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Lew Fidler’s 9 CARAT STONE Plan Lives!

fidler.jpg

Move over, Ted Kheel. On the eve of the Congestion Mitigation Commission deadline to sign off on some form of congestion pricing, Lew Fidler tells the Observer he will introduce his own 9 CARAT STONE plan to his colleagues on the City Council tomorrow.

The Fidler Tax'n'Tunnel proposal, for those who've somehow forgotten, would avoid congestion pricing by, among other measures, increasing parking rates and traffic violation fees, building $18 billion in tunnel infrastructure, removing one-way truck tolls, moving city agencies out of Manhattan's Central Business District, and convincing the federal government and/or automakers to develop hydrogen cell vehicles. It would be paid for through a one-third of one percent regional payroll tax.

Fidler says his support is diverse. "I want to be very clear," he told me. "I have co-sponsors for elements of this plan that are ardently in favor of congestion pricing, ardently against it, and people who haven't yet committed. But even if they're in favor of congestion pricing, and they put their name next to one of my resolution points, they think that point is a good idea, and some of them [the resolutions] survive with or without congestion pricing."

Fidler said it's not likely his proposal will go to a vote before congestion pricing, since in addition to the mayor, the City Council Speaker supports congestion pricing. "What's wrong is my plan isn't part of the debate," Fidler says.

Fidler's plan was analyzed by Environmental Defense and the Pratt Center for Community Development last year, who concluded that it, along with proposals by Congressman Anthony Weiner and Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, would promote driving.

Photo: Lila Glogowsky

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