Assembly Sinks NYC Congestion Pricing Measure

Tolls for high-traffic areas had been mayor's pet project
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2008 5:23 PM CDT
Democrats in New York's state assembly today killed a plan that would have raised fees for cars entering parts of Manhattan during high-traffic times.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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(Newser) – New York state legislators today killed a plan that would have brought congestion pricing—higher fees at peak traffic hours—to parts of Manhattan, a major defeat for Mike Bloomberg, the Times reports. The mayor and a coalition of environmental groups backed the idea, but legislators from the city's outer boroughs and elsewhere opposed the fees, which would have been as high as $8, as regressive.

A Bloomberg rep derided the vote, taken in secret in Albany by members of the state legislature's Democratic majority, as “one of the biggest cop-outs in New York’s history." Approval of congestion pricing—already in effect in London, among other cities—could have made New York eligible for $354 million in federal funds for mass transit and other improvements.