MANHATTAN — Most people will probably agree that less traffic and better transit are each good goals.
But how should they be addressed or accomplished around New York City?
In 2019, New York State lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved an initial framework for a toll south of 60th Street in Manhattan. The revenue must be spent on transit projects.
The next step for the process is underway.
Public comment is now being taken at 10 virtual on-line hearings. People can also e-mail and call to leave input.
The live virtual hearings will continue through mid-October.
Other working groups with volunteers will be created later this fall.
All of the comments will be considered by a review board next year as the specifics are drafted.
Federal law requires public comment and a process to evaluate the environmental impact of the proposal. People in the boroughs, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut are being encouraged to speak or leave a comment.
The tolling revenue would be used by MTA for transit projects. The goal is to reduce congestion and create a better transit system.Transit riders hope for better buses and trains.
Some drivers are questioning the cost and possibility of double tolls coming in from New Jersey or Staten Island.
Possible discounts or exemptions are being suggested and will be considered. The toll would not apply to vehicles on the FDR or West Side Highway.
Additional expeditions for medical visits and Manhattan residents below 61st street have been suggested.
A six-member Traffic Mobility Review Board, with appointments by governor and one by the mayor, will look at the comments and make recommendations to the MTA board on toll amounts, exemptions, and discounts.
Federal transporation officials will eventually review the comments and proposal and make a determination about the environmental impact.
This process will take 16-months and will also include additional public comment on the final proposal next summer.