Some Sort of Congestion Pricing Deal is Done

According to NY1, Governor Spitzer just announced "that the state has given the city the green light to proceed with the
plan, but he stressed that no agreement has been reached on tolls." NY1 reports, "The agreement creates a commission of representatives from the mayor’s
office and the governor’s office, City Council members, and State
Senate and Assembly members to review plans for implementation."

We don’t have an Albany or City Hall bureau (yet), so your best sources for up-to-the-minute coverage are:

Here is a press release from City Hall:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 18, 2007

No. 247

www.nyc.gov

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON CITY BEING AUTHORIZED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH CONGESTION PRICING:

"This agreement to move forward with congestion pricing marks a critical milestone in our efforts to make PlaNYC a reality, and to provide a better quality of life for us and for future generations of New Yorkers. By moving forward in our effort to clean our air and fight congestion, we will help our economy, improve public health and make critical improvements to our public transportation system.

"This agreement makes clear that delay was unacceptable and the need to protect our environment and fight congestion simply could not wait. We will begin immediately to prepare for the installation of needed equipment to make our traffic plan a reality.

"This agreement also creates a commission made up of representatives of our Administration, our partners in the City Council, Senate, and Assembly and from the Governor’s office to review our plans for implementation. I am certain that through our work with the commission, our traffic plan will be implemented expeditiously.

"This agreement is a victory for the broad coalition of environmental and environmental justice groups, transit and public health advocates, organized labor and civic leaders who worked tirelessly for years to make real and important progress for our environment and our mass transit system. I also want to congratulate the leaders of both houses of the Legislature and the Governor for their support for this key element of PlaNYC and their commitment to moving it forward. We will continue to work together to access the federal funds that are available. Certainly there will be discussion of the details of various components of our plan, but together we have made a commitment to a greener, healthier and more livable New York."

  • lee

    w00t

  • Miles to go

    The advocates better get some rest where they can. This is like hearing that your 10 round fight is getting an extra 8 rounds added to it.

    Will the feds really give NY the money based on a letter that essentially says: “Hi we can’t agree on pricing now, but after we get your money, we will change our minds and vote for it.” It seems incredibly sketchy, but then again, so is a lot of politics.

  • lee

    the composition of the commission seems to be the key. who decides who goes on it? will sadik-kahn have give lou fiedler some traffic engineering classes?

  • momos

    Advocates should take a lesson from the fight so far: it’s essential to target individual law makers one by one.

    Between now and March, advocates should push community boards in every uncertain city council district to endorse congestion pricing. This means a GRASSROOTS campaign to build public support. It’s been abundantly clear so far that most New Yorkers don’t understand the benefits of congestion pricing.

  • KRS2

    This commission should be a friggin revelation.The gov says the city has the green light for the plan, except for the tolls part. H’mm, yeah, but the tolls part is the crux of the plan. They get credit for being politically clever though because the legislation approving pricing could have the legislature simply voting to approve the commission recommendation and at least provide a political fig leaf.

  • rhubarbpie

    This is great news — real progress on the congestion pricing front with the possibility of dealing with some of the thorny questions surrounding it. Congratulations to all who fought so hard for this!

  • No green light

    This will be really great after the city council passes home rule legislation asking for pricing and then the assembly and senate vote to approve it. Seems like what we got out of this was a requirement for a city council home rule vote and a postponement of state action. Lots of time for the wheels to fall off this wagon. This is Shelly squirming out of taking the rap for losing the federal money.

  • JK

    Perfect headline Aaron (“some sort of deal”)
    We do really have to see the bill language to know what’s really here. Much politicing remains to happen before pricing happens. I’d like to see the legislature put in a Stockholm style referendum to extend it after the pilot period expires. This takes a little pressure off the legislature and makes the idea of the pilot more credible — plus once New Yorkers get pricing, they are not going to want to leave it.

  • He has no traffic plan, it’s just a scam to raise money. Will Mayor Bloomberg do anything about Park Ave. being blocked off at 42nd street? If he cares he will.

    I think Mayor Nanny Bloomie is a very arrogant man. I also highly doubt he rides the subway that much. He’s the mayor, I want someone driving him around so he can work and make calls and stuff. New Yorkers shouldn’t want him wasting all that time on the subway.

    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 then 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?

    It’s true, 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 and Air Pollution!

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

    It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

    Check out the map! Tell your friends!

    http://whataplanet.blogspot.com
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/38obfd

    Check it out!

    Thanks!

    🙂

  • steve

    Little Blue, perhaps you feel personally impacted by current status of park ave. but that is hardly a basis for a meaningful critique of Bloomberg’s transportation policy. I’m glad he takes the subway occasionally, it’s impossible to truly know what its like otherwise. We need a new tax to fund infrastructure for more pedestrians, bicyclists, mass transit users. Infrastructure should be paid for by those getting subsidized under the current regime–motorists. Less cars = less congestion.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Steve, “Little Blue PD” has posted almost the exact same message at least twice before. He or she just rants and never pays attention to what anyone else is saying on the blog.

    “Little Blue PD” thinks the Pershing Square closing show some kind of grand hypocrisy on the part of Bloomberg, but early in its existence Transportation Alternatives hailed it as a positive, pedestrian-oriented change, the kind that could happen all over with congestion pricing. In any case, I seriously doubt that closing one block “Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!”

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