Bipartisan Coalition Of City, State Officials Renew Calls To Halt Congestion Pricing Scheme
Malliotakis, Bipartisan Coalition of City & State Officials Renew Push to Halt Congestion Pricing
(NEW YORK, NY) – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) joined a bipartisan coalition of city and state elected officials to urge Governor Hochul to withdraw her support of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Manhattan Central Business District Tolling Plan (CBDTP), otherwise known as Congestion Pricing.
Specifically, Malliotakis renewed her calls for the MTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to extend the public comment period on the Environmental Assessment (EA) to 60 days, and push the MTA to conduct complete, thorough, and transparent economic and environmental impact studies to learn the program’s true impact before it’s implemented.
Under the city’s plan, which is modeled after London’s failed congestion charge zone, commuters may be forced to pay an additional $23 toll to enter Manhattan south of 60th street, costing drivers more than $5,000 per year, and potentially more for Staten Islanders who already pay a toll to connect to the rest of the city.
“Staten Islanders already pay a toll to connect to the rest of the city, and now to tell our constituents that the city is going to add another $23 fee to travel within the city in which they live is completely outrageous and unacceptable,” Malliotakis said. “This plan is costly, it’s going to add traffic in areas outside of the congestion zone and increase pollution. We’re here as representatives from the outer boroughs who are gravely concerned about this and very disappointed that our governor and state legislature have forfeited their responsibility to the MTA. We know this cash grab is nothing more than a war on cars. The MTA is a never-ending pit where our money goes like a black hole.”
Malliotakis added: “I proudly voted against this scheme as a state legislator, but now as a Member of Congress we’re looking for ways to slow or stop this from the federal level. The FHWA does have a say in this and I’ve spoken with the Administrator to push for more opportunities for the public to weigh in. It’s irresponsible for the MTA and FHWA to move forward with this plan without considering the public’s input or conducting complete and thorough economic and environmental impact studies to learn its true impact.”
“London is the worst city in terms of congestion in the entire world,” Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli said. “We’re being sold a bill of goods, and we only need to look across the pond to know that something that’s working pretty poorly there is not going to work here. We’ve had over 20 members of the legislature, Congress, and council sign our letter asking Kathy Hochul to rescind her support of congestion pricing or at the very least put a pause on it so New Yorkers can digest what, if any, benefits there are.”
Democrat City Council Members Kalman Yeger and Robert Holden and Staten Island Republicans Assembly Members Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis were also in attendance. They along with Assemblyman Charles Fall signed on to a letter led by Borelli stating:
“Given the MTA’s long, notorious history of fiscal mismanagement, cost-overruns, and failures to meet even the most generous project deadlines, it is simply magical thinking that the CBD Tolling Program will fix the agency’s budget woes or improve public transportation options for communities with few transit options. Given all of these factors, to say that the Central Business District Tolling Program is problematic is an understatement: It is a disaster waiting to happen. We cannot in good conscience support a project that would be so harmful to so many New York City residents, and as leader of this state, we urge you to reconsider.”
Last week, the MTA and FHWA extended the public comment period for the CBDTP’s EA until September 23 due to wide public opposition to the program. Malliotakis has urged people to submit their concerns to the MTA to trigger federal intervention by the FHWA. Concerned citizens can submit comment HERE.
Banner Image: Manhattan traffic. Image Credit – Diane Picchiottino
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