(Albany, New York--Azi Paybarah, WNYC) New York City Mayor Bloomberg was once an advocate for congestion pricing in his city, but since his plan to ease city traffic was never approved by the state, he's never formally tried again to pass it. (Though when asked, he's consistently said he thinks its a good idea.)
Today, he told state lawmakers it’s up to them to push for congestion pricing, or whatever alternative they can come up with. Because he won’t.
During the mayor’s testimony in Albany about the governor’s budget, Bloomberg was asked what he thought about congestion pricing this year. The bill, which he heavily lobbied for in 2007, was narrowly passed in the New York City Council, and was sent up to Albany.
It died in the Assembly when the Democratic conference decided not to let the bill out of committee. (It’s unclear if there were enough votes for it to pass the Republican-controlled State Senate).
“I’m not going to come back and fight that battle,” said Bloomberg, citing the political risk City Council members took in supporting it, only to see it die in Albany without a vote.
Later, when asked if congestion pricing as a “dead” issue, Bloomberg told reporters it’s up to state lawmakers to come up with a way to fund the state’s mass transit’s needs, saying, he is “not going to stand up and campaign for it.”
For more NY politics coverage, visit WNYC's Empire blog.