Congestion Pricing in the Opinion Pages
April 8th, 2008
Newspaper editorial pages and columnists are responding to the demise of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, which would have charged drivers $8 to enter Manhattan below 60th street during peak traffic hours. The proposal promised to reduce pollution and secure more than $350 million in federal financing for mass transit improvements.
The New York Times blames Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who it says “killed congestion pricing in the most cowardly way: without even holding a vote.”
The Daily News writes that “Silver’s Assembly Democrats put New Yorkers in severe jeopardy of riding deteriorating mass transportation – and paying increasing fares for the privilege.” Daily News columnist Bill Hammond adds that “Mayor Bloomberg’s biggest mistake on congestion pricing was in dreaming Albany lawmakers would listen to reason and act responsibly.” Michael Daly adds up all the revenue that would have come to the city from congestion pricing and the commuter tax, which Silver helped defeat in 1999. “But hey, what’s a total of more than $5 billion we could have poured into schools and subways and public safety compared to what Shelly wants?” he writes.
Fred Dicker from the New York Post says Silver’s actions weren’t part of some personal dispute with the mayor – this time. “Silver appeared to favor Bloomberg’s plan, personally, but chose to defer to an overwhelming number of fellow Democrats,” he writes.
The New York Sun is pleased with the result, writing that the paper “came gradually to understand what the Assembly saw, which is that it was a tax, after all, and an impediment, a restriction on us.”By Mark Berkey-Gerard on April 8, 2008, 8:04 am
In category: Albany, Environment, Transportation | 1 Comment »