About 30 minutes before the panel considering Michael Bloomberg’s plan for congestion pricing holds its hearing in Brooklyn next Thursday, City Councilman Lew Fidler will welcome them by introducing a counterproposal.
His plan, Fidler just told me, calls for creating a tunnel to connect Staten Island to the city’s subway system, sinking the Gowanus Expressway underground, and creating the long-discussed Cross Harbor Tunnel.
“I’ve been working on this since June,” Fidler told me.
He said that the mayor’s plan is limited. “Congestion pricing, outside the fact that it’s ineffective and unfair, only addresses a small part of the issue in a small part of the city,” he said. “Traffic and clean air are regional issues.”
Bloomberg opposed the Cross Harbor Tunnel, a key part of the Fidler plan, during his 2005 re-election campaign. Fidler though, is optimistic: “The mayor had supported it, opposed it, and said he’d take another look at it. Quite frankly, I think the opposition to it was somewhat political at the moment.”
Fidler said he’ll release detailed reports on his 9-point plan Wednesday and discuss it at greater length right before the congestion pricing hearing.