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Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Congestion Fee" - Why Alderman Burke Should Resign Immediately

In the Chicago Tribune (and RedEye):

Should motorists pay a toll for the privilege of driving in Chicago's central business district?

Ald. Edward Burke (14th) believes it's a good time to raise the question.

Burke on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for a City Council hearing on the feasibility of levying a "congestion fee" on drivers who set tire downtown.

"Can it reduce pollution? Can it reduce traffic? Can it raise a revenue stream to help out the beleaguered CTA?" Burke asked. "It's certainly a very complicated issue and one that should not be rushed into. But I thought that as long as London is doing it, as long as New York is [proposing] it, perhaps it is an idea that Chicago ought to consider."

How much would be charged, how would tolls be collected and how much money might be generated for the cash-strapped CTA are the types of information the alderman hopes to gather by listening to experts at the hearing.

Mayor Richard Daley said he has an open mind on the congestion-fee concept. But he also has reservations.

With their narrow streets and absence of alleys, London and New York are "completely different" from Chicago, he said.

"Are you going to put [the fee] on all the aldermen who drive every day?" Daley asked. "What about all the trucks coming downtown? What do you do with them?"

"Let's not rush to that and scare everybody off," the mayor declared. "We are trying to keep businesses here and ... move businesses into the city."

There's never a good time to raise a question that foolish.

What Burke is proposing is seemingly the most backwards proposal that my rage-filled brain can remember ever having heard. I don't even know where to begin ranting about this atrocity – other than publicly calling for the Alderman's immediate removal from office on the grounds of sheer stupidity alone.

"Can it reduce pollution? Can it reduce traffic?" It wouldn't take the mental capacity of an 8-year-old to realize that tolls get paid at tollbooths, tollbooths cause lines of cars waiting to pay the toll, and huge lines of cars are the definition of 'increased traffic' that is all the while creating 'increased pollution' by having to linger and create exhaust in concentrated areas. "Can it raise a revenue stream to help out the beleaguered CTA?" It takes a twisted mind to propose charging people to NOT use your product. The idea of charging people money for driving instead of using the CTA just to raise money for the CTA is just absurd. I hope that Burke never works for Microsoft, or we all might have to pay a fee to use a non-Windows operating system!

As if city motorists don't have it hard enough already with congestion that kills fuel efficiency and loads of time as well as the exorbitant fees to park in any parking garage (unless you want to risk meters and outrageous parking tickets) – now this elected official is suggesting we charge them to have to suffer through all this?

This complicated issue that "should not be rushed into" is one that should not have been rushed going from the alderman's brain to his mouth, because it went straight from his mouth to our ears.

This is the most ridiculous idea I can recall coming from the city aldermen since the insane foie gras ban that passed unanimously (meaning that not a single alderman saw how foolish and wrong it was and they should all be ashamed). This "congestion fee" is foolish enough to warrant kicking Burke out of office immediately. The city needs more aldermen who are smart enough to not only come up with some good ideas for a change, but also know when to keep their mouths shut to avoid the bad ideas from ever getting out.

Just remember, folks. AARON SAMUELS FOR CITY COUNCIL ALDERMAN IN 2011! Time for someone with a shred of sanity and logic to help rule the city!

1 comment:

Vox Populi said...

Burke is obviously an idiot and you called this one well.
Takes some balls to have to PAY to drive in a city that your tax dollars already support. Fuck that.