A Kid’s Exercise Bike and NYC Traffic Fee Plan

Fisher-Price has recently released a kid's exercise bike to help fight childhood obesity.  Apparently, it's a plastic bike that connects to your television and encourages your kid to pedal along to interact with games.  If this isn't a sad statement about the habits of American's, I'm not sure what would be much stronger.  What ever happened to having kids go outside and play?  My kids absolutely love playing outdoors and, if it weren't for those nagging parents that try to schedule meals, might well be happy spending the entire day outside.

A a slightly different note, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is renewing his push for a congestion pilot program.  "The scheme calls for cars to pay $8 and trucks to pay $21 to enter Manhattan's most heavily traveled business district during work days, with the money going toward transportation improvements."  They don't go into details about what transportation improvements they are talking about, but one can only hope it involves mass transit and tossing some money towards support bicycles.  This type of scheme has been used in London for a number of years now and seems to be working out just fine.  Opponents claim that the charges would place an unfair burden on the middle class.  Huh?  They could ride a train or choose to pay the daily rate.  I can't believe it would be more expensive for someone to pay the costs associated with driving (gas, fuel, and maintenance) than it would be to purchase a monthly train pass.  I'd certainly like to see more people hop on their bikes, but I'd settle for mass transit at the moment.  A use tax should help ease congestion, which will certainly make it nicer for cyclists.

3 comments

    • Mark on July 17, 2007 at 10:53 pm
      Author

    According to an article in the NY Times, it appears the the NYC legislature failed to act in time to meet the state deadline. At present, it looks like the congestion pricing is not going to happen anytime soon. Mayor Bloomberg expressed frustration and anger that the law makers didn’t have the courage to approach this idea. He seems interested in continuing to push the idea, but without the carrot of money hanging over the legislature is it likely they will bite?

    • Mark on August 14, 2007 at 1:59 pm
      Author

    According to a followup articke in the NY Times, the United States Department of Transportation announced it has allocated $354 million to help NYC reduce traffic in Manhattan by charging a use tax. It looks like the plan may just have received a new breath of life and the mayor has been bailed out of sticky situation. The legislature still needs to pass a law allowing this plan to move forward before they could receive the money, although this promised money is certain to put more pressure on the legislators than the theoretical money they were applying for previously.

    • Mark on August 15, 2007 at 8:20 am
      Author

    Here’s a link to a quick update on breakdown on how the $354 million is to be used. This article also lists other cities included in the same grant.

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