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Congestion Pricing

Bloomberg Pitches Pricing to Brooklyn Assembly Members

3:00 PM EST on February 29, 2008

From The Daily Politics:

Mayor Bloomberg hosted members of the Brooklyn Assembly delegation at Gracie Mansion this morning as part of his ongoing lobbying effort on congestion pricing, which the Legislature must sign off on by the end of next month in order to land the full $354 million pledged by the US DOT.

About a dozen lawmakers showed up to hear the mayor make his pitch, sources said, and they were generally open-minded and respectful.

But Bloomberg has his work cut out for him in convincing the outer borough electeds - both in the Council, which must pass the plan first, and the Assembly Democratic conference, where there are a number of outspoken congestion pricing critics, not the least of which is Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who proposed an alternative pollution-reduction plan yesterday.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Darryl Towns, who was unable to attend this morning's event due to a scheduling conflict, said he thinks it's "great" that the mayor reached out to the delegation, and insisted he's willing to "keep an open mind" on congestion pricing.

But Towns still has a number of concerns about the plan, not the least of which is that his district, which is the terminus for a number of major highways, including the Jackie Robinson, will end up as the parking lot for commuters who don't want to pay congestion fees and opt to take the train into Manhattan.

"I would feel more comfortable if I understood how the (MTA) capital plan would offer relief to my constituents," Towns said. "I think some of us are trying to be statemen about this and at least listen to what the mayor is saying."

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