Not so fast Mayor Mike!

We say to Mayor Michael Bloomberg - slow down and address all the problems, pitfalls and nasty scenarios of your congestion pricing plan for Manhattan.
Bloomberg is in too much of a rush!
His plan for congestion pricing to reduce weekday traffic in midtown below 86th Street by 6.3 percent from 6 a.m to 6 p.m., in order to reduce air pollution and speed up cross-town traffic from the current 5 miles per hour to just 5.36 miles per hour, is moving too fast.
“I think it is somewhat irresponsible on the mayor’s part to drop this radical, comprehensive and complicated plan on the legislature’s desk two weeks before the end of session,” said Assemblymember Rory I. Lancman.
The $500 million carrot with an August deadline dangled by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters at a meeting with state lawmakers is a red herring to be avoided. While these potential federal dollars could pay to get the program started and make improvements to mass transit, New York would have to be chosen from among nine other cities in the running to receive the grant.
However, congestion pricing does not have to pass in the legislature for the city to get the “improved technology” grant money.
Lancman said, “If it doesn’t happen in the next two weeks that’s not the end of the issue of meeting the August deadline. That money does not require the city to pursue congestion pricing. We are only under this gun to do congestion pricing because the mayor chose to. That money would have been available without doing it,” Lancman pointed out.
Charging cars $8 and trucks $21 to enter Manhattan below 86th Street on weekdays is not the answer!
The plan raises so many questions and provides few answers.
Administration and enforcement will be a nightmare.
We say to Bloomberg that you must first improve the mass transit in Queens before you force borough commuters onto a system that is overcrowded and completely inadequate by forcing them out of their cars with an expensive driving tax.
Assemblymember Herman Farrell of Manhattan responded to Mayor Mike’s sales pitch to legislators on Friday, June 8, saying that something must be done to alleviate the congestion. “However, we must ensure that the cure in not worse than the disease. This is not a time for haste but for thoughtful consideration based on sound science and good information,” Farrell said.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said it best, “This is a very complex issue and I don’t know if the mayor has all the answers. We need a lot of answers to a lot of questions.”
Mayor Mike in selling the plan to the legislators said, “If we can’t convince you, you shouldn’t vote for it.” Well, we are not convinced! Queens residents should call 3-1-1 and emphatically tell the Mayor “NO” to his congestion pricing plan.

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