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Pols not in any rush to vote ‘yes’ on congestion pricing

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mayor Bloomberg’s ambitious and controversial plan to charge drivers $8 to enter Manhattan’s central business district will come to a vote early next month in the City Council, where it faces a very bumpy road, according to our survey of all 17 Brooklyn councilmembers.

If the vote were held today, Brooklyn would be 8–1 against the plan (with six undecideds and two councilmembers who did not return our calls).

Charles Barron (D–Brownsville)

Will vote no: “I am opposed to the plan because it is a regressive tax on those who can afford it least. And I think it will create congestion [and] turn the outer boroughs into a parking lot. And I don’t think the MTA can be trusted with the money — it needs more diversity on the board.”

Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope)

Undecided: “The process around congestion pricing has been woefully inadequate. This is a dramatic change that is lacking a real public process. I am deeply concerned that there will not be substantial transit improvements prior to the plan’s implementation. I am also worried about the plan’s effect on low-income commuters and seniors. Lastly, it’s hard to talk about charging commuters upwards of $2,000 in additional fees every year when the economy is suffering. People need more money in their pockets, not less.”

Erik Martin Dilan (D–East New York)

Will vote no: “I hate it. I think it’s ridiculous to charge people to drive into the central business district in Manhattan. There are parts of Brooklyn that are severely congested, and no one is talking about that. And to charge people [in some neighborhoods] $10 a year for a residential parking permit is nuts! It’s free now. I also think New Jersey residents are not paying their fair share under the mayor’s plan.”

Mathieu Eugene (D–Crown Heights)

Undecided. “He’s met with everyone — the mayor, other officials and his constituents — but he is worried that it would end up causing more congestion and pollution in his district,” said spokesman Joe Placide. “But he appreciates the mass transit component. He’s weighing it all.”

Lewis Fidler (D–Canarsie)

Will vote no: “I don’t believe that the way to pay for mass transit is to decide who can and who can not come into the central business district of the city by discriminating on the basis of economics. That’s one of 50 reasons. Number two? It’s ineffective. If congestion pricing works perfectly, people will stop driving and it will no longer raise money. I favor a one-third-of-one-percent regional payroll tax. It would raise triple the money that congestion pricing would raise and share the burden across the entire region.”

Simcha Felder (D–Borough Park)

Will vote no: “Until there are more details on exactly what Brooklyn will get from money generated from congestion pricing, I cannot support this plan.”

Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge)

Will vote no: “I need certain benchmarks … including 24-hour R-train service, better bus service, restoration of the [69th Street] ferry, and an environmental impact statement. Even if these things happen, we also have to evaluate the track record of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation. MTA, in particular, does not have a good record. They have promised many grand projects in the past, but have failed to deliver.”

Sara Gonzalez (D–Sunset Park)

Undecided: “The final product has not been presented yet. Until she has had a chance to fully read it, she cannot say how she would vote,” said her spokesperson.

Letitia James (D–Fort Greene)

Undecided, but leaning yes: “They’ve agreed to transit improvements in the district, but they haven’t agreed yet to the feasibility study for the G train. I’m weighing my options.”

Michael Nelson (D–Sheepshead Bay)

Will vote no: It hasn’t been proven to me yet that it will help the environment enough to add this tax to my constituents. Even if tons of drivers stop driving stop driving into the zone, eventually, the majority will, little by little, start to drive in again. So that would lead to raising the price, first to $10, then $20, etc. So this forbidden zone will someday be only for the very rich. All commuters who work in the zone should be able to ride mass transit into the zone for free. And drivers from New Jersey should not be excused.”

James Oddo (R–Dyker Heights)

Will vote no: “For me to vote in favor, someone needs to demonstrate to me how it benefits the communities I represent. Thus far, I am unconvinced.”

Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick)

Undecided: “The Councilwoman is undecided at this moment. She is taking her time on it,” said a spokesman.

Darlene Mealy (D–East New York)

Did not return repeated calls.

Domenic Recchia (D–Bensonhurst)

Undecided.

Kendall Stewart (D–Flatbush)

Will vote no: “The people from New Jersey must pay, too. I do agree that we need to find a way to get more buses, but parking permits are another no no. They’re another tax as far as I’m concerned. And once they put a fee with the permit, the fee will go up.

Albert Vann (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant)

Did not return repeated calls.

David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights)

Will vote yes: “Permanent gridlock in Manhattan will make it harder to keep our city the financial capital of the world. It, along with improvements win mass transit, will help solve the problem.”

Updated 5:05 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Steven Shooman from Boerum Hill says:
Support public transportation.
Fight global warming.
Support Congestion pricing.
March 21, 2008, 2:43 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
My bet is that "Undecided" Councilman Recchia will vote FOR congestion pricing. He's a deal maker and when it comes to Coney Island development he wants to have enough chips on the table to make his friend Joe Sitt's (Thor Equities)plan a reality. I can't wait to see the vote in the City Council.
March 21, 2008, 4:44 pm
Joe from NYC says:
Vote NO:

want to reduce the traffic? TAKE AWAY ALL city, state and federal govt provided vehicles, except those for police /fire / emergency / repair services.

Take away all of the free parking spots reserved for city, state and federal govt employees except those for emergency service providers. Let THEM take the subway and buses (& watch how fast they get improved when the MTA board rides every day).

On blocks that are 100% commercial, make deliveries AT NIGHT.
March 22, 2008, 10:38 am
BROOKLYN AND I from WILLIAMSBURG says:
CALL THE BABY BY ITS REAL NAME
TAX TAX TAX
WIT THE NEW TAX PLAN IT IS A TAX MILLIONS OF DALLARS BUT NOT FOR YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
1) THE TAX FROM LOCAL RESIDENT FOR THE PRIVILEGE TO PARK IN THE FRONT OF YOUR HOSE
2) THE TAX FOR ALL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TO PAY A PLUS TAX FOR DOING BUSINESS
3) TICKETING EVERYBODY WHO WILL PARK VS THE LAW( EVERY CAR WHO IS REGISTER IN NYC HAVE PAID A MINIMUM OF 100 DOLLARS IN PARKING TICKETS EVERY YEAR)
4) THE FEDERAL BIG MONEY FOR THE CITY -"NOT ANY PAY BACK FOR THE LOCAL RESIDENT WHO WILL SUFFER FROM THE PARK AND RIDE AND ALL OUTER NEW REGULATION'S (CALL IT TAX SCAMS)
5) ALL NEW GARAGE SYSTEMS BUSINESS WHO WILL COME UP IN NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE WIILIAMSBURG TO PROVIDE THE PARK IN RIDE FOR OUTSIDERS AND THAT TAX WILL NOT GO TO THE LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS
TAX TAX TAX
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BUT NOT FOR YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

AND EVERY BROOKLYN POLITICIAN WHO WILL SUPPORT A NEW TAX WILL PAY THE FULL
PRICE OF IT !!!
March 23, 2008, 1:41 pm
vivian dupont from spring creek says:
need form sent to me for change of address to vote this year in brooklyn
June 30, 2008, 2:06 pm

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