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No toll, but where are we heading?

It’s deja vu all over again when it comes to schools in Hunters Point.  Over half-a-decade ago, which in LIC-years is two generations, LICtalk wrote about similar capacity crises, and then again in 2015 (aka one-generation past).  The calculations back then turned out to be not as drastic, partly because the powers-that-be instituted some fairly obvious solutions – but not before riling up the parent base.  It all (sorta) worked out in the end, and will probably do likewise this time – but not before riling up the next generation of parents.  Nevertheless when the furor dies down, maybe we should take some advice from the latter article and funnel the energy into what’s next and not-too-far-away: high school.  A very wise local mother has wondered why NYC hasn’t expanded capacity of it’s elite-8 (Stuyvesant/Bronx Sci etc.) despite tremendous growth in the student population over the years?  Furthermore, having noticed LIC’s growth and desire-to-be-on-the-cutting-edge, or the cusp of it anyway, she asks might there be a chance to locate one here?  Technion High anyone?

//DON’T be fooled, were congestion pricing to be enacted you very well could pay to cross the Queensboro Bridge were you to use it both there and back no matter which direction you head upon arriving in Manhattan.  That is because as anyone who actually lives in LIC and has a car knows, there is no way to enter the bridge on the Manhattan-side without crossing the 60th street demarcation line and getting zapped with the $11.52 congestion-pricing fee.  So those thinking they can take a jaunt to/fro the UES, UWS, Central Park via the Qnsboro Bridge sans toll, would be in for a rude awakening, unless a carve-out was made.  In reading the city’s proposal, there’s no mention of such, thus I decided to email Sam Schwartz, aka Gridlock Sam and the former NYC Traffic Commissioner from 1982-1986.  Sam is also one of the founders of MoveNY, an organization which provided the underpinning of congestion pricing and a long time advocate for tolling the Queensboro Bridge.  I asked Sam about the 58th St./59th Street exception, and he said it’s tbd and were it not to be carved out, then no-bridge-toll is purely semantics.  I then asked “Wouldn’t enough incremental traffic be diverted from the bridge to negate gridlock if the carve-out were still in effect and only those actually heading into midtown were dinged?”  ‘Most likely’ he responded.  Then I pushed my luck too far and asked “If all those who’d normally drive in with no toll, instead took the subway, wouldn’t the incremental increase lead to gridlock on the subway?”  I got no response to that.

//SAVING the best for last, The Court Square Blog reports that Xi’an Famous Foods is coming to Court Square!  Timing is unknown, but signage is up and it looks ready for a quick installation, so hopefully we’ll be bianging by Spring.

Congestion Pricing in Manhattan Won’t Affect Most Commutershmm

Xi-an Famous Foods Coming to 26-19 Jackson Avenue – noodle me!

The Delmar in LIC Starts Leasing199 units in really nice looking building just north of Queens Plaza

Suspect ID’d in Shooting of Woman in LIC meanwhile up in Queensbridge

Secret Theatre in Major Cash Crunch



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