Breaking: Joan Millman to Vote “Yes” on Pricing

millman.jpgHere’s a constituent e-mail from Brooklyn Assembly Member Joan Millman, who finally, bravely announces her intent to vote for congestion pricing. Note the time stamp: nearly two hours after the plan was declared dead.

From: Assemblywoman Joan Millman [mailto:millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: Online Contact Form

April 7, 2008

Thank you for your communication regarding congestion pricing. I am attaching a copy of my statement to be made today on the floor of the Assembly. At this point I still do not know if the Mayor’s congestion pricing plan will be voted on today.

Thank you for sharing your views with me.

Sincerely,

Joan L. Millman

Member of Assembly

*Statement by Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman on **April 7, 2008***

Mr. Speaker, on the bill, I will vote yes on the Congestion Pricing Plan. I will vote yes even though I still have major concerns and questions about the plan itself.


I agree too many motorists drive gas guzzling vehicles, polluting our air, causing high rates of asthma.

 

Representing downtown Brooklyn, I know too well the traffic jams caused by the hundreds of cars, taxis, trucks and limos traveling into Manhattan via the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. For years I have requested that city, state, and federal officials study the effect of the one-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridgewith no success. We all know trucks travel from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, through Staten Island, enter the Gowanus Expressway on their way to Manhattan, then exit via the George Washington Bridge never paying a toll. And when the traffic builds up, these same trucks exit the Gowanus Expressway and travel through our brownstone neighborhoods.

I suggested at a Public Hearing that trucks make Manhattan deliveries before 7 AM and after 6 PM. I suggested increased ferry service, the creation of a three-person HOV Zone in Manhattan, increased accessibility at all our subways and expansion of bicycle lanes. None of these suggestions made their way into the final plan.

Another major concern is the lack of accountability from the MTA, the same MTA who sold the Atlantic Yards at a fraction of its worth.

This is the same MTA who has warehoused their downtown building for years, using it for storage and has now committed $150 million in its 5-Year Capital Plan for renovation.

So today I vote for this plan with the hope the discussion continues. My suggestions as well as those of my colleagues deserve a fair hearing.

All of us want, need and demand a superior mass transportation system, cleaner air, and a pedestrian friendlier city.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

  • gecko

    Every legistlator in favor of Congestion Pricing should let it be known.

  • Geck

    Better late then never.

  • Car Free Nation

    It’s easy to be for it when there’s no vote, and therefore no consequences. She’s been publicly against it for months.

    Who’s running against her this election?

  • Brooklyn Dad

    The 52nd Assembly District needs someone decent to run against Joan Millman in the next Democratic primary. Is anyone out there? Please! She completely, totally failed the district. We needed leadership here, not this cynical crap, issuing a statement of support after the proposal is declared dead.

    By failing to speak up, Joan essentially allowed her colleagues from South Brooklyn, Westchester and Long Island to determine the future of Downtown Brooklyn’s transportation and traffic situation. All these people want to do is continue to use Downtown Brooklyn and surrounding neighborhoods as their free shortcut in and out of Manhattan.

    Joan is responsible for the next subway fare increase. Joan is responsible for delayed trains and crowded buses. Joan is responsible for the ever-growing traffic congestion that is crushing our neighborhoods.

    This is just a massive failure of leadership. Millman must go. Her time has come and gone.

    Hell, I’ll run against her. But I’m sure we can find someone better.

  • Curious

    Actually, in this case, late is not better than never. Its the most pathetic of all the possible positions. In favor, after its declared dead? So sad.

  • rhubarbpie

    Courage, thy name is Millman.

    Running on the Congestion Pricing Party ticket line probably isn’t a winning approach, though. However, you might get funding from the mayor!

  • Brooklyn Dad, can we list you as “exploring” or leave it “rumored” that you’re planning to contest Millman’s seat?

    Seriously: if you want to know Who is Running for What, you can always ask Gotham Gazette.

  • mike

    Weak, really weak. Despite her reservations, she could have taken a leadership role. Instead, she pandered to a few wealthy motorists.

  • epc

    A failure to vote is just as bad as a “no” vote.

    Am reading up on what it would take to run an assembly campaign (I live in DUMBO and watch the congestion foes sit on the Brooklyn Bridge every morning and evening).

