I hope the city takes measures to deal with the influx of visitors who have returned since the outbreak. It’s possible, albeit it would be expensive for motorists if the dream comes true.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) warned Wednesday morning that the proposal for congestion pricing in Manhattan would have significant effects on the city’s economy, ecology, and transportation systems, and finally issued an environmental review of the plan.
The idea calls for an electronic toll to be collected from drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street, except the West Side Highway and FDR Drive. The annualized revenue of $1 billion would be utilized to secure financing for MTA subway and bus system capital projects.
The MTA has provided seven potential outcomes for the tolling scheme, with tolls ranging from $9 to $23 during rush hour to access the “Central Business District” below 60th Street. The “peak” period would be from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm during the week and 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on the weekends in nearly all plan configurations.
NYC’s congestion pricing plan will be delayed by roughly a year thanks to holdups by the Trump administration, the MTA’s construction chief says. https://t.co/JLBAc8TAdy
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 14, 2020
The environmental impact statement looked at seven distinct tolling plans, each with its own set of pros and cons. The bulk of the topics examined, such as regional air quality, regional transportation, and parking, would gain from the program, or at the very least, would not suffer any negative effects.
The assessment concluded that tolling would have the intended effect of decreasing vehicle traffic into the affected area. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority claims this would decrease congestion, cut travel times, boost economic output, and conserve energy.
Some may find it hard to believe, but the federal investigation determined that traffic might get worse in the other boroughs as a result of the plan. The amount of trucks using the Cross Bronx Expressway, according to one expert on infrastructure, is expected to increase.
Midtown and lower Manhattan would have an 11% reduction in pollution, and Upper Manhattan would see a nearly 9% reduction, according to the evaluation of environmental implications. The expected benefits for other domains turned out to be significantly smaller. For instance, in New Jersey’s Hudson County, air pollution would only drop by 3%.
The report found that pollution would rise in some locations, but nowhere by more than two percent, with most seeing increases of less than a quarter of one percent.
The study also showed that MTA bus dependability would improve significantly and that transit ridership would rise by a more manageable 2%.
MTA Chair and Janno Lieber praised the findings, claiming the city as a whole would reap “widespread advantages.”
“In conclusion, this is beneficial for the environment, public transportation, and New York City and the surrounding area. We eagerly anticipate hearing from members of the public in the coming weeks, “That’s what Lieber said.
Congestion pricing is essential to “invest in public transportation, cut emissions, and reduce traffic, which has roared back to pre-COVID levels,” according to Ydanis Rodriguez, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.
Director of MTA Communications Tim Minton called the plan “a success for the entire region.”
According to Minton, “the advantage of congestion pricing is clear: less traffic, reduced pollution, and more reliable mass transit for the great majority of commuters,” including those from New Jersey who ride trains and buses into Manhattan.
The transportation agency claims that implementing the plan is the only way to raise the $15 billion necessary to upgrade the outdated signals on a system that is over a century old.
However, not everyone has agreed. Rockland County state representative Mike Lawler termed it “a bad concept, nothing more than a tax on suburban taxpayers.” One MTA board member has already said he will vote against the congestion pricing scheme because of the current economic climate.
David Mack, a member of the MTA Board, remarked, “They have found a better approach.”
The evaluation indicated that there could be negative consequences for some people, including low-income drivers who have no other way to get to work and taxi drivers. The MTA may come up with a variety of exclusions and reductions to enable drivers in those situations to deal with the extra expenses they’d incur.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, doesn’t think that’s good enough. He was critical of the proposal since it would increase taxes on local citizens to pay for the MTA’s ineffective expenditures.
“A new source of economic hardship for New Yorkers is a sure result of implementing congestion pricing, which is a terrible idea. Myriad New Yorkers have it tough without the city’s many problems. Common New Yorkers are feeling the squeeze as a result of historically high inflation, soaring energy prices, and other factors “He went on to say. Politicians and bureaucrats want to take an additional $1 billion from the budgets of New Yorkers who already have little to no disposable income.
Because drivers already pay tolls on bridges and tunnels to enter New York, and because the revenue from congestion pricing won’t be utilized to improve public transit in New Jersey, several New Jersey lawmakers have criticized the plan as unjust. Drivers entering Manhattan from New Jersey might anticipate rebates or exemptions from the normal toll price.
That’s double taxation at its worst,” said New Jersey lawmaker Josh Gottheimer.
Governor Kathy Hochul attempted to calm the plan naysayers by stressing that they should understand that this is all very early in the process.
Knowing that her Republican opponent and many suburban voters and elected leaders do not like the proposal at this time, Hochul remarked, “This process is not completed, there is still time for public feedback.”
“We need just safeguard adequate funding for the MTA. I’m not sure what his other options are if my political opponent would sooner shut down the subway than raise taxes on New Yorkers “…the Governor made a statement.
At the earliest, the tolls won’t go into effect until late 2023. In 2019, the New York State Assembly passed a plan in principle that would institute congestion pricing beginning in 2021. However, the project was delayed because of the epidemic and because federal officials did not make it clear what kind of environmental evaluation was needed.
The exact cost of the congestion charge has yet to be determined. Last month, five people were appointed to the traffic mobility evaluation board, which will determine the toll rate and who would be exempt from paying it in the city of New York.
Beginning on August 10, the MTA will receive comments via their website, email, phone, and via fax, in addition to holding a series of hearings before the end of the month to collect feedback. Six separate public hearings will be place in late August, at the following times and locations:
- Thursday, Aug. 25, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 28, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 29, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 30, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition, on August 19 at 1:00 p.m., the Environmental Justice Stakeholder Working Group will convene, and on August 22 at 1:00 p.m., the Environmental Justice Technical Advisory Group will get together.
The project cannot move forward without the Federal Highway Administration’s final approval of the environmental plan, which will not be given until after all public hearings have been held and all feedback has been collected.
Follow digitalnewsexpert.com for more latest updates