Engel Blasts Congestion Charge

Written by John DeSio on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts.


Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents a district that swings from Riverdale in The Bronx all the way through Rockland County, has made it official and come out in opposition to congestion pricing.

"The Mayor promises that the
money from congestion pricing will go towards mass transportation, but the
experience of the lottery money for education is illustrative. Money from the
lottery went to education, but the money previously allocated by the State and
City for education abated, replaced by lottery money. We can expect the same from
this scheme; congestion pricing money goes to mass transit freeing up money
that had been allocated for other purposes," said Engel.

The full statement is after the jump.

News
from

Congressman
Eliot Engel

Representing the Bronx,
Westchester, and Rockland
Counties

Offices in the Bronx, Mount Vernon and West Nyack

2161 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC
20515

Contact: REDACTED         

For release: November 1, 2007

 

STATEMENT
BY
CONGRESSMAN
ELIOT ENGEL

ON
CONGESTION PRICING

 

             Something
must be done about traffic into Manhattan,
but congestion pricing as now proposed is not the answer. All it will do is move
Manhattan’s problems to the Bronx,
Brooklyn, and Queens. There is inadequate
public transportation available to handle the expected influx of passengers,
and the MTA estimates creating such an infrastructure will cost approximately
$750 million. (Based on experience, we can assume that by the time it is built,
the cost will be closer to $1 billion.)

 

            Socially it
will also be divisive: the Emerald City of downtown Manhattan with an admission charge, and the
rest of the boroughs — the 718 people — paying to get in.

 

            Riverdale, Kingsbridge,
and Wakefield face more parking, traffic, and
pollution problems as people from Yonkers, Mount Vernon and even Rockland drive here, park, and transfer to
public transportation. It is unfair to them and it is unfair to the Bronx. (This has already happened. Within the past few
years parking meters were installed in Kingsbridge to stop Westchester drivers
from parking and taking mass transit to Manhattan.)

 

              The Mayor
promises that the money from congestion pricing will go towards mass
transportation, but the experience of the lottery money for education is
illustrative. Money from the lottery went to education, but the money
previously allocated by the State and City for education abated, replaced by
lottery money. We can expect the same from this scheme; congestion pricing
money goes to mass transit freeing up money that had been allocated for other
purposes.

 

            Further,
subways and buses are already overcrowded. Adding the extra crowds expected to
be generated by congestion pricing, before added space is available does not
make sense. 

 

            The $8 fee
for cars will also encourage toll increases. The Port Authority is already
talking up a toll increase and MTA Bridges is talking about a $5 toll on the Henry Hudson
Bridge. Since the toll
will be deducted from the $8, no matter what the bridges charge, up to $8,
drivers will be paying the same amount.

 

            In short, the
results of congestion pricing will be added tolls, added traffic, and added air
pollution, but less parking spaces.

 

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