MTA Proposes Pollution Mitigation Spending for the Bronx

Acknowledging the impact the city’s proposed congestion pricing program could have on underserved neighborhoods, the agency plans to spend over $130 million in revenue from the program on air filtration, trees, and other pollution reduction measures.

2 minute read

March 30, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced tentative plans to spend at least $130 million in revenue from the city’s proposed congestion pricing program to address air pollution in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods, where critics of the program say traffic diverted from tolled roads will exacerbate poor air quality and put residents at even higher risk for asthma and other diseases.

As a story by Ana Ley for The New York Times explains, “One busy highway which could get more traffic as a result of the congestion pricing program is the Cross Bronx Expressway, a key artery for commercial traffic that is flanked by residential buildings holding about 220,000 Bronx residents, most of whom are people of color.” One version of the proposed congestion pricing plan estimates new truck traffic on the Cross Bronx would increase soot on the corridor by roughly 5 percent.

“The proposal, first reported by Streetsblog and confirmed by people familiar with the matter, includes plans to install air filtration units in some schools near highways, and to reduce overnight toll rates to encourage commercial vehicles to drive during off-peak hours.” This is in part a response to federal regulations that require agencies to mitigate the harm caused by diverted traffic. The proposed plan would also dedicate $25 million to asthma treatment in the Bronx and $5 million to landscaping along roads, as well as plans to renovate parks and green spaces. The plan requires approval from federal officials and the MTA board.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in The New York Times

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Urban sidewalk shaded by large mature trees

Cool Walkability Planning

Shadeways (covered sidewalks) and pedways (enclosed, climate controlled walkways) can provide comfortable walkability in hot climates. The Cool Walkshed Index can help plan these facilities.

June 1, 2023 - Todd Litman

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Congestion Pricing Could Be Coming to L.A.

The infamously car-centric city is weighing a proposed congestion pricing pilot program to reduce traffic and encourage public transit use.

May 30, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

View from lakeside with green grass and pink blooming flowers

Who Benefits Most from Land Conservation Efforts?

A new study estimates that recent land conservation generated $9.8 billion in wealth nationally through the housing market and that wealthier and White households benefited disproportionately.

46 minutes ago - PNAS

Close-up of black parking meter with blurred street in background

Richmond Repeals Parking Minimums, Encourages Off-Street Parking and Transit

The Virginia city is replete with underused off-street parking lots, which city councilors hope to make available for parking at more times while encouraging transit use.

1 hour ago - Next City

Multi-Family Housing

Lack of Multi-Family Zones Contributes to Nashville’s High Housing Costs, Study Says

Nashville and surrounding communities allow for a relatively small amount of multi-family housing, according to a new zoning atlas of Middle Tennessee. A regionally focused nonprofit is using the atlas to push for zoning reforms.

2 hours ago - Axios Nashville

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.