    I told someone I know from Westchester who was cheering the killing of CP that the city should just take the logical next steps: banning on street parking, constricting vehicular access to NYC at inopportune times during the day, etc. All of these are entirely within the Mayor’s and Council’s powers.

  • gecko

    Again, those legislators that support Congestion Pricing should be proud of it and let it be known.

  • Carol Wood

    Maybe her support, however late, will prove crucial. The Times reports that Gov. Paterson has called an emergency meeting on congestion pricing as of 5:45. Even if the plan is killed for now, Millman’s support can be revived for the next effort. We need to take the long view.

  • Paul G.

    It would be great to start a campaign to pin down Assembly members and force them to take a stand on the issue one way or the other. Perhaps then could make an informed vote this year.

    I, for one, have contacted my Assemblyman (Gianaris) who has spent the past few weeks conspicuously silent.

    If our representatives continue to hedge and hide behind Silver, we just have to assume they’re happy with how things turned out.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Every legistlator in favor of Congestion Pricing should let it be known.)

    Wrong! No one is going to blame them for being “in favor” because the plan did not pass. So the objective is to avoid being blamed for being opposed when the consequences some due. That’s why the vote was secret. Opposition was “overwhelming.” So the truth is…

    Millman IS OPPOSED.

    Brennan IS OPPOSED (but theoretically in favor of some other plan, which he can feel free to get passed but will forever remain opposed otherwise).

    Every one of them is OPPOSED, unless they were arguing in favor as of yesterday.

    And, Millman believes that everyone who lives in her district is an idiot.

  • ddartley

    Folks, it could just be that Millman really did intend to vote yes, and maybe last night, maybe earlier, she told some staffer, “draft an e-mail to all the people who said ‘vote yes’ and tell them I’m going to, and point out this and that.”

    And so that staffer did that, and then gave it to the intern to distribute, and that intern had a fifteen-item to-do list today. And maybe the office is so busy that that no one thought to tell the intern that his/her project #11 the CP e-mail, was now pointless.

    I’m not saying it’s what happened, but it’s a pretty realistic scenario.

    I just think all the angry speculation in a lot of the comments is misplaced energy. But heck, I realize everyone’s hurting…

  • gecko

    Larry, I’m really sorry I misspelled legislator.

    re: (Every legistlator in favor of Congestion Pricing should let it be known.)

  • Michael Steiner

    I just got a similar statement from Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal _after_ the non-vote (in response to an email i’ve sent last week). I just wish these press releases would have been made and widely advertised before and not only afterwards …

    BTW: Amusingly enough, when i called this noon I got told by a staff member that CP was already voted down and in the newspaper … 😉

    **April 7, 2008

    Dear Neighbor:

    Today I released the following statement on congestion pricing:

    ASSEMBLYMEMBER ROSENTHAL DEPLORES REJECTION OF CONGESTION PRICING

    Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D, WF) issued the following statement
    today:

    “I am disappointed and dismayed that New Yorkers will be deprived of the many environmental and public transportation benefits that would have been provided by congestion pricing. It is abundantly clear that New York City needs to address the overload of cars entering Manhattan everyday, and from the beginning, I have been supportive of a proposal to bring cleaner air, less congested streets, and desperately needed transit funding to New York. Many of my constituents on the Upper West Side have contacted me over the last year to express their ardent support for such a proposal. Last spring, I voted in favor of establishing the Traffic Mitigation Commission, testified at every Commission hearing with ideas to improve the plan, and applauded the Commission’s amendments arising from community concerns. Today’s decision to not take a step forward with congestion pricing has put New York a giant step back in the local and global effort to achieve environmental sustainability.”

  • gecko

    All 42 Assembly Republicans are for Congestion Pricing.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/congestion-pricing-plan-is-dead-assembly-speaker-says/

    “The Assembly minority leader, James N. Tedisco, said he had offered the votes of all 42 of the Republicans in the Assembly to Mr. Silver — who had expressed partial personal support for congestion pricing — and that the speaker had responded that he simply didn’t have the votes to get it passed.”

  • Donald

    Where are Craig Seeman and Ken Diamondstone when you need them? Haven’t heard from those guys in years.

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