Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Albany Reform

More Mixed Signals on Pricing’s Chances Under Paterson

17albany2_531.jpg

"Today is Monday. There is work to be done."

So said David Paterson, who was sworn in as New York's 55th governor just after 1:00 this afternoon. Two Mondays from now, the City Council and state Legislature will need to have adopted a congestion pricing plan if the city is to receive $354 million in federal transportation funds. Opinions on whether the governor will work to make that happen still vary wildly, even among those who've talked to people close to Paterson.

Here is the Daily News, from Friday:

Incoming Gov. David Paterson may have declined to take a stand on congestion pricing Thursday - but members of his inner circle have been lobbying for the proposal.

During his first press conference since Gov. Spitzer resigned in disgrace, Paterson said he needed to delve deeper into details of the plan to charge motorists $8 to drive south of 60th St.

"Although the mayor has not directly discussed congestion pricing with him, it would seem to be a good sign that people very close to the new governor are supportive," a City Hall source said.

Former Deputy Mayor Bill Lynch and former Paterson campaign manager Luther Smith have been pitching the toll scheme as a way to fund mass transit improvements in underserved minority communities.

Smith is president of Lynch's lobbying firm, Bill Lynch Associates, which has been doing pro-pricing outreach for Communities United for Transportation Equity.

Both Lynch and Smith are advising Paterson as he makes the transition to the state's highest office.

And here is a Crain's story filed yesterday:

AS THE DEADLINE APPROACHES for legislative approval of congestion pricing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan faces a new hurdle in the state Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, has supported the idea, but he is making no effort to rally his conference behind it. Democrats from the boroughs outside Manhattan don't want to endorse a plan that they believe is unpopular with constituents.

"It's a very heavy lift, and Malcolm recognizes that it's a problem for his members," one senator says. "He's not pressuring us."

Moreover, Mr. Bloomberg has not delivered transit upgrades that senators have requested for their districts. Instead, the legislator says, "I've gotten the same talking points over and over."

The back-and-forth continues from last week, when Paterson said his incoming admin was "taking a look" at pricing. It's the only public statement he's made so far on the subject.

On Wednesday Crain's will host a breakfast forum at the Battery Park Ritz-Carlton featuring Mayor Bloomberg and federal Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. The event is sold out.

Photo:
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press via New York Times

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024

Brooklyn BP Wants Mayor Adams To Do More To Reduce Parking

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso's recommendation on City of Yes: Eliminating parking mandates is not enough!

July 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Citi Bike By the Numbers Edition

Haters of Citi Bike are really going to detest the new website. Plus other news.

July 17, 2024

Once Again, There is More Evidence that Safer Streets Help Local Business

...and there's more insight into why people simply don't believe it.

July 17, 2024

Bedford Ave. Protected Bike Lane Would Benefit Residents, Businesses: Data

A new report debunks the common myth that street safety projects aren't built for the benefit of people who live in a given neighborhood.

July 16, 2024
See all posts