Some wrap-up about Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing legislation making its way to the state senate. The controversial and innovative (for the U.S.) plan which would charge vehicles to enter Manhattan below 86th Street (between 6AM and 6PM) received support from Governor Spitzer and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters yesterday, but it looks like Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver may once again be the Mayor's bete noir. How so? Silver has a number of concerns (privacy issues because of the 1,000 cameras that would take photos of drivers' cars), worries that the pricing will go up ("What guarantees are there on the price? In London, it was 5 pounds when it started. It's 10 pounds now. And it's only been a couple of years.") and a desire for details,
Mayor Bloomberg, who is scheduled to answer congestion pricing questions today at an Assembly hearing, said, "People want specificity. The answer is until we try it, we're not going to exactly know. We are smart enough and flexible enough to try things and to constantly improve them." Secretary Peter implied that about $500 million in federal grants could come NYC's way if the congestion pricing plan were passed.
And here are some quotes we found interesting:
- From NY Post, Governor Spitzer, in spite of his reservations: "This is not really a question of whether, it's a question of when and a question of doing it properly."
- From Newsday, Assemblyman Robert Brodsky (D-Westchester) said Bloomberg's urgency sounded familiar: "We resisted this kind of pressure when they told us we had to do it [the stadium] or lose the Olympics."
- Another Brodsky quote from the Daily News: "Why is this worth a regressive tax on the middle class and a new invasion of privacy to go only six-tenths of a mile further in an hour?"
- From the NY Times: "As it happened, Ms. Peters said she had been delayed from reaching the Thursday morning meeting with the governor and the mayor because she was stuck in traffic on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive."
Gothamist on PlaNYC, the city's sustainability initiative that includes congestion pricing.
Photograph two people taking traffic matters into their own hands by jaywalking by mariab3bx on Flickr