Carrion Supports Congestion and Congestion Pricing

Last week AMNY ran a profile of Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., playing on the angle that he may make a run for mayor in two years. The piece is mostly flattering, but does make mention of Carrion's controversial support for the new Yankee Stadium, which, as Streetsblog readers are probably sick of hearing by now, will bring ~4,000 parking spaces to what was public park land, further polluting the asthma-stricken South Bronx with additional year-round traffic.

carrion.jpgCarrion is unapologetic in his advocacy of the stadium, as well as the $225 million in taxpayer-subsidized parking that will come with it.

Carrion gives himself credit for helping to "turn the tide" in the Bronx from "an acceptance of failure" to an environment in which investors are optimistic enough to put millions of dollars into housing, parkland and a new stadium for the Yankees.

In today's Daily News, Carrion refers to last week's approval of parking deck financing as "yet another important step toward realizing the goal of investment and community participation in the redevelopment of this area."

But not everyone would paint such a rosy picture. Last year Carrion was accused of purging community board members who opposed the stadium project. More recently, some South Bronx residents have vowed to fight construction of the garages. Simply put, they don't want the traffic or the pollution necessitated by an auto-dependent vision of economic prosperity.

Ironically, in the AMNY profile, Carrion also makes a case for congestion pricing.

"The fact that we can reduce millions of tons of particulate matter from the environment, and reduce the heat effect that we create and get more people to live healthy is a good thing. It's the objective that's more important than the inconvenience."

Carrion may not see the disconnect between his negative view of traffic congestion his zeal to bring more of it to the South Bronx, but others do. Again, the Daily News:

"All along I've been opposed to the stadium and the traffic and congestion it would bring to the neighborhood," [Council Member Helen] Foster said. "And this [garage] project will just encourage even more people to drive to the west Bronx."

Many of Foster's constituents worry the 9,000 parking spaces around the stadium will turn their already traffic- and asthma-choked neighborhood into a de facto park-and-ride hub -- especially if the mayor's Manhattan congestion pricing plan becomes reality.