In an Earth Day speech, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to unveil a plan for the future that is sure to have contentious elements, the most provocative being a congestion pricing scheme that he has long resisted.
"On Sunday, Earth Day (April 22), Mayor Blumberg will unveil his plan for the next quarter century of New York City. It is expected to include 'contentious proposals that are intended to ease traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, build housing, improve mass transit and develop abandoned industrial land."
"Toward that end, Mr. Bloomberg is expected to advocate more than 100 proposals, including charging drivers to enter the busiest sections of Manhattan, and using zoning and tax incentives to encourage the construction of 250,000 homes."
"The proposal being formulated calls for money raised from congestion pricing, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars a year, to go into a fund for large-scale transportation investments. Those would include projects for the boroughs outside Manhattan, where drivers would be most affected by new fees that could reach $8, minus a credit for any tolls already in effect."
"Opposition has already formed to congestion pricing, which Mr. Bloomberg himself has resisted in recent years. Walter McCaffrey, a lobbyist representing Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, which is made up of garage owners, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and some labor and neighborhood advocates, says the city should look at other methods of dealing with congestion before resorting to such a 'draconian' method."