Deborah Glick: Devil’s in the Details of Congestion Pricing

Below is a letter from Lower Manhattan State Assembly Member Deborah Glick responding to a constituent who urged her to support Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. If you have written a letter to one of your local elected officials and received a response, send it in glick.jpg

Thank you for your letter expressing support of the Mayor’s congestion pricing plan. As residential development booms and our population continues to grow, it is indeed imperative that we search for new and creative ways to discourage unnecessary vehicular travel and encourage more sustainable modes of transportation. I firmly believe in transportation planning that valorizes walking, cycling and mass transit, by making these modes more attractive and viable so as to decrease the number of car-dependent commuters across the city.

With regard specifically to congestion pricing, the devil is always in the details, which seem to be evolving. Such a plan must include greater ease for bicycles and serious mass transit improvements and I will be investigating the particulars of the plan to see if it will truly help our community. The details of the sensor system have yet to be elucidated and I have concerns about how these will function with regard to alternate side parking so as not to target local residents, most of whom keep a car for occasional weekend travel, as they circle blocks in search of parking spaces. Additionally, I have lingering concerns about imposing charges on small truck traffic, much of which originates as a result of small businesses that were pushed to the outer boroughs and now must bear the brunt of city-imposed displacement as they commute daily into Manhattan for regular deliveries. A $21 a-day tax for former Manhattan small businesses seems steep.

Thank you again for your sharing your views on this vitally important environmental and quality of life issue. I assure you that I will be thoroughly examining the Mayor’s proposal and encourage you to contact my office with any further thoughts or concerns you may have.

Deborah J. Glick