- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Dinowitz Slams Bloomberg’s Congestion Pricing Plan | Bronx News Networkbronx

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dinowitz Slams Bloomberg’s Congestion Pricing Plan

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-81st District), whose district includes Norwood, Kingsbridge, and Riverdale, blasted Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal at a Bronx public hearing last night.

Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan would involve charging vehicles $8 to enter Manhattan below 86th Street during standard weekday business hours. Leading off a list of both supporters and opponents of the plan to testify before the commission, Dinowitz said the toll-offset component of Bloomberg’s plan— which would subtract from the $8 toll costs for EZ-pass drivers at some bridges and tunnels leading into Manhattan—showed an unfair bias towards out-of-state motorists as compared to those from the Bronx.

“If you look at the demographics of New Jersey and the demographics of the Bronx,” Dinowitz said, “it’s discrimination on many levels.”

According to Robert D. McFadden’s October 8 article in the New York Times, the toll offset would apply to: The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, the Triborough Bridge, and the Henry Hudson bridge.

Dinowitz also said statistics often cited by local supporters of the congestion pricing plan, indicating that only 3.7 percent of Bronx workers commute to the Congestion-Pricing Zone (CPZ), were “misleading”; he suggested the percentage of Bronx residents who would be affected was much higher than that because Bronxites go to Manhattan for a variety of reasons besides commuting to work.

Dinowitz also expressed skepticism that the mayor’s plan is merely a pilot project, arguing the hundreds of millions of dollars the city would have to invest in cameras and infrastructure in order to implement the plan meant that congestion pricing was designed for the long haul.

Councilmember Oliver Koppell (D-11th District) said he supported the Mayor’s plan overall, but suggested several adjustments, including exempting seniors and the disabled from the $8 charge. He also shared Dinowitz’s disdain for the toll-offset component.

“I don’t know who thought of it,” Koppell said, “but it makes no sense whatsoever.”

Assemblyman Ruben Diaz. Jr. (D-85th District) said the congestion pricing proposal-- which encourages Bronxites to leave their car at home-- and the MTA’s proposal to increase subway fare-- which discourages them from taking public transit-- sent mixed signals and threatened to hit his constituents with a “double-whammy.”

Like several other speakers, Diaz also expressed strong displeasure with the scheduled date of last night’s hearing.

“I’m really not happy that somebody thought they could disrespect the Bronx by having this type of event on Halloween,” Diaz said.

The commission promised it would hold an additional Bronx hearing with the City Council before taking any decisive action around the issue.


  1. Why don't drivers want to pay for the resources they are using?

  2. I live in this neighborhood. It's a damned shame that Dinowitz will be swayed by selfish drivers, who have plenty of mass transit options. (expresss buses, metronorth, subway. Here's the ugly truth. These people don't want to use mass transit. They don't like riding with the riff raff.
    They want to ride around in their car bubbles safe from the outside world.


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