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.
  • Ombud

    Who’s Tony Avella? He’s running for mayor?

  • md

    Under CP, won’t it still be less expensive for Avella’s constituents to drive than to take the LIRR?

  • Jason A

    Good luck with that Tony. If CP passes it will play out exactly like the smoking ban – everyone will wonder how we lived so long without it…

  • Hizzoner

    Tony Avella: Leading New York back to 1977.

    Avella for Mayor!

  • Josh

    Hey Councilman Barron, how about instead of voting against CP because you don’t think money will be devoted to transit improvements in Brooklyn, you use your position to push for CP money to be used for transit improvements in Brooklyn?

  • styro hero

    Well, thank god Bill is taking care of the styrofoam menace! Less styrofoam in our wastestream is certain to reduce VMT by at least 10-20%!


    From his recent email:
    I joined students and parents at PS 154 on Monday in Windsor Terrace to launch a pilot program, which makes them the first NYC public school to stop using styrofoam lunch trays.
    Instead of styrofoam the school lunches will be served on trays made from sugar cane fiber. The new trays are designed to easily break down either in a landfill or in backyard composting, within 45 days. In contrast, the trays made of styrofoam typically take 10,000 years to break down and studies suggest the possibility of chemical migration into the food our children eat each day. The Department of Education (DOE) currently uses 850,000 styrofoam trays a day which adds up to over 4 million trays a week!

    As always thank you for your continued support.
    Bill de Blasio

  • jmc

    Those styrofoam lunch trays are such a silly issue. Half these parents drive around in SUVs, which burn more styrofoam/sugar cane equivalent in a a mile than you’d need to make a lunch tray. Unlike many other things in the community, the foam lunch trays don’t pose a danger to children’s health. Air pollution and speeding motorists do!


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Photo: Crain's New York

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