- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf More on congestion pricing. Serrano blasts Yankee Stadium parking "loophole" as counter productive | Bronx News Networkbronx

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More on congestion pricing. Serrano blasts Yankee Stadium parking "loophole" as counter productive

Now, onto some updates. In our congestion pricing story, we noted that Helen Foster was the only Bronx council member not to vote for the plan because she was absent. Well, it turns out she was in Vegas attending a mysterious "family" event. She meant to get back, she said, but her plane was delayed. It also turns out that she was vehemently against congestion pricing and would have been the only Bronx CM to vote against the plan.

Here's a few snippets from Foster's press release: "It is clear that asthma, traffic pollution, congestion, and transportation infrastructure are problems that need to be addressed...While congestion pricing may help with downtown Manhattan congestion, it may well transfer congestion and higher asthma rates to the South Bronx...I am disappointed that the Council passed congestion pricing, but I am still hoping that the Legislature and the Governor will reject the measure."

Furthermore, Foster says: "Experience shows that asthma and truck traffic did not seem to concern the Mayor and other elected officials when they approved the construction of the new Yankee Stadium."

Speaking of Yankee Stadium, State Senator Jose M. Serrano, who shares constituents with Foster, sent out a letter last night to the Mayor and media saying he supported congestion pricing, but worried that a loophole concerning the new Yankee Stadium parking garages might defeat the whole purpose of congestion pricing -- reducing congestion and pollution from cars commuting into the city.

For now, the stadium's parking garages are only open on game days, 81 days a year. But apparently the Yankees may be able to open up the garages year round, possibly turning it into what Serrano called a "park and ride" for commuters and a parking destination for people working in the South Bronx who normally use mass transit.

"Expanding commuter parking defeats the purpose and spirit of congestion pricing, the whole point of which is to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home and to enhance mass transit. "

Serrano said a decision on the new parking lots will be made by the city in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the state legislature is wrangling with the congestion pricing beast as we speak. It will be interesting to see if Serrano makes a stand against congestion pricing if the Yankee Stadium loophole remains open.


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