New York, NY: In the wake of the MTA’s recent subway toll hike, to take effect in January of 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun to envision ways of counteracting the backlash against his favorite mode of transportation.
“I’ve done all I can to push people to use the subway system more,” explained Mayor Bloomberg. ”I tried to set up toll booths on city streets to collect from cars driving through the Midtown and Financial District areas. I allowed for bridge and tunnel fare increases. I even closed up streets by putting out shitty lawn furniture to create even more traffic and gridlock. Finally, people start using the subways, and the MTA ends up closing routes and increasing fares. Dammit, I’ll have to start all over again.”
Out of ideas, and possibly out of time at his political position, Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for a “walking toll.” A walking toll is a fee collected, by police officers, from pedestrians walking around Manhattan. The fee is collected randomly, and the pedestrian is issued a clearance ticket allowing him or her to continue walking for another half hour. The toll is believed to be $5.00, which means that walking from 56th Street to Madison Square Garden could cost $10.00, depending on foot traffic.
Mayor Bloomberg insists that the toll is not being pushed to help ease city debt and tax burdens.
“What it really comes down to is pollution, something I’ve been adamant about during my time in office. I’ve tried to discourage air pollution by pushing for city-wide smoking bans. Gas prices are up to discourage air pollution from cars. I’ve tried to ban Sean Hannity countless times to discourage windbag pollution,” explained Mayor Bloomberg. “Now we have to deal with the population pollution and noise pollution caused by individuals walking around the city for no reason.”
Some of the more conniving New Yorkers have figured out loopholes in this future toll system. “The way I see it, a pedestrian is a person who walks. So, if I’m riding a bike, or a Segway, or one of those motorized chair-things, I’m not really a pedestrian am I?” stated Floyd Merriman.
Critics wonder about Bloomberg’s plans, as walking is considered a healthy activity, and many of Bloomberg’s policies, such as caloric listings for restaurants and smoking bans, have been for the betterment of health.
“The only thing this is healthy for is Mikey’s wallet. I can’t think of any other reason why the mayor would follow through with this, except maybe he’s a loon. Which is not far off, since he is a New Yorker…” commented political pundit Stacey Choprak.
On the plus side, all taxi cabs will become tourist adventures for riders, as anyone seen on the street would most likely be a celebrity of some kind, be they rich or famous. However, a word of caution: officers can charge you a pedestrian toll the moment you try to leave the cab to speak to, say, Neil Patrick Harris.