Officials Make the Case for Congestion Pricing to Council

It’s a pretty crowded room upstairs in the City Council chambers, where testimony about congestion pricing is being given by city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the Director of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, Rohit Aggarwala.

In one exchange, Aggarwala told City Councilman Robert Jackson, “[Y]ou don’t have to get 20 percent of the people off the road to have 20 percent reduction in traffic.” She continued, “Sometimes, if you take one or two cars off, it takes a crowded, congested condition and it turns it into traffic that can flow.”

In another exchange, Sadik-Khan told City Councilman Leroy Comrie that if congestion pricing was approved, the city would have new express buses on the street next year. They would be paid for by federal money that D.C. promised New York if congestion pricing is enacted, she said.

Also worth noting: Anthony Weiner, a major critic of congestion pricing, was spotted in City Hall earlier this morning. This is one of the major issues separating him from likely 2009 mayoral candidates Christine Quinn, who supports the plan, and Bill Thompson, who supports it with some reservations. Assembly member Richard Brodsky, who opposes the plan, is also in City Hall. Officials Make the Case for Congestion Pricing to Council