Parsing the Council Pricing Vote
But seriously folks, here are some quick hits from last night’s congestion pricing council victory:
- All ten Manhattan and seven Bronx council members voted in favor. In Brooklyn the vote was 7-9 against; Queens 5-9, and Staten Island 1-2.
- Eric Gioia broke with his Queens colleagues to vote in favor of pricing, proving himself no doormat.
- Two candidates for Brooklyn borough president, Bill de Blasio and Charles Barron, voted against. According to the Politicker: "De Blasio said he thinks transit projects in Brooklyn probably wouldn’t be funded under the plan. Barron, describing the plan as a tax on poor New Yorkers, said that if the mayor can oppose a millionaire’s tax, the council should avoid congestion pricing."
- The Politicker also notes that "two city comptroller candidates — Melinda Katz and David Weprin — voted against congestion pricing, while three of their likely opponents in the race — David Yassky, Simcha Felder and John Liu — voted for it."
- The Sun reports that Lower Manhattan’s Alan Gerson "said he had been talking to Bloomberg aides about his demands until just before the vote. He said he had been assured that the administration would add traffic enforcement agents to his district, fund a study examining the Holland Tunnel corridor, and require new commuter buses to meet high environmental standards."
- With the exception of de Blasio, Diana Reyna and Mathieu Eugene — all from Brooklyn — every council member counted as "undecided" by the New York Times in early March voted "yes." Gerson, Gioia, Felder, Letitia James, Joel Rivera, Thomas White, Jr. and Michael McMahon were considered to be opposed to pricing at that time, but ultimately supported it.
- The Post says Senate Republicans may take up the pricing bill "as soon as today." Though its "prospects in the Legislature are far from certain," Crain’s reports they "have been improving in the last week." Sheldon Silver, meanwhile, is presumably holding out for a deal TBD.
- Streetsblog’s Jason Varone reports: "Tony Avella was on Brian Lehrer this morning, and said he is filing a FOIL request to see if any unethical persuasion went on behind the scenes during the Mayor’s attempt to pass this bill. He also said that if he is elected Mayor next year, he will stop congestion pricing immediately."
- According to Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, that won’t be necessary.