excuse anymore for many of these tragedies on our roads.

— Matthew Mariano, Long Beach

Time together makes for a powder keg

The tragedy of Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie is haunting me. Two young people being thrown together for 24 hours every day is a powder keg. They were young,  and apparently had not matured or  learned about commitment and compromise. Even most newly married couples don’t spend 24 hours together every day. They work, raise children, socialize with others, and  they don’t always get along. The unbroken proximity fed the frustration and appears to have led to violence.

— Irma Gurman, Smithtown

Outrage over police not being vaccinated

The article "On LI, cops don’t have vaccine requirements" [News, Oct. 4] reports that there is no mandate for Nassau and Suffolk county police officers to take the COVID-19 vaccine or be tested.

I find this unbelievable and dangerous. Why are these police officers, who are public servants paid by taxpayer money, not mandated by the counties they serve to be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative test?

The New York City police are required to be vaccinated or tested.  Long Island police have constant interaction with the public. Why isn’t this   insisted upon by our politicians for the protection of the people?

This is incomprehensible. 

— Deborah Blum, Levittown

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