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Air Quality

Glick Worried Pricing Will Make Air Quality Worse

glick_1.jpgReader Sarah Ferguson reports that Assembly Member Deborah Glick (right), who represents Lower Manhattan, has come up with a novel twist on Richard Brodsky's call for further environmental review of congestion pricing. Read on for the full story, and keep making those phone calls. We want to know what else legislators are telling their constituents today.

I just called Deborah Glick's office as an outraged constituent to ask why she was not doing more to support congestion pricing, since she represents a swath of Manhattan on the West Side that would certainly benefit from reduced cars, better mass transit, etc.

I spoke to one of her top aides, Theresa Swidorski, who told me that while Glick "has not taken a position," one of her main concerns is the fact that the Congestion Pricing bill is not currently subject to SEQR--the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

I asked why this should be of such a concern that Glick would risk shooting down the whole Congestion Pricing bill and federal funding for better mass transit. Swidorski responded that Glick's worried any work to expand the subways could "negatively impact the air."

That's right folks: Glick is worried that expanding the subways might "NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE AIR."

"There will be digging, there will be debris," Swidorski said.

Forgoing SEQR, Swidorski added, would set a terrible precedent for state law.

I'm not one to argue for sidestepping environmental reviews. But it would seem to me that the environmental benefits of reducing traffic congestion and expanding mass transit are really a no brainer here. I'm not sure why we have to waste a lot of time and precious capital to verify what we already know--less cars and more mass transit are good for the environment.

Supporters of the environment and Congestion Pricing should call Glick's office and let her know that.

Here's the digits:

District Office: 212-674-5153Albany Office: 518-455-4841

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