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Campaign for New York's Future

Pricing Round Up: Sticking Points, Horse Trading, Hearings

10:36 AM EDT on March 21, 2008

The congestion pricing deadline is little more than a week (or two) away, and news is coming fast and furious about the last wave of legislative wrangling. Two reports published in the last 16 hours give a sense of how compromises may be hashed out to gain passage for the measure.

First, the Daily Politics spoke to Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, a pricing supporter who identified three major sticking points among his colleagues:

  • Taxis, which contribute considerably to traffic, getting off with just a $1 surcharge.
  • No provisions for the elderly or sick people who are traveling into the congestion zone to go to medical appointments.
  • The fact that commuters from New Jersey won't be affected because they're already paying $8 in PANY/NJ tolls.

The New Jersey issue, which prompted 20 City Council members to sign a letter of objection, may be on its way to being hashed out, according to a story in the Sun this morning:

Mr. Bloomberg has said he will address the issue and is expected to propose a possible fix soon.

The Sun also reports on the favors Council members are seeking in return for their vote:

"I know what my issues are -- northern Manhattan," Council Member Robert Jacksonof Harlem, who said he is undecided about the mayor's plan, saidyesterday. Mr. Jackson said his wish list includes more express busroutes and support for building a cross-harbor rail tunnel that wouldreduce truck traffic in the neighborhood.

He added that he is in talks with themayor's office on local concerns and is leaning toward voting in favorof congestion pricing.

Want to urge Jackson and the rest of City Council to get behind pricing? There's a public hearing at City Hall on Monday. Details after the jump.

The Campaign for New York's Future sent an email to supporters yesterday to organize pro-pricing turnout. Here's the deal from CNYF:

WHAT: City Council is holding its last hearing on congestion pricing in order to gauge community support for the plan before it goes to a vote. This is likely your last opportunity to make your voice heard on this issue!

WHEN: Monday, March 24th at 9:30 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. – READ ON FOR THE FULL DAY’S SCHEDULE

9:30 session: The morning hearing will hear testimonies from pre-invited panelists only but is open to the public.  We encourage you to attend and show your support for pro-pricing testimonies as well as sign up to testify at the evening hearing.

5:30 session: The evening hearing is open to the public -- anyone can testify. The sign-up for the evening hearing opens at 5:30. Testimonies are limited to 2 minutes each. The line up will be determined on a first come, first served basis.

To sum up: come all day if you can make it; if you can only come at one time make it at 5:30pm.

WHERE: 2nd Floor, Council Chambers - City Hall. City Hall is located in City Hall Park. You can enter the plaza from either the west side of the park at Broadway and Murray Street or the east side at Park Row.

Please let us know if you are coming or if you have questions: contact Katie at ksavin@mrss.com.

Bring congestion pricing related signs and t-shirts to show your support even when you are not testifying!  The CNYF will bring extras in case you need them.

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