Responses to $354 Million Federal Congestion Pricing Grant

mccaffrey.jpgHere are two initial responses to this morning’s news that the US DOT will grant New York City $354 million to implement Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan:

Walter McCaffrey, right, a former city councilman from Queens who has been coordinating opposition to the mayor’s plan on behalf of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, The Automobile Club of New York and parking industry interests, said in a statement:

If the goal truly is to reduce traffic, the city has a moral and legal obligation to seek any and all alternatives before adding a new tax scheme to overburdened New Yorkers. Further, the plan foresees less than an 8 percent improvement in traffic density, with the bulk of the federal funding earmarked for the city to spend on other priorities. The fact remains that the overall congestion tax and vehicle surveillance plan still can – and should – be derailed by the various legislatures if its proponents fail to prove the plan will not cause our citizens, especially those so vigorously opposed in the outer boroughs, an onerous expense and disruption. At all times, the public’s best interest should be in the driver’s seat, and we will keep our hazard lights on to continue warning all New Yorkers to the problems ahead.

Kathryn S. Wylde is the president of the Partnership for New York City, a leading member of the The Campaign for New York’s Future, a coalition of more than 150 civic, business,
environmental, labor, community and public health organizations who support congestion pricing. Wylde said in a statement:

In selecting New York City for the Urban Partners Program, the federal Department of Transportation has allowed us to meet the threshold criteria established by recent state legislation for implementation of a comprehensive program to reduce traffic congestion and improve mass transit in the region. The Partnership has documented the high cost of excess traffic, which results in losses of more than $13 billion and 50,000 jobs each year from our regional economy. Federal funding provides the carrot that will help pay for new buses, faster subways and the other measures required to incentivize people to get out of their cars and on to public transportation. This is a tremendous breakthrough in the struggle to achieve a more efficient, mobile city.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Weiner Imagines Paying for His Traffic Plan With a Gas Tax Raise

|
  Though reporters weren’t invited, Streetsblog managed to get a stringer into this morning’s On-and-Off-the-Record transportation policy talk with Congressman Anthony Weiner at Commerce Bank in Midtown. During the hour-long Q&A hosted by Edward Isaac-Dovere of City Hall News, Weiner hit on familiar themes: Something needs to be done about traffic but the mayor’s plan […]

Bridge Toll Plan Headlines Congestion Commission Report

|
One of four options presented in the Traffic Mitigation Commission’s Interim Report. Download the report. When the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission meets today, it is expected to deliberate four proposed alternatives to Mayor Bloomberg’s original congestion pricing plan. While Chairman Marc Shaw writes that that the commission "may choose to modify," "combine elements" or "put […]

Congestion Pricing: Bloomberg Needs to Sweeten the Deal

|
Webster Avenue and Fordham Road, the Bronx Congestion pricing is in trouble. With just weeks to go before the Traffic Mitigation Commission makes its recommendations to the City Council and State Legislature, public support is waning and opponents appear to have the upper hand. The one sales pitch that scored high in public opinion polls, […]

Weiner on the Environment: Big Talk, Small Stick

|
Where’s the beef? Under Rep. Anthony Weiner’s plan, vehicles, like the one above, would not be charged a fee to use New York City’s most heavily congested streets On Monday evening, just hours before the federal government’s announcement that it would give New York City $354.5 million to kick-start Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. […]

Weiner and Wylde Square Off in Pricing Forum

|
Four veterans of the congestion pricing wars went toe-to-toe at the Museum of the City of New York Wednesday night — the last showdown before the Congestion Mitigation Commission releases its draft proposals today. Taking the stump for pricing were Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for NYC and Michael O’Loughlin of the Campaign for New […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

|
Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]