Breaking: Joan Millman to Vote “Yes” on Pricing

millman.jpgHere’s a constituent e-mail from Brooklyn Assembly Member Joan Millman, who finally, bravely announces her intent to vote for congestion pricing. Note the time stamp: nearly two hours after the plan was declared dead.

From: Assemblywoman Joan Millman [mailto:millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: Online Contact Form

April 7, 2008

Thank you for your communication regarding congestion pricing. I am attaching a copy of my statement to be made today on the floor of the Assembly. At this point I still do not know if the Mayor’s congestion pricing plan will be voted on today.

Thank you for sharing your views with me.

Sincerely,

Joan L. Millman

Member of Assembly

*Statement by Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman on **April 7, 2008***

Mr. Speaker, on the bill, I will vote yes on the Congestion Pricing Plan. I will vote yes even though I still have major concerns and questions about the plan itself.


I agree too many motorists drive gas guzzling vehicles, polluting our air, causing high rates of asthma.

 

Representing downtown Brooklyn, I know too well the traffic jams caused by the hundreds of cars, taxis, trucks and limos traveling into Manhattan via the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. For years I have requested that city, state, and federal officials study the effect of the one-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridgewith no success. We all know trucks travel from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, through Staten Island, enter the Gowanus Expressway on their way to Manhattan, then exit via the George Washington Bridge never paying a toll. And when the traffic builds up, these same trucks exit the Gowanus Expressway and travel through our brownstone neighborhoods.

I suggested at a Public Hearing that trucks make Manhattan deliveries before 7 AM and after 6 PM. I suggested increased ferry service, the creation of a three-person HOV Zone in Manhattan, increased accessibility at all our subways and expansion of bicycle lanes. None of these suggestions made their way into the final plan.

Another major concern is the lack of accountability from the MTA, the same MTA who sold the Atlantic Yards at a fraction of its worth.

This is the same MTA who has warehoused their downtown building for years, using it for storage and has now committed $150 million in its 5-Year Capital Plan for renovation.

So today I vote for this plan with the hope the discussion continues. My suggestions as well as those of my colleagues deserve a fair hearing.

All of us want, need and demand a superior mass transportation system, cleaner air, and a pedestrian friendlier city.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

One More Chance to Support Pricing: Call Your Reps Today!

|
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Congestion pricing is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact progressive transportation policy for New York City. With the midnight deadline to receive $354 million in federal aid approaching in a matter of hours, now is the last chance to call your representatives in Albany to express your […]

Open Thread: What Are Your Reps Saying About Pricing?

|
Hopefully a lot of electeds are hearing from Streetsbloggers today. We’d love to know the responses you’re getting. To get the ball rolling, here’s an account from Streetsblog’s Jason Varone: I just got off a lengthy phone call with a staffer at Joan Millman’s Albany office. She was very pretty well versed on the subject […]

Revenge of the Free Riders

|
From Transportation Alternatives’ Spring 2008 magazine: The biggest hurdle congestion pricing faced was the simple fact that the people required to enact the legislation were the ones who stood to pay the most because of it. On Monday, April 7, Sheldon Silver walked out of a closed door meeting of State Assembly Democrats and announced […]

Profiles in Discouragement: Pols Defend Traffic Status Quo

|
Council member Lew Fidler delivers his Tax & Tunnel plan to the Commission. Spencer Wilking reports: The city’s traveling road show of community advocates, local politicians and concerned residents, otherwise known as New York City’s Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, stopped in Brooklyn Thursday night as part of its whirlwind seven county tour. At the hearing […]

Upstate Assembly Member Says City Delegation Killed Pricing

|
What went on behind the closed doors of the Democratic conference the day congestion pricing died in the Assembly? According to a constituent letter from Binghamton rep Donna A. Lupardo, the "overwhelming majority" of New York City members were opposed to pricing, and upstate pols followed their lead. Thank you for your recent email concerning […]

Congestion Pricing: Joan Millman is Not Convinced

|
State Assembly Member Joan Millman’s Downtown and brownstone Brooklyn district includes some of the most politically progressive, environmentally-conscious and traffic-choked neighborhoods of New York City — neighborhoods that have been clamoring for traffic relief for years. Yet, Millman is, for now, opposed to Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. In a letter sent to constituents who […]