Pricing Round Up: Sticking Points, Horse Trading, Hearings

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 Jackson
of Harlem, who said he is undecided about the mayor’s plan, said
yesterday. Mr. Jackson said his wish list includes more express bus
routes and support for building a cross-harbor rail tunnel that would
reduce truck traffic in the neighborhood.

He added that he is in talks with the
mayor’s office on local concerns and is leaning toward voting in favor
of 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.

  • Dave

    I love the inane objections:

    – Better to have one taxi than 25 cars in the CP zone. But their cruising is an issue so let’s put taxi stands in place in midtown and prohibit them from cruising.

    The problem though is enforcement. Look at the through streets program with turns prohibited or better yet the “buses and taxis with passengers only” 49th/50th streets. How often were/are those regulations enforced? In my experience hardly ever.

    – Just exactly how many of these supposed elderly/sick people will here be driving into the city for medical appointments? Are they given a discount on the VNB? The subway? Don’t they usually take para-transit anyway?

    Give me a number of people impacted before you go setting up a discount program that will only be misused.

    – Haven’t we already discussed and dismissed the NJ issue already? Molinaro how about you step up and discuss how Staten Islanders won’t be given a discount for VNB or other tolls? I think BBQ residents should be given a discount on the Harlem and East River tolls when they are implemented, as long as I get the same discount as a Manhattan resident.

  • Sick

    Update on the old “Are you the sick passenger” subway ads. New one. “Are you the sick passenger? Next time, we’ll pay you to drive.”

  • HIlary

    I’m ready to compromise and accept a Westchester rationing plan. We’ll set daily (or hourly) quotas for the number of cars they can send into the city and let them figure out the fairest way to achieve it – by pricing, rationing, merit, first come first serve. Let them figure it out.

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