Eric Schillinger, Staff Writer
New York State is riding the coattails of New York City when it comes to green transportation. New York State consistently ranks among the best states when calculating how successful its population is at efficiently transporting itself.1 It’s true, on average New Yorkers are among the most energy efficient people in the United States.2 But these numbers don’t tell the whole truth. New York City is the most efficient large city in the country.3 As it is more than twice the size of the next largest city, Los Angeles, it greatly skews the numbers as they apply to the entire state.4 The city’s enormous population and its leading efficiency statistics skew the numbers in favor of New York as a whole.5 Nearly half of all New York residents live within the five boroughs,6 and these individuals are, thankfully, some of the most efficient in the entire country. This helps push New York up the green ranks.
Upstate New York, on the other hand, is frighteningly un-green. In fact, if New York City’s very green residents were removed from the equation, the remaining 12 million people in New York State rank near the least efficient in the nation.7 Upstate New Yorkers live more like notoriously inefficient Texans then they do their counterparts in Metro-New York.8
We can do better. Rather than riding the coattails of New York City’s efficient residents, transportation policy upstate must be reworked, to spur all New Yorkers to transport themselves efficiently, use energy sparingly, and recognize the importance of taking responsibility for how they consume energy. Continue reading “Parked Your Car? Pay a Tax!: Parking Commodification and its Possibilities for Green Infrastructure”