FORT LEE, N.J. (PIX11) – The MTA is being taken to court by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and a borough resident over what they say will be the aftermath of the MTA’s congestion pricing.
“This plan is going to create havoc and irreparable harm on the citizens of New Jersey,” said mayor’s attorney Bruce Nagel.
Next spring, the MTA plans on implementing a toll for drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street, which could cost as much as $23.
Sokolich said that would cause drivers to flood his borough as they try to cross the George Washington Bridge, which is already known to be the busiest bridge in the world.
“Pollutants, filth, dirt, atmosphere, it impacts everybody in my borough, and it impacts everybody in the region,” said Sokolich. “We’re very proud of the role that we play for transportation for the Northeast Corridor. But with that comes traffic. Bad traffic. Sometimes our town is in complete gridlock.”
“It will spew toxic pollutants into the air and water and will especially affect those with asthma and respiratory illness,” said Nagel.
Lawyers also say the amount of time that commuters will be wasting in Fort Lee waiting to get over the bridge will be costly, saying it could take triple or even quadruple the amount of time to get into Manhattan.
“Here in Jersey, we don’t just take a punch, we punch back,” said Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer.
While Gottheimer is not part of the lawsuit, he’s worked to support it and has long been an outspoken critic of the MTA’s plan. “We’re draining the fuel out of their cancer-causing engine,” Gottheimer said.
MTA spokesman John J. McCarthy said in a statement:
“It’s Gottheimer Groundhog Day and—shocker—he wants to send more traffic and more pollution to New York. News flash: Manhattan is already full of vehicles, and we don’t need more carbon emissions. So congestion pricing needs to move forward for less traffic, safer streets, cleaner air and huge improvements to mass transit.”MTA spokesman John J. McCarthy
Nagel said they are confident the suit will halt the MTA’s plan.