2008_11_bkbridge.jpgIn order for one of the most controversial suggestions of Thursday's Ravitch Commission report--tolls at all of the now-free East River crossings--to become a reality, it appears right there may be too many political tolls for them to become a reality.

Despite Governor Paterson's support, it's the State Legislature as well as the City Council that in all likelihood will need to take action. Both would have to initiate moves to untangle legal obstacles currently in place that would prevent the city from passing over ownership of the bridges to the MTA in order for the Authority to impose the tolls as a means to raise revenue.

And thus far the primary voices of local pols involved with the issue have been ones coming out swinging against the bridge tolling plan. Yesterday on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, a group of officials led by City Controller William Thompson expressed their disapproval for the proposal--and they were ready to let the zingers fly. "I don't have a coat on today cause I'm hot about these recommendations," State Senator Kevin Parker said as he called the plan a regressive tax. Meanwhile Assemblyman Jose Peralta lent his take, "It is a fare hike. And if anyone believe that it's not a fare hike, then I have a bridge I can sell you."

Of course, the major wildcard is Mayor Bloomberg, who thus far appears to be remaining relatively neutral on the matter. While Ravitch's suggestions draw an obvious parallel to mayor's prized plan for congestion pricing that died on the State Assembly floor after being fought for tooth and nail by the mayor, he appears prepared to take a backseat role to the Legislature and City Council as this round gets underway.

Even Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign doesn't sound like he's up to fight for the tolls as the primary means to force drivers to help carry the burden of the MTA's financial woes. He told the press, “There are other ways for drivers to pay. If bridge tolls turn out to be a nonstarter, it doesn’t mean the conversation is over. It means you have to figure out another way to do it.

Photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge by *reesie on Flickr