Make That 21 Council Members in Favor of Pricing

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Council Member Alan Gerson bikes in support of safer cross-town cycling route for Lower Manhattan, Sept. 2006. Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Following the Gotham Gazette's surprising report that he was the only Manhattan City Council Member firmly against Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan, Lower Manhattan City Council member Alan Gerson has issued a statement clarifying his position. Gerson says that, in fact, he "supports appropriate variations of congestion pricing as part of a broader traffic management plan."

Gerson's District 1 encompasses the southernmost tip of Manhattan. Census data indicates that 79% of the households in Gerson's district do not own a car. Gerson's complete statement can be found after the jump. They're talking about it on Gotham Gazette.

STATEMENT OF COUNCIL MEMBER GERSON ON CONGESTION PRICING

Council Member Gerson supports appropriate variations of congestion pricing as part of a broader traffic management plan. Gerson looks forward to working with the 17-member New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission. There are many creative ways in which the State and City can implement such a plan and it is essential that New York City residents get the most thoroughly researched and workable one.

Improving air quality, reducing traffic and improving non-polluting bus service remain high priorities among others for Gerson. Beginning this summer, the Council Member will hold a series of traffic town hall meetings throughout Lower Manhattan to gather information on congestion pricing proposals and other ideas for these goals. The Council Member will incorporate community input and present a detailed traffic management proposal later in the fall.

Gerson praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his leadership in raising the congestion pricing idea, and Council Speaker Quinn for her support. Gerson also praised Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for putting in place a process that will assure that New Yorkers have the appropriate, in depth conversation over this issue. The Council Member has confidence that the process will lead to a plan that will meet short-term and long-term goals for New Yorkers throughout all five boroughs.