New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Eliot Spitzer, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Joseph Bruno agreed to authorize implementation of a meaningful congestion reduction plan for New York City. (Earlier post.)
The deal authorizes the city to take the first steps toward a three-year pilot project for congestion pricing, such as investing in technology. It also creates a commission, a framework for openly hammering out specifics over the next year, allowing legislators ample opportunity to answer questions.
The agreement also accelerates the capital plan for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the agency responsible for much transit investment, so that decisions about congestion pricing and new transit investment occur in parallel. The commission will include representation from the Mayor, the Governor, the City Council, the State Assembly and Senate.
Although the agreement marks a major step forward, the push for congestion pricing and traffic reduction is not over. Once a specific plan has been developed, it must still get the green light from the city council and go to the legislature in March 2008. The city can’t begin the charge without that approval. As an immediate next step, the legislature will soon vote on the agreement reached by leadership.
(A hat-tip to Philip!)