Tuesday, April 08, 2008

OBITUARY: Congestion Pricing, Plan to Reduce Traffic and Emissions in Manhattan by Charging Entry Fees, Dead at 50 Weeks

Congestion pricing, an ambitious plan spearheaded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to charge vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street weekdays between the hours of 6am and 6pm an $8 fee, died in Monday in Albany, New York, two weeks shy of its first birthday. An investigation by government watchdog groups is underway as to the cause of death.

The initiative was born to great fanfare on Earth Day last year, April 22, 2007, at the Museum of Natural History during a speech by the mayor. Congestion Pricing was the cornerstone of Mayor Bloomberg’s "PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York," a wide-ranging set of 127 proposals to increase sustainability and reduce carbon emissions by 30% through the year 2030.

Despite $354 million in federal aid at stake, the approval of the New York City Council and endorsement of other elected officials and civic leaders, Congestion Pricing was never debated on the floor of the State Legislature in either house. Instead, it was widely reported that the Assembly held private meetings where at least one secret vote was taken to gauge support from the Democratic Conference. It’s unclear if that vote will be made public.

Congestion Pricing is survived by an arcane and less-than-fully democratic rules process in Albany.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone believe that Silver is lying and that a majority of Dems really supported congestion pricing? Or does the Brennan Center think Silver should have twisted arms and distributed member items to get the members to change their vote?