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Monday’s Headlines: Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve Edition

June 30, 2024 came and went yesterday without the once-planned launch of congestion pricing. Plus more news.

@GovKathyHochul via Twitter|

Gov. Hochul is proud of her abandonment of congestion pricing and the MTA for the sake of a small minority of drivers.

June 30, 2024 came and went yesterday without the once-planned launch of congestion pricing.

To mark what could've been, Streetsblog's homepage now features a "count-up" clock that ticks off the traffic, pollution, congestion and transit revenue impacts of Gov. Hochul's 11th hour decision to cancel the long-anticipated tolls.

Hochul, meanwhile, had the gall to wear an MTA-theme rainbow shirt to the city's Pride Parade on Sunday — sticking her nose up at what would've been the first day of the toll had she not reneged last minute on a year of public statements touting the program. Gothamist remarked on the irony, which you can see on full display in the clip below:

As Dave Colon writes on our site today, Hochul has left the MTA in the unenviable position of needing to fund two multi-million capital plans at once, since she's so far failed to come up with a way to cover the money from congestion pricing. As MTA officials have warned, that means important projects will need to be delayed or canceled.

Hochul insists she can find the money elsewhere. But if other good options existed, it's hard to see why legislators would've opted pass congestion pricing to close the gap back in 2019.

The folks over at the Daily News Editorial Board are confident the tolls will still happen: "It is not up to one person, even a governor, to change laws. Congestion pricing is the law of New York State and the MTA fulfilled its legal duty to implement the required tolling program," they wrote on Sunday. "Hochul ... is acting unlawfully. The lawsuits are coming and they will prevail."

In a statement, Comptroller Brad Lander and attorney Michael Gerrard pledged to take legal action against the governor "in the coming weeks."

Elsewhere in the Daily News opinion pages, former Riders Alliance Executive Director John Raskin contextualized Hochul's congestion pricing betrayal in a greater failure to follow through on the state's climate change commitments.

In other congestion pricing news:

  • WSJ on pricing's "stunning collapse": "17 years, $700 million wasted."
  • Congestion pricing supporters marched in favor of the tolls on Saturday. (Gothamist)
  • Changing the topic: Congestion pricing hater, parking spot truther and failed political candidate gripes about budget gimmicks that leave the MTA's operations under-funded. (Daily News)
  • Our friends at Hell Gate checked in on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has continued to argue about congestion pricing with randos on Twitter since Streetsblog wrote about it on Tuesday.
  • Pro-car Staten Islanders prepare for the next battle. (SI Advance)
  • Trouble ahead for the MTA's next capital plan. (The City)
  • MTA CEO Lieber: "I am focused on what we can do to help New Yorkers, and not what we can’t do." (amNY)

And in non-congestion pricing news:

  • Newly approved city budget increases "Fair Fares" program eligibility. (amNY)
  • Phil Murphy and Josh Gottheimer should do something about attempts to rinse New Jersey commuters... Oh, wait. (NY Post)
  • Meet the people who keep your Citi Bike e-bikes charged and ready. (Curbed)
  • Curb-jumping e-scooter rider injures self and two others. (NY Post)
  • Hit-and-run driver kills 31-year-old pedestrian on the FDR Drive. (Daily News, CBS New York)
  • Drunk driver kills off-duty NYPD cop and two NYC residents on Long Island. (Daily News)
  • The City, like Streetsblog, asked if pro-safety victories in last week's primary elections amount to a "mandate" for the McGuinness Boulevard bike lane redesign.
  • Larry Penner on the 1939 demise of the BMT and IRT. (Mass Transit Mag)

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