Alerted to the possibility of future tolls being imposed on the Staten Island Expressway by an article in the Staten Island Advance, (Wrobleski, Tom. "Obama transportation proposal could pave way for Staten Island Expressway tolls." Staten Island Advance 7 May 2014: www.Silive.com.) Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Matthew Titone have introduced legislation which would prohibit the imposition of tolls on any roads or highways in the City of New York.
The White House's $302-billion transportation plan contains a provision which would allow states to put tolls on interstate highways within their borders. Currently states are barred from tolling federal interstates unless the money is used specifically to increase capacity or if the highway had tolls prior to the launching of the federal interstate highway program in 1956. Obama’s new budget language would allow states to toll interstates to pay for the repair or replacement of the roadways, a priority for the Administration given the condition of our aging transportation infrastructure and the skyrocketing costs associated with improvements.
Senator Andrew Lanza said, “President Barack Obama’s recently announced transportation plan has opened the door to the possibility of new tolls being imposed on the Staten Island Expressway. This legislation slams the door shut on that possibility and would prohibit any new tolls, now or in the future, from being imposed on Staten Island roads. Staten Islanders already pay too much in taxes and our tax dollars have already gone to pay for these roads and their use. Even the mere suggestion of adding new tolls to Staten Island’s roadways adds insult to injury and must be nipped in the bud.”
Assemblyman Matthew Titone said, “Staten Islanders are already tolled on either end of the expressway – there’s no way we will allow tolling in the middle. This legislation ensures that any further discussion about tolls on the Staten Island Expressway is dead on arrival.”
Senate Bill S.7297 amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law to prohibit the imposition and collection of tolls on highways in New York City. The bill has been referred to the Transportation Committee.