Home Congestion Fee Congestion fee plan not dead yet, but rather pining for the fjords

Congestion fee plan not dead yet, but rather pining for the fjords

by Benjamin Kabak

With apologies to Monty Python

Monday dawned a new week, and with it, a whole slew of news on the in-limbo congestion fee plan set for by Mayor Bloomberg in his PLANYC2030 package. The coverage, by and large, is falls favorably on the side of those of us arguing in favor of the plan, and it gave me hope that the state legislature will strike a deal for the plan when they reconvene in the middle of July.

The day of congestion articles started out with a strident editorial in The New York Times. Picking up on my themes from yesterday’s post (linked above), The Times called for the state legislature to pass the congestion fee plan before the City and state misses out on the $500 million the Bush Administration is dangling in front of us. The Grey Lady opined:

New Yorkers, and anyone else who rides public transportation in and around the city, should mark July 16 on their calendars. By that date, if state lawmakers do their jobs, they will have paved the way to ensuring billions of dollars of new cash to maintain and expand mass transit. If not, the current $2 fare for a bus or subway ride can be expected to increase at least 20 percent and maybe as much as 50 percent. The choice is that stark, and riders, who will pay the price if legislators fail, will know exactly where to direct their pique.

New York is a candidate for as much as $500 million in federal money to help pay for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan for congestion pricing, which would charge a fee to drivers on Manhattan’s busiest streets. The federal Department of Transportation has said New York is unlikely to qualify if it misses the deadline to authorize a plan.

The Times, echoing what commenter Todd noted last night, bemoans New York City’s limited home rule and its reliance on Albany. This editorial also marks its most strident position on the congestion fee in the last few months. Take heed, Albany. We know what’s best for us down here; you better listen.

Meanwhile, as The Daily News reports, Mayor Mike is optimistic that the congestion plan will pass next month. He’s becoming buddy-buddy with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and knows that his political legacy and future are riding on this proposal.

Finally, in a sign that portends well for congestion fee proponents, opponents of the plan aren’t too optimistic that their recent victory will be a long-term one. While those against the plan — mainly residents who live far from the subway in Queens — know that tens of thousands would suffer from the congestion fee, they also recognize, as Metro points out, that literally millions would benefit from the money funneled from the congestion fee to the MTA.

Increased subway service and better surface transportation is a win for everyone in New York City. Make no mistake about it.

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1 comment

Little Blue PD June 28, 2007 - 1:08 am

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion & Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg? Check out the map!


Check it out!


Little Blue PD


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