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Former Gov. Patterson slams New York’s congestion pricing

Former Gov. Patterson slams New York’s congestion pricing

metro

July 23, 2023 | 1:54 p.m

the previous government. David Patterson has slammed on the brakes on the nation’s first congestion pricing system heading for Manhattan — claiming that businesses haven’t fully recovered from the COVID pandemic and that current traffic doesn’t justify it.

In an interview Sunday with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM’s Cats Roundtable, Patterson bluntly predicted, “It’s going to be a problem.”

“But the biggest problem of all…its name is ‘congestion pricing,'” he said. “To get congestion pricing, you have to have congestion.”

“We have it now and then, but not as often as we did before [the pandemic]. And because of that, Manhattan…is in a terrible situation, where there’s really no commerce going on in the area, because no one comes to the stores, because the buildings are empty and no one comes to work on the buildings.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will run the program, has not yet set a price for what the fees will be – and they are now due to go into effect as early as next spring.

the previous government. David Patterson claims that current traffic does not warrant a congestion charge.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images

But she said it could range from $9 to $23 a day to drive a car in the targeted business district on South 60th Street.

“How are you going to entice them to come if, when they get there, they have to pay $23 to get into the business district?” said the former governor. “This is the real argument against it.”

Patterson said he supported congestion pricing when then-mayor Mike Bloomberg first proposed it more than a decade ago.

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Congestion pricing is set to go into effect next spring.
AP
Fees can range from $9 to $23 per day to drive a vehicle in the targeted business district south of 60th Street.
Reuters

“But the recent problems in terms of logistics around the city… I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in two or three years [put it up] to reconsider.”

Patterson’s criticism comes two days after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy filed a federal lawsuit to block the toll, arguing that the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration had not conducted a proper review of its impact on New Jersey drivers who were unfairly targeted.

Meanwhile, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fusilla said Sunday that he, too, will sue to block the plan.

A set of newly installed toll mechanisms hangs on West End Avenue at 61st Street.
Reuters

Vosilla told The Post that he is reaching out to other foreign politicians opposed to the fee system who are likely to join the legal battle against him.

Fosilla claimed the plan is a loser for residents of Staten Island because more traffic would be redirected to the town to avoid the Manhattan toll.

Not only would it be a financial burden, but the air quality and traffic would worsen in Staten Island. Who wants that? The mayor told The Post.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has filed a federal lawsuit to block the fee.
AP

He said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Brooklyn) and House Minority Leader Joe Borelli (Staten Island) will be co-plaintiffs.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the MTA have defended the pricing program as a win-win that would reduce traffic, improve air quality and generate $1 billion in revenue annually to boost transit service.

Mass transit advocates also support this plan.

“Everything we do here is for the benefit of New Yorkers and people in the entire commuting spectrum,” Hochul said after the feds approved the congestion pricing plan.

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“Twenty-eight million people will benefit from the investments that we will continue to make, not just for New Yorkers but for the entire system that serves neighboring states as well.”


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