Senator Montgomery Lauds New Congestion Pricing Bill Citizens To Have Input In The Plan

 

SENATOR MONTGOMERY LAUDS NEW CONGESTION PRICING BILL Citizens To Have Input In The Plan

I am happy to report to everyone who wrote and called my office that the Legislature passed a Congestion Pricing Bill which was signed into law by the Governor (S6432 / A9362). The new law sets a schedule and benchmarks to be met and ensures broad public and Citywide input into the final plan. By next January, the Legislature expects to receive a final plan for implementation. The new law also ensures improvements in mass transit which are of great importance in order to reduce traffic congestion. Please feel free to contact my office on this or any other issue.

Section 1:Legislators acknowledge that there are a variety of possible ways to address congestion; including pricing mechanisms, short and long term mass transit operation improvements, green building programs, incentives and other initiatives.

Section 2: Mayoral Authority

Grants the Mayor (as opposed to the —City“) the authorization to present a detailed congestion pricing plan to address congestion —within a zone of severe traffic congestion in Manhattan“ œ [not expressly limited to south of 86th Street.]

The plan is to include:

• the geographic area in Manhattan to be covered;

• the dollar amount of the pricing fee (not limited to $8 as in prior bill);

• the technology to be used to implement the pricing plan; and

• the number and scope of any exemptions granted from such fees.

Sections 3 and 4: Establishes a New York City Traffic Congestion Commission to do the following:

1.Review and study plans to address traffic
congestion and other health and safety
issues including but not limited to issues
related to implementation of the Mayor‘s plan.

2. Conduct hearings, take testimony and review
proposals regarding traffic congestion in NYC;
and issue recommendations regarding the
details of implementing the traffic congestion
plan submitted by the Mayor and other traffic
congestion mitigation proposals.

The Commission shall consist of 17 Members: 3 appointed by the Assembly Speaker, 3 by the Senate Majority Leader, 1 by the Senate Minority Leader, 1 by the Assembly Minority Leader, 3 by the Mayor of the City of New York, 3 by the Speaker of the New York City Council. The Chair will be appointed by the Governor.

PROUDLY SERVING THE 18TH SENATE DISTRICT

Bedford Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Gowanus/Wyckoff, Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Park Slope, Red Hook and Sunset Park

The implementation plan recommended by the Commission must provide for at least the same level of traffic mitigation (i.e. at least 6.3% reduction in average vehicle miles traveled) as proposed in the plan submitted to the US DOT on June 22, 2007 (the Mayor‘s proposal to US DOT).

Sections 5 and 6: Schedule and Benchmarks to be met

On or before August 1, 2007, the Mayor is to submit the traffic mitigation plan to the Commission, Governor, Legislature, City Council and MTA.

* On or before October 1, 2007, the MTA and
the NYS DOT shall submit comments on the
traffic congestion plan, as well as:
a.
description of additional capital needs
required for plan implementation;
b.
proposed utilization of any potential revenue
derived from the plan for these capital needs;
and the
c.
impact of revenue upon authority‘s capital and
operating budgets; and the agency‘s capital
and operating budgets, respectively.
*

On or before January 31, 2008, Commission must
approve implementation plan by majority vote and
submit the plan to the Governor, State Legislature,
Mayor and the City Council.
*

The Mayor of the City of New York must provide a
Home Rule Message to the State Legislature after
the plan has been approved by the NYC Council in a
resolution approved by a majority of its members.
*
On or before March 31, 2008, the State Legislature
shall consider the plan.
*
The City cannot impose or collect the fee for
traveling in the zone unless the implementation plan
has been approved by the Legislature before March
31, 2008, and signed into law by the Governor.

Sections 7 through 9: Moves up the Schedule of the MTA Capital Plan

This bill integrates the congestion pricing plan into the MTA‘s scheduled five year capital budget planning requirements.

The legislation would require that the MTA five-year capital plan incorporate the components of the congestion pricing plan and or congestion mitigation measures agreed to by the Legislature which impact the NY City Transit Authority and the Staten Island Rapid Transit. The MTA capital plan would be required to include:

•a description of additional capital needs for implementing such a plan;

•the proposed utilization of potential revenue derived from a plan for capital needs

In addition, this bill would accelerate the State highway and bridge capital plan for state and local highway and bridge, rail and ports, aviation and non-MTA transit to on or before March 31, 2008. (It was previously January 31, 2010).

Section 10: Effective Date and Review of the Congestion Pricing Program

Provides that the act shall take effect immediately, and shall expire and be deemed repealed on June 30, 2012 or it may expire prior to that date if the US DOT does not commit at least $250 million in funding prior to October 1, 2007, unless the US DOT commits at least $200 million prior to October 1, 2007 and NYC commits an amount equal to the difference prior to December 31, 2007.