Corzine Ratchets Up Interstate Bickering

For months, New York legislators have insisted that New Jersey drivers pay a bigger chunk of the congestion fee than the pricing plan called for. Now that the pricing bill includes such a provision (which still doesn’t satisfy Speaker Silver), New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is crying foul. The amendment he objects to stipulates that the Port Authority contribute $1 billion to the MTA capital plan, or else drivers who
cross Hudson River tolls pay a bigger portion of the congestion fee.

As the Times, Post, and Star-Ledger reported this morning, Corzine is threatening to sue:

"I am dismayed at the attempt by the New York City Council and New York
State lawmakers to politicize the selection of Port Authority capital
projects," Corzine said. "Unless this plan treats all drivers fairly, I
am prepared to pursue legal action to protect New Jersey commuters from
this outrageous action."

Transferring funds from the Port Authority to the MTA requires Corzine, the Port Authority board, and New York Governor David Paterson to all give their consent. While Corzine seems unlikely to sign off on such an agreement, the door is ajar, according to the Times:

One Port Authority
official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that the issue
could be resolved if Mr. Corzine, Gov. David A. Paterson of New York and the Port Authority can resolve the $1 billion contribution.

In a perfect world, the public discussion about Hudson River tolls would also consider the traffic associated with toll-shopping and what can be done to prevent it. Instead, it looks like we’re in for more posturing about "fairness" this week. Might we suggest taking this opportunity to revisit Carolyn Konheim’s proposal to raise the congestion fee to $10?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

$1 Billion From Port Authority Not Enough for Shelly Silver

|
On Saturday night, the congestion pricing bill in the State Senate was amended to include exemptions for low-income drivers and cars with handicapped plates. As expected, the changes also stipulated a way to make New Jersey drivers pay "their fair share." In the amended bill, the Port Authority is required to contribute $1 billion to […]

Bloomberg Says There’s No Reason Pricing Shouldn’t Pass

|
Mayor Bloomberg (far, far background) at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton this morning It’s now or never for congestion pricing, the MTA, and maybe even the city itself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning. Speaking before a sold-out crowd at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton, Bloomberg and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters were the guests […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

|
Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]