Lots of Quotes, Few Details on Congestion Pricing Deal
Campaign for New York's Future director Michael O'Loughlin said, "Today is a watershed day for the health and the future of New York City. Today all New Yorkers win. Today we are moving forward toward a cleaner, healthier, more livable New York. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for his unparalleled conviction and steadfast determination in pushing ahead with this visionary agenda for smart and sustainable growth. We also thank Governor Spitzer, Majority Leader Bruno and Speaker Silver for joining the mayor in working around the clock to fashion an agreement that works for the entire metropolitan region. We are confident that the US Department of Transportation will recognize the ground-breaking nature of New York's proposal and allow us to maintain our eligibility for $500 million in funding to immediately begin cleaning our air and improving our transit system."
Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City, "The Partnership regards the decision of state leadership to support the mayor's congestion pricing plan as a major victory for New York City. It is our hope the federal Department of Transportation will accept this commitment and award New York funding to support the nation's first central business district congestion pricing zone."
Said Neysa C. Pranger, campaign coordinator, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, "Congestion pricing is a forward-thinking solution to local and global problems whose time has come. From soaring asthma rates, to snarled traffic, to global warming, congestion pricing will help New York lead in addressing all these issues."
Marcia Bystryn, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, added, "We can all breathe a little bit easier today - and every day in the future - thanks to the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Silver, Majority Leader Bruno and Governor Spitzer. Now we can start building on the mayor's innovative vision for New York's future, by moving forward on the broader agenda of PlaNYC to create more open space, clean up brownfields, reduce energy consumption and fight climate change."
Said Andy Darrell, director of Living Cities at Environmental Defense, "The agreement reached today is the first of its kind in America. It sets the city on a path to less traffic, less pollution, and a better business climate. This is a new direction for urban America - after today, there can be no return to gridlock and smog. It deserves full support from US DOT and a rapid vote in Albany in order to qualify for the federal funds. A vote for this agreement is a vote for healthy air: our lungs, our hearts, our children say 'thank you'."
Added Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE and chair of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, "This agreement will provide for more than 300 new buses in the communities that need them most and also help to reduce pollution in low-income communities with the highest asthma rates. We are proud of the positive role we played in the public debate, which will produce substantive, tangible results for the hardworking residents of our communities. With congestion pricing now moving forward, we look forward to advancing other key components of PlaNYC, most notably the initiation of community-driven brownfields redevelopment."