It’s (Apparently) Official: Congestion Pricing Is Dead

Following an evening closed-door meeting in which state leaders discussed congestion pricing one last time today, they emerged announcing no deal had been reached. Here is a statement from Mayor Bloomberg:

"Today is a sad day for New Yorkers and a sad day for New York City.  Not only won’t we see the realization of a plan that would have cut traffic, spurred our economy, reduced pollution and improved public health, we will also lose out on nearly $500 million annually for mass transit improvements and $354 million in immediate federal funds.

"I will be speaking with Secretary Peters and will express my thanks for her commitment to innovative solutions to real problems facing large cities today.  I will also express my deep disappointment that, sadly, even Washington, which most Americans agree is completely dysfunctional, is more willing to try new approaches to longstanding problems than our elected officials in the State Assembly.  It takes true leadership and courage to embrace new concepts and ideas and to be willing to try something.  Unfortunately, both are lacking in the Assembly today.

"If that wasn’t shameful enough, it takes a special type of cowardice for elected officials to refuse to stand up and vote their conscience– on an issue that has been debated, and amended significantly to resolve many outstanding issues, for more than a year.  Every New Yorker has a right to know if the person they send to Albany was for or against better transit and cleaner air.  People know where I stood, and where members of the City Council stood.  They deserved at least that from Albany.

"The idea for congestion pricing didn’t start in our Administration and it won’t end today.  The $354 million we would have received from Washington tomorrow will go to another city in another state.  But the problems congestion pricing could have helped solve are only going to get worse.  And too many people from more than 170 environmental, labor, public health and business organizations recognize the merits of congestion pricing and hopefully someday, we will have more leaders in the Legislature who recognize it too.

"We will continue to push forward on the other 126 proposals in PlaNYC that will reduce our carbon footprint and green our City.  We will move forward on proposals to plant 1 million trees, introduce hybrid taxis and install green roofs on City buildings. Congestion pricing is just one part of our ambitious agenda.

"I want to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly for congestion pricing and I want to acknowledge the courage and leadership that our partners in the City Council, Speaker Quinn, Governor Paterson, former Governor Spitzer, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco and some in the Legislature have shown by working together to convince their colleagues to support congestion pricing.  Together, we will continue to work to build a greener, greater New York City."

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Statement from Mayor Bloomberg on Congestion Pricing Failure

|
Press conference at 11:30 am today. Here is the Mayor’s statement on the New York State legislature’s failure to act on New York City’s congestion pricing plan:  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 17, 2007 STATEMENT FROM MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON CONGESTION PRICING AND PLANYC "Although we continue to talk to the Legislature and the Governor, […]

Bloomberg: It’s Up to Albany to Revive Congestion Pricing

|
If congestion pricing is going to resurface as a viable option to relieve traffic, help plug the enormous gap in the MTA capital program, and keep transit fares from ballooning in the years ahead, it won’t come from the Bloomberg administration. Testifying in Albany on Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal today, Bloomberg said he won’t get […]

Hakeem Jeffries Responds to Congestion Pricing Critics

|
From today’s Crain’s Insider: Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is holding a rally this evening for better G train service, is drawing fire from transit advocates because of his opposition to congestion pricing. Streetsblog commenters plan to confront him at the rally. "Simply because one did not support the mayor’s version of congestion pricing does not […]

Congestion Panel Meets Amidst Q Poll Parsing

|
The third meeting of the 17-member Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission will be held at 2:00 this afternoon at the offices of Hughes Hubbard and Reed, 1 Battery Park Plaza (24 State St. @ Pearl St.), 10th Floor, in Manhattan. Today’s event comes on the heels of a new Quinnipiac Poll, released yesterday, that shows support […]

TSTC Asks the Obvious, Yet Elusive, Pricing Poll Question

|
While the results of the latest Quinnipiac congestion pricing poll were repeated with little analysis earlier this week, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign noted a significant, though not surprising, shortcoming. The Quinnipiac poll failed to link congestion pricing to the mass transit improvements it would bring. The pollsters asked this question: “The Bloomberg administration has suggested […